Thursday, May 17, 2007

Small LCDs with integrated backlight sensor use 30% less juice

Posted May 16th 2007 6:47AM by Nilay Patel

We seem to have been draining our phone batteries even faster than usual this week, so we find TPO's power-saving display sensor tech to be pretty encouraging news for the future. The Taiwanese display manufacturer has figured out how to integrate ambient light sensors directly into a standard LCD screen, resulting in more accurate light readings than the usual external sensor setup. The system can also compensate for temperature with the addition of a black level sensor, which means the screen can detect light levels from 3 to 10,000 lux and adjust the backlight accordingly. The sensor tech is designed for small screens in mobile devices, and TPO estimates that the setup reduces overall power consumption around 30% under normal use, which would maybe let us get through a day without resorting to buying that enormous external battery pack we've been dreading. No word on when we'll see these screens hit the consumer level, but TPO says mass production won't start until 2008, so better keep that charger handy for a while.