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July 23, 2008

Forget LCD's And Plasma's, Telescopic Pixel Displays May Be The Future

pixel2-1.jpgForget LCD and plasma displays--the real future of display technology may lay with "telescopic pixels". A report in Nature Photonics, compiled by researchers from Microsoft and the University of Washington, says that telescopic pixel displays can outperform today's popular display technologies, especially in smaller display sizes used for mobile devices and laptops.

Telescopic pixels use a design known as the optical telescope. This type design uses two opposing mirrors per pixel. The primary mirror can actually change into a parabolic shape when the pixel is on, focusing light on the secondary mirror, which in turn reflects the light back through a hole in the primary display and onto the display screen. When the pixel is off, the mirrors are parallel and reflect any light back to the light source.

Not only is the manufacturing method used to produce telescopic pixels low cost, but it's also compatible with LCD infrastructure. And while LCD's only move 5-10% of the total backlight to the user and use up to 30% of a laptop's battery, telescopic displays move 36% of the backlight to the user reaching 56% with some design mods, efficient enough to add 45 minutes to a 5 hour laptop battery.

Telescopic pixel displays also have a lightning-quick response time, measured at only 0.625ms. This allows for sequential color processing, improved gray scales and color shading. The one major problem right now is contrast. Experiments have it sitting at only 20:1, a far cry from the 800:1 contrast ratio needed to put telescopic pixel displays on par with LCD's. Remember though, this is a prototype design. Major improvements will be made in the future.

The real question is whether telescopic pixel displays have any chance against up-and-coming OLED's. Right now we'd have to say no.

Via Ars Technica

Read More in: LCD TV | Plasma

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Posted by Justin Davey at July 23, 2008 12:00 AM

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