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Displays Android Power Hardware

Qualcomm's Butterfly Wing Display Gets Nearer 168

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the stare-at-the-sun dept.
holy_calamity writes "Technology Review has an update on a screen technology from Qualcomm called Mirasol that delivers LCD-like colors and video but sips power like e-ink. Demonstration Android tablets with 5.7 inch Mirasol displays apparently held up well in bright light and were responsive enough for gaming. Qualcomm are in the process of building a $1 billion new factory to make the screens, which should appear in devices from phone and tablet makers next year."
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Qualcomm's Butterfly Wing Display Gets Nearer

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  • Re:Soon (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @08:32PM (#38068222)

    Interesting at the expense of hardware engineers. Why do hardware engineers have to put in all the time, effort, and knowledge, and get paid less than software engineers, while software engineers who make Phone apps and stupid facebook games reap in millions in venture capital ?

    This imbalance will only spur the mass exodus of smart EE's from hardware into software. Look out, software people of this gen and next gen !

  • Re:Soon (Score:5, Interesting)

    by somersault (912633) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @08:49PM (#38068354) Homepage Journal

    Indeed.. 30fps from a colour e-ink display. I can hardly imagine how strange it would be watching a video on one of these things.

    This is the beginning of the end of printed magazines, now that people can't complain about eye strain from backlights. It will also be damn cool to be able to do real "living photos" without a backlit display.

    Modifiable tattoos is another fun use that they're already doing with monochrome e-ink - being able to have them in colour that doesn't fade would be awesome too. The whole reason I haven't got a tattoo so far is that I know I'd probably want to change the design at some point.

  • by artor3 (1344997) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @08:52PM (#38068394)

    They're just now building the factory, and you expect the product to be in devices next year? That would be the smoothest production bring-up in history. Maybe in 2013.

  • Disruptive (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Sponge Bath (413667) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @08:55PM (#38068436)
    Apple is working on a high resolution (2048x1536) tablet display. I would guess they are aware of this technology. The article indicates yields are a problem so a 2048x1536 display is probably a ways away. Which will be more disruptive to the market, the leap in resolution or battery life?
  • by mark-t (151149) <`markt' `at' `lynx.bc.ca'> on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @09:12PM (#38068578) Journal

    Make it large enough to handle textbook content presented at a readable size (typically letter-sized pages), and I'd be all over it, as long as it allowed me to upload my own pdf's to it, and, perhaps no less important, as long as it wasn't priced ridiculously high. And yeah, I know there's some e-ink readers oout there with displays nearly that big, but the current state of affairs with eink displays totally blows. Page refreshes are so slow that I'd rather carry 20 lbs worth of textbooks than try to use an eink reader for anything other than the reading of fiction.

    A 14" screen would be ideal... although with a respectable resolution, a 10-11" one might also be able to suffice.

  • Re:Soon (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LordNimon (85072) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @09:27PM (#38068722)

    This imbalance will only spur the mass exodus of smart EE's from hardware into software.

    God, I hope not. The worst code I've seen is almost invariably produced by EEs. The last thing the software world needs is more hardware engineers who want to "try out" being a programmer. No thanks.

  • Re:Soon (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @09:35PM (#38068826)

    This imbalance will only spur the mass exodus of smart EE's from hardware into software.

    God, I hope not. The worst code I've seen is almost invariably produced by EEs. The last thing the software world needs is more hardware engineers who want to "try out" being a programmer. No thanks.

    FWIW I've seen some hw architected by software engineers "trying out" being a hardware architect, and believe me that ain't a pretty sight either.

    But then I've seen that there are people who are good at both so as with all generalizations, it depends ;^)

  • by xmark (177899) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @01:26AM (#38070520)

    About a lot of things, actually.

  • by fyngyrz (762201) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @01:52AM (#38070680) Homepage Journal

    With just two, the wavelength specificity of the reflected light will be poor: you won't be able to make a bright green spot, merely a greenish spot.

    No. The resonance (physical size) of the cavity controls the color; it doesn't depend upon how many layers are in there.

    This means that if we try to set the pixel as bright as possible (all subpixels on) we'll still only get a medium grey, not white.

    Yes and no (mostly no.) Look at your LCD screen. See that bright, burn-your-eyes out white capability? That comes from r,g and b spots. Meaning, each spot is only emitting 1/3 of the light that it takes to be white, or, in your concept, you're only seeing 1/3 as "white" as you could be (well, not exactly, since our eyes are nonlinear between red, green and blue, but anyway...) Still makes for a nice white. Bottom line: You don't have to reflect every photon to make a decent white. And in fact, paper reflects a lot of them at angles that don't hit your eyes, so you're not getting them all there, either. The "brightness" of the white here will depend on how wide the reflected photons spread on the way back out of the cells. Or to look at it another way, if the light reflection angle is 1/3 of the light capture angle, it'll seem perfectly white to you. The RGB nature of them isn't really the limiting factor.

    each subpixel is either on or off, so each pixel can only display 8 colours.

    No. Each pixel holds many elements. So the color of the pixel doesn't depend upon its neighbors.

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