Category: Displays

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Pixel Qi in the Genesi ARM Powered Laptop

Posted by Charbax – January 7, 2011

This is the ultimate combination for the future of laptops, ARM Power and Pixel Qi display for 40-50 hours battery runtime. This Genesi laptop uses the Freescale i.MX51 processor.

Pixel Qi partners with CPT for mass manufacturing dual-mode screens

Posted by Charbax – December 21, 2010

Pixel Qi and CPT are preparing 3 different screen sizes to be mass manufactured in 2011, including a 7" 1024x600 design that will be shown early January at CES in Las Vegas.

CPT has a monthly production capacity of 40 million LCD screens. That's 480 million LCD screens per year. How much of these are going to be Pixel Qi types is to be seen. CPT is the worlds second largest manufacturer of mid-size (4.8"-11.6") LCD screens (behind CMI).

I'm hoping that the 3 sizes that they are working on are 4.8" or 5", 7" and 10.1", sizes which I think are the best for Tablet and E-reader use. 4.8" or 5" being the largest to fit in normal pockets (passport sized), 7" the largest to fit in jacket pockets and 10" being current top Tablet and about the size of an A4 page. But I also think 11.6" or 12.1" screen size like the one Google wants for Chrome OS notebooks could also be a good size.

This alliance started early last summer when CPT showed a transflective screen of its own design at a Taiwanese trade show. Discussions between the two companies at that show made it apparent that Pixel Qi and CPT should work together to bring stronger product to market faster. A close alliance was formed and the teams have been working together quietly all fall. They have created samples of a 7” 1024×600 screens scheduled for mass production in early Q2 2011, which will be first publically shown at the CES 2011 exhibition in Las Vegas in early January 2011. This represents an expansion of Pixel Qi’s manufacturing strength beyond its first LCD manufacturing partner who has been shipping Pixel Qi’s 10” screen.

These dual-mode reflective and transflective LCD screens are crucial to realize the combination of Tablet and E-reader into one product. Without this type of screen, I don't believe tablets can be used for reading books as backlights are not meant for reading, and for e-readers to use LCD also makes them more versatile thus also including all the tablet functions into one same product. Most importantly, this screen technology improves battery runtime for ARM Powered devices considerably, as in a 10" ARM Powered tablet or laptop, the backlight probably consumes about 80% of the devices overall power, consider thus a screen that can work without a backlight or with a lower backlight intensity, and you have a battery runtime multiplied by as much as 5x in that same product. Thus an ARM Powered Tablet or Laptop that had 10 hours battery runtime on a regular backlit LCD may have up to 50 hours using this type of screen. Thus also making this screen absolutely crucial for projects like OLPC and the Indian education $35 tablet project if they want to make it viable that these devices can be used places where there isn't a lot of power.

Source: pixelqi.com/blog1/

7″ Pixel Qi may be shown at CES

Posted by Charbax – November 5, 2010

According to the new Pixel Qi products page at http://pixelqi.com/products, the 7" version of the Pixel Qi screen, thus suitable for more portable tablet form factors and e-readers, may be on display and perhaps available as samples starting this January at the CES trade show.

7" samples for CES 2011 possible

And according to their September 17th blog post:

New Screen Development: 7″
We are developing a 7” screen for tablets and ereaders that is planned for mass production in H1 2011. Samples will be available earlier, perhaps by late Q4 2010.

As I am typing this post on my awesome 7" Archos 70 Internet Tablet, I can imagine how it would be to have the device be even lighter (than its current 300 grams, vs 380 grams Galaxy Tab and 680 grams iPad) with a smaller battery or to have it last upwards 50 hours with a reflective screen suitable for e-reading. Kindle 4 should definitely use this, and this is I think the reason for Amazon to be secretly preparing their alternative Android application store.

Source: pcworld.com

Super AMOLED 7″ to come next year

Posted by Charbax – November 3, 2010

Samsung will show the Super AMOLED screen in 2 weeks at the FPD-International exhibition in Japan, but production won't start before middle of next year when Samsung's upcoming new Super AMOLED factory is ready to produce larger amounts of these new screens.

Super AMOLED is pretty awesome screen quality, though by then, I would like to also see 4", 5", 7", 10", 11", 13" Pixel Qi LCDs in all tablets, laptops, turning them all into perfect e-readers for outdoor use and with battery runtime upwards 50 hours.

The big question is how much more expensive is Super AMOLED compared to LCD and how much difference in price will it have next year? If people keep buying $500 devices next year, then Samsung can use Super AMOLED and absorb the price difference as a differentiator as those prices are so high. But if $100 Android tablets are common by then, then possibly there won't be enough demand to justify a 7" Super AMOLED screen if the manufacturing price is more than double the price of good capacitive Pixel Qi LCD screens.

