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5/17/2011
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Samsung Reveals Prototype HD Display For Tablets

The 300-dpi, high-definition LCD panel uses red, green, blue, and white subpixels and requires 40% less power than traditional RGB displays.

Samsung High-Resolution Tablet Display
(click image for larger view)
Samsung High-Resolution Tablet Display
The next generation of tablets might have screens that look like high-definition TVs, if Samsung has its way.

Samsung will unveil a prototype 10.1-inch, high-resolution LCD designed for tablets at the SID Display Week 2011 International Symposium this week at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Samsung claims the prototype is the first 300-dpi, high-resolution display in the 10.1-inch tablet format. While it is still a prototype, Samsung expects the screen to be commercially available for tablet applications later this year.

The screen is developed by Samsung subsidiary Nouvoyance and features its PenTile RGBW technology, which uses red, green, blue, and white subpixels to present high-resolution luminance information. The company claims the addition of the white subpixel, combined with increased subpixel width, makes PenTile RGBW panels about twice as "transmissive" as traditional red, green, and blue (RGB) color model LCDs found in most screens.

"When you go to high-definition, you usually pay the penalties of the aperture ratio getting worse and it being a bigger power consumer," said Joel Pollack, executive VP of Nouvoyance, in an interview. "Because we use one-third fewer pixels through increasing the pixel size, [and] achieve better light through our RGBW and our dynamic backlight control, we use less power than legacy RBG panels. That is critical for the tablet market."

Nouvoyance claims the new 10.1-inch tablet panel is capable of 300 cd/m2 of luminance and uses 40% less power than screens that use legacy RGB stripe LCDs in power-saving modes. This is notable since the biggest power drain in tablets comes from the screen. The power savings is helped by the use of the white subpixel, since it replaces the need for combining multiple pixels to produce white light and thus less energy is needed to create white or light colors. Also, Nouvoyance claims the PenTile technology achieves 300-dpi resolution with two-thirds the number of subpixels than other screens.

"Samsung's PenTile display technology is the only display technology that operates at 40% less power yet provides twice that of full HD-viewing performance for consumers compared to legacy RGB stripe LCDs," said Dr. Sungtae Shin, senior VP of Samsung Electronics, in a release. "There is no other commercial display technology on the market today that offers this high of a resolution and pixel density in a 10.1-inch size display."

High-resolution screens have been non-existent in tablet computers, primarily because of cost and power efficiency. The iPad 2 has a pixel count of 1024x768 running at 132 dpi, while the Samsung Galaxy has a resolution of 1280x800 at 160 dpi.

Samsung is a supplier of LCD screens for a variety of tablet computers, including the iPad. PenTile screens are also used in phones such as the Samsung i9000, HTC Nexus One, and Motorola Atrix.

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