WhiteMagic: witte pixels = 50% minder energieverbruik

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Sony heeft een nieuw type lcd-scherm aangekondigd dat 50% zuiniger is dan conventionele lcd-schermen en nog helderder bovendien. De technologie, genaamd ‘WhiteMagic’ was al enige tijd in ontwikkeling, maar Sony heeft nu aangekondigd dat de schermtechniek rijp is voor vercommercialisering. Naast integratie in haar eigen producten zal het scherm ook aan derden geleverd worden. 

Witte pixel

De bouwsteen van de technologie is de toevoeging van een witte pixel aan de primaire RGB-kleuren (rood, groen en blauw). WhiteMagic staat  dan ook bekend als de RGBW-techniek. De witte pixel moet de helderheid van het complete scherm vergroten. Er zijn dan twee mogelijkheden: ofwel een helderder scherm bij een gelijk energieverbruik (wat vooral nuttig is voor buitengebruik, als de zon fel schijn) ofwel een even helder scherm als gangbaar is, maar dan met 50% minder energieverbruik. Volgens Sony heeft het toevoegen van een witte pixel geen impact op de beeldkwaliteit van het scherm.

PERSBERICHT

Sony has commercialized “WhiteMagic™”*1 a 3-inch VGA LCD module
incorporating the newly-developed ‘RGBW method’ for digital cameras
– Enabling a reduction in power consumption of approximately 50%* & improved outdoor visibility
(around twice* the brightness), suitable for implementation in Smartphones –

* compared with the conventional RGB method (Sony’s comparison)

Sony Corporation has succeeded in commercializing “WhiteMagic™ ”*1, an LCD module for digital cameras that utilizes the newly-developed ‘RGBW method’.

“WhiteMagic™ ” incorporates a 3-inch VGA low-temperature polysilicone TFT LCD module that adds a white (‘W’) pixel to the Red-Green-Blue (‘RGB’) pixels. By improving the brightness of the entire screen, Sony has been able to develop a module that offers one mode to reduce the power consumption of backlight by around 50%, as well as another mode that approximately doubles the brightness to improve outdoor visibility. Even adding the W pixel, the analysis of the input picture data and Sony’s unique signal processing algorithm enable images to be displayed without any deterioration.

Model name Shipment date Sample price
“ACX432AKM” 3-inch VGA low-temperature
polysilicone TFT LCD module Early October, 2011 5,000 yen
(incl. tax)

In recent times, devices such as digital cameras and Smartphones have been gradually calling for even larger screens and higher resolutions. There are also increasing demands to reduce the power consumption of the displays. The conventional RGB display, however, has a major difficulty in simultaneously achieving both high resolution and low power consumption.
By incorporating the newly-developed ‘RGBW method’ that adds a white (‘W’) pixel to the conventional RGB pixels, Sony has succeeded in enhancing the brightness of the entire screen of its new LCD module.
The addition of a white pixel tends to result in deterioration of the image quality. However, Sony’s “WhiteMagic™” analyzes the input picture data and performs suitable signal processing (using its new algorithm), thus enabling a deterioration-free display.
As a result, Sony has succeeded in equipping its LCD modules with a new ‘low power mode,’ which enables brightness equivalent to that of conventional RGB LCD modules, even the power consumption of the backlight is reduced by approximately 50%. There is also an ‘outdoors mode,’ which successfully improves outdoor visibility of the display by enhancing the display brightness to roughly double, even without the use of any additional power. Consequently, the ‘Low power mode’ increases the battery life of the devices, while the ‘outdoors mode’ facilitates focusing of the camera and/or checking of the images being filmed even under strong sunlight.

“WhiteMagic™” is also applicable to displays for Smartphones. Sony hopes that “WhiteMagic™” module will meet the demands of customers across a wide range of mobile devices.

Special features of this product & its technology
(1) ‘High resolution LCD’
Equipped with 3-inch 1.23M-dot full VGA LCD
(2) ‘RGBW method without deterioration in image quality’
By adding a W pixel to the RGB pixels as well as developing a new algorithm for image signal processing, Sony has succeeded in improving the brightness of the entire screen without any deterioration in image quality.
(3) ‘Low power mode’
Reduces the power consumption of the backlight by approximately 50%, with keeping the display brightness equivalent to that of conventional RGB LCD modules.
(4) ‘Outdoors mode’
Improves outdoor visibility of the display by enhancing the display brightness to roughly double, while using the equivalent power consumption of conventional RGB method displays.
(5) ‘Flexibility for mobile device displays’
Can be used in applications for displays of Smartphones and other mobile devices
Main module specifications

Table of Specifications
Screen size 3.0 inches
LCD mode Vistarich™*2, transmissive
Number of display dots 1.23M-dot (640 x RGBW x 480)
Color reproducibility NTSC ratio 60%
Contrast ratio 1000 : 1
Viewing angle Vertical/horizontal160 degrees

Mode Surface brightness Power consumption
Low power mode’ 470 cd/m² 225mW
(Backlight 125mW)
Outdoors mode 1000 cd/m² 400mW
(Backlight 300mW)

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Jeroen

is mede-oprichter van FotoVideo.nu, schrijver van diverse (foto)boeken en auteur voor verschillende tijdschriften. Hij fotografeert sinds 1994 met een spiegelreflexcamera en geeft ook af en toe presentaties en workshops over fotografie. Volg Jeroen ook op Twitter.

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