Pixel Qi 7″ screens coming too

Posted by Charbax – September 20, 2010

Pixel Qi is the single most revolutionary LCD screen technology, adding the benefits of low power, reflectivity, long form and outdoor readability all the while providing a switch on the side of the device to provide full color backlight mode to the screen as well. Thus combining Tablets with E-readers, making 50-hour tablet battery runtime without increasing battery size a possibility and bringing full color video, web browsing and full Android UIs to E-readers. The 10.1" screen will be announced soon for more products than just Notion Ink and Innoversal:

We will be announcing other products carrying Pixel Qi screens here in this blog; stay tuned.

Pixel Qi provides some insights into the reason why several tablet projects including the ones to use Pixel Qi have been delayed because of the success of the disruptive iPad:

Tight supply chain and 100% factory usage this spring and summer coupled with Apple’s disruptive iPad effectively had a 1-2 punch impact: delaying most tablet makers from coming to market as early as they wished. The situation has eased: the supply chain is more robust and factory capacity is widely available. Many of our device makers used this downtime to refine their designs with the result being even more exciting offerings that are highly differentiated from the iPad with options well beyond ATT for carriers. These device maker partners will be making more announcements coming this fall.

And so, a screen that I think would be perfect for the Archos 70 Internet Tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Tab and the Foxconn ARM11 Powered 7" Tablet reference design, Pixel Qi is announcing the development of the 7" Pixel Qi screen size. Here's also who needs to absolutely use the 7" Pixel Qi screen, the $35 Indian HRD Tablet Project!!!

We are developing a 7” screen for tablets and ereaders that is planned for mass production in H1 2011. Samples will be available earlier, perhaps by late Q4 2010.

In my opinion, everyone in the industry with 7" and 10.1" LCD tablet projects, all need to be a part of this revolution and need to use this amazing screen. Hopefully with mass manufacturing and large serious orders, the screen will be cheap enough to be close to the price of a normal LCD, hopefully the yield and the long term performance in use will be just as good as normal LCD.

Source: http://pixelqi.com/blog1/2010/09/17/pixel-qi-tablet-availability-diy-screen-success-and-other-updates/

Philips shows Net TV functions at IFA 2010

Posted by Charbax – September 4, 2010

Philips has been providing Net TV features over WiFi and Ethernet in their HDTVs since 2008, while newer models also support high definition video on demand functions. They are announcing a consortium with some other HDTV manufacturers to develop interoperable Internet TV features and application standards. Will Philips also interoperate with the Google TV ecosystem?

LG’s Smart TV system for Web-TV and apps on HDTVs

Posted by Charbax – September 4, 2010

Built into the latest LG HDTVs, here is a Wii-like remote control with sensors (probably accelerometers, gyro and something else), it integrates web features, video-on-demand into the HDTV. Will this be able to compete on features with Google TV ecosystem, does it have to? Will all manufacturers eventually have to collaborate on interoperable Internet television systems?

LG showcases 31″ Full HD OLED screens at IFA 2010

Posted by Charbax – September 4, 2010

Super thin, nice colors, check it out. Maybe it will be a while before such large OLED screens can be mass manufactured. LCD manufacturing processes are just that much more evolved and broadly implemented by gigantic manufacturers.

Sharp’s Parallax Barrier, auto-3D “no glasses needed” screen technology

Posted by Charbax – September 4, 2010

It has been brewing in Sharp's R&D labs for a few years, now it is ready for mass market. Nintendo is using this 3.8" WVGA Parallax Barrier screen in their next Nintendo 3DS to be released in time for Christmas. Smart phones will be using it too starting spring of next year. There is a software or hardware switch that can totally disable the 3D effect on demand. Read more about Parallax Barrier at Parallax Barrier.

Youtube 4K, for realz?!!!!!

Posted by Charbax – July 9, 2010

Google announced this new resolution support on Youtube a bit weirdly: 4K is 4096x3072 thus 3072p. It is not "4096p" and not "1096 x 3072 pixels". Or is 4K supposed to amount to 4 Million pixels? Here's the text from Youtube's announcement (as posted at this moment to http://youtube-global.blogspot.com/2010/07/whats-bigger-than-1080p-4k-video-comes.html):

Today at the VidCon 2010 conference, we announced support for videos shot in 4K (a reference resolution of 4096 x 3072), meaning that now we support original video resolution from 360p all the way up to 4096p.

