Microsoft Envisions The Next-Generation LCD

Published Date
01 - Aug - 2008
| Last Updated
01 - Aug - 2008
 
Microsoft Envisions The Next-Generation LCD

mirror image


Attractive yet efficient displays are available these days for your gaming and computing requirements. Depending on your budget, there is a wide range to choose from. Designers at Microsoft believe there is still space for innovation and are of the opinion that their telescopic pixel innovation would result in displays with much higher contrast ratios and brighter colours. According to the scientists at Microsoft Labs, liquid crystals used in LCDs cannot completely block light in the off state and are hence unusable in bright light. LCDs transmit only 5 to 10 per cent of the backlight, because of the polariser, which blocks more than 50 per cent of the light.

Also, each colour filter transmits only 30 per cent of the remainder of the light, and there are some additional layers that decrease transmission even further. Telescopic pixels could also solve this problem.

These pixels are designed such that they have a pair of opposing mirrors, which completely contain light within a pixel and produce a perfect black colour. Using an electrical charge, the shape of one mirror can change its shape from planar to approximately parabolic, diverting the light beam to another mirror that will send the beam through the pixel and make the pixel visible on the outside. The researchers claim that this technology can transmit 36 per cent of the backlight, up from about 9 per cent in the most efficient technologies available today. The electrical charge could be applied very quickly, achieve display response times of 1.5 ms, the researchers said.

Considering the fact that there are already about 2 million pixels in today’s HD displays and future displays may go more than 8 million (quad HD) or even 12 million (4K) pixels, installing mirrors in every pixels sounds complicated and expensive. However, the scientists said that such a display could not only support a high image resolution, but can be made from relatively cheap materials, and is compatible with liquid crystal display production processes.

In addition to providing brighter computer displays, telescopic pixel technology could help drive forward the development of low-cost, large screen displays. The consumer market is demanding affordable, large, high-resolution televisions and displays, but this goal will be hard to achieve without using a modular approach, in which large displays are created by combining smaller building blocks.

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