Smartphone Displays - AMOLED vs LCD
Qualcomm's Mirasol screen uses reflective technology, similar to Pixel Qi with the backlighting off. Thus, compared to LCD, it saps power only when you turn the page, not when the image is static. It is viewable in direct sunlight, as it uses refracted ambient lighting to produce an image - the more external light, the brighter the screen, opposite of LCD. This technology has been inspired by the way butterfly wings work with light, hence the butterfly shown on the prototypes, and in the logo. The advantage over E-Ink is that it can also show quite a bit of color, and play video at 30fps, and possibly more. Rumors are that we might see it in the next iterations of Amazon's Kindle. Touchscreen options can be incorporated in the Mirasol displays too.
Now off to the cool stuff. There are a few problems facing OLED-based screen's mass adoption - lifetime and cheaper scalability. For now, AMOLED screens can be produced with decent costs only in small sizes. DuPont recently introduced a printing method for AMOLED screens, where it did a 50” screen for two hours, that should last about 15 years. Other companies are hot on the heels with similar technologies, and a breakthrough is expected when they license them to big manufacturers.
Now, to take a walk on the wild side, the ubiquitous nano particles can have their say in the advancements of screen technologies as well. For LCDs, they promise ultra high-definition screens, with pixel sizes eight times smaller than those of the Retina Display. For OLED-based screen, nanotechnologies research forecasts a few thousand cd/m2 brightness, compared to the 365 cd/m2 that the Galaxy S screen is achieving. What is more, a method to vertically stack layers is still in the lab stage, but holds more promises for cheaper production of large size efficient AMOLED screens than a medicine for bald men.
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