We always want videos on YouTube to be available in the highest quality possible, as creators intend. In December of last year, we announced support for 1080p, or full HD. At 1096 x 3072 pixels, 4K is nearly four times the size of 1080p. To view any video in a source resolution greater than 1080p, select "Original" in the video quality pulldown menu:

Here's my reaction:

- WHOAAAWWW! Is this 1st of April or something? Is Google talking for real?

- What is the bitrate going to be for 4K? My guess, based on calculating the bitrate per pixel of 2mbit/s for Youtube 720p and 4mbit/s for Youtube 1080p is that for 4K it would be something like 24mbit/s. That's within the same bitrate as our 15 year old DV format (like miniDV tapes). That's like the top bitrate established for 1080p AVCHD format. This is totally manageable! We can get 50mbit/s and 100mbit/s "easilly" over here in Scandinavia. If Google would provide full bandwidth delivery of Youtube 4K worldwide, we could seriously enjoy this!

- I wish the LCD and Projector industry focus on making Quad HD or 4K screens (however they should be called) instead of that 3D fad thing. Logically, thanks to Youtube 4K, we could be getting 4K HDTVs and projectors for less than $1000 by this time next year. Because the processors are already ready, they just need to be put into mass manufactured screens and projectors.

Another point in Youtube's announcement that I would like to learn something about and maybe start to counter:

To give some perspective on the size of 4K, the ideal screen size for a 4K video is 25 feet; IMAX movies are projected through two 2k resolution projectors.

I have seen Quad HD LCD screens at trade shows. Those were in the 50-82" range I think. They are absolutely amazing (Sergey Brin has one), some of the most impressive demonstrations I have ever seen in going to most of the trade shows since 2005. See my video of the Samsung 3840x2160p 82" LCD HDTV. See my video of the JVC 4K2K HDTV and Projector.

I believe that one can see higher than 1080p on HDTV starting below 50" sizes. The iPhone 4 has a 326DPI 3.5" screen. I don't see why we can't get higher DPI on our HDTVs than 52DPI on a 42" HDTV? Why should the iPhone 4 have a 6x higher DPI than my 42" 1080p Full HD HDTV? If they were to put 4K processor in my 42" HDTV, it would still "only" have a 111DPI, still much less than what they have done on the iPhone 4. Sure my 42" HDTV has 132 times larger surface area than an iPhone (a 42" HDTV could fit 132 of iPhone's screens), if you want to set a standard for what the DPI per field of vision should be based on the iPhone 4 held at half arms length (50cm) with 326DPI screen, then a 42" HDTV with 4K screen of 111DPI would need to be seen within 1.5 meters of a distance to get the same effect. Usually a sofa is placed 4-6 meters away from the LCD HDTV. Perhaps people will want to sit closer to the screen to experience something closer to 4K quality. At the photo exhibitions and museums of paintings, it is common for people to approach the images at distances closer than 1 meter to appreciate the details in the image. Perhaps 4K would be more suitable sizes above 50" and preferably perhaps even above 60" in diagonal. 67" 4K HDTV would have a 70DPI thus achieve same pixels per angle of view at 2.5 meters distance. 65" 1080p HDTV is $2500 today at Best Buy, how much more would it cost to include the latest 4K processor in there to stream 4K contents from Youtube 4K? Perhaps 4K HDTVs in the living room can be displaying any of our existing 12megapixel images taken with any recent digital photo camera, slideshows on a 4K screen look awesome. Thus Picasa could be streaming out some amazing customized and personalized slideshows, to be marvelled at in the living room at closer distance than usual.

Another point in Youtube's announcement that I would like to discuss:

Because 4K represents the highest quality of video available, there are a few limitations that you should be aware of. First off, video cameras that shoot in 4K aren’t cheap, and projectors that show videos in 4K are typically the size of a small refrigerator. And, as we mentioned, watching these videos on YouTube will require super-fast broadband.

Now, let's discuss, when are cheap 4K encoders going to be available? What hardware is required in the camcorder to encode that resolution effectively (and not also use up too much bandwidth in its compression). How expensive are the 4K decoders really?

Is 4K support something that could come with the upcoming ARM Cortex A9 processors?

I would think that this could be a nice challenge for ARM processor providers to work towards. They have now reached 1080p playback for a while already, even though it only really comes with ARM Cortex A9 to small low power consumer devices. Media streamers though have done 1080p playback for a few years already. I filmed the first 1080p KiSS Technology players at CeBIT 2004:

With Moore's law, doubling of playback processing every 18 months, 4K decoders should have been ready since the second half of 2008 already, and in Set-top-box devices that shouldn't cost more than the KiSS Technology DP-600 shown in 2004, less than $300 today? Perhaps next year we will be able to see Google TV boxes with 4K and Youtube 4K streaming support on $2K 65" 4K LCD HDTVs or $1K 4K projectors?