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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:Backlight (Score:4, Informative)

    by idji (984038) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @08:07PM (#38068538)
    Wrong! You will need much less front light than back light to see things. You need back light ALL THE TIME. You only need front light WHEN IT IS DARK. These devices will probably have away to produce some "side light" so you can read in the dark
  • Re:Backlight (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @08:09PM (#38068560)

    Page two of the article states:
    "In dark conditions, light is directed onto the panel's modulators from LED lights at the edge of the panel."

  • Can't wait! (Score:5, Informative)

    by engun (1234934) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @08:19PM (#38068654)
    I can't wait for this tech to get into tablets. Just a few of the advantages I'm expecting (and here's hoping there will be no disappointments)

    1. I stare at an LCD screen all day, and I really detest the backlight. This is what prevents me from reading on a "tablet". Mirasol will fix that.
    2. The Kindle's e-ink display, even though it didn't have colour, was simply amazing. However, the slow refresh rates combined with the lack of colour, made it too special purpose. Mirasol fixes all that, allowing for a general purpose tablet + e-reader and I can't imagine why that wouldn't succeed.
    3. The paper like effect (which I assume Mirasol will have), will be so much easier on the eyes - meaning less eye strain. Given a choice between ruining my eye sight and enduring bad colour, I'll choose bad colour anytime.
    4. We can go back to the look & feel of paper without the associated wastage (trees cut down etc. etc). One "electronic book" to substitute them all.
    5. A battery life comparable in the kindle range instead of the lcd range would be an added bonus, but not a deal breaker.
    6. Resolution however is important. I assume that high res screens will be available.
    7. Some form of built-in illumination in the absence of ambient light.
  • Re:Backlight (Score:5, Informative)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @08:54PM (#38069064) Journal

    You cannot have a backlight with eInk, because it is not transparent. Not sure about Mirasol.

    A compact retractable LED light is certainly possible, and, indeed, precisely what Amazon did with their Kindle cover.

  • Re:Disruptive (Score:5, Informative)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @08:57PM (#38069098) Journal

    The reason why Apple needs 2048x1536, and not, say, 1980x1200, is because with the latter they cannot easily scale up existing apps with a simple 2x factor.

    (flexible layouts? what's that?)

  • Re:Can't wait! (Score:4, Informative)

    by macshit (157376) <miles AT gnu DOT org> on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @09:13PM (#38069248) Homepage

    I can't wait for this tech to get into tablets. Just a few of the advantages I'm expecting (and here's hoping there will be no disappointments)
    ...
    3. The paper like effect (which I assume Mirasol will have), will be so much easier on the eyes - meaning less eye strain. Given a choice between ruining my eye sight and enduring bad colour, I'll choose bad colour anytime.
    4. We can go back to the look & feel of paper without the associated wastage (trees cut down etc. etc). One "electronic book" to substitute them all.

    I dunno, it's not so clear it will be "paper-like"...

    e-paper uses a real matte reflective surface, like paper, but this mirasol stuff seems to be based on thin-film mirrors—i.e., not matte. Maybe they can do something with a diffusing layer over that, but who knows how much that will look like a real matte surface; it could look more like a material with significant sub-surface scatting, like wax...

    The other thing of course, is that because mirasol uses separate wave-length-specific sub-pixels for red, green, and blue, the amount of light reflected is going to be cut down accordingly, as each sub-pixel will be absorbing many wavelengths even when in its "reflecting" state. So it may very well be kind of dim. [On an LCD, they can compensate for that by simply cranking up the backlight sufficiently to make up for any losses, but mirasol is supposed to work in ambient light...]

  • by Jamie Lokier (104820) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @09:16PM (#38069288) Homepage

    This page explains near the end: http://www.mirasoldisplays.com/mobile-display-imod-technology [mirasoldisplays.com]
    It's bistable, so it retains memory of the image without needing power (or only a little power), which is similar to e-ink.
    But it switches much faster than e-ink, so it can do video, presumably consuming power for the regions which change.

  • Re:MEMS display (Score:4, Informative)

    by fyngyrz (762201) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @12:35AM (#38070574) Homepage Journal

    Not dithering -- just cumulative addition. The more reflecting elements there are, the more color you get. So each pixel is a series of imod elements, arrays of R, G and B. Black is all off; dark color is just a few on... medium color is half of 'em on... bright color is all of 'em on.

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton

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