Black-and-white e-readers are limiting while full color LCD displays such as those in tablets like the iPad can be power hungry and tough on the eyes. That’s why Qualcomm is betting that a new hybrid device that bridge the two worlds could be in the hands of consumers early next year.
Qualcomm is on track to ship 5.7-inch displays in the next few weeks that can shift between black-and-white and color, Jim Cathey, vice-president of business development for Qualcomm MEMS Technologies, told Wired.com.
These displays called ‘Mirasol’ will first go to device makers who are likely to introduce new products based on it early next year, says Cathey.
Last year, e-readers were one of the fastest growing consumer electronics products. But intense competition and pressure from Apple iPad has put many smaller e-reader makers out of business. Meanwhile, many consumers remain undecided when it comes to choosing between e-readers and tablets. Consumers want the convenience of a low power, display that’s lightweight and easy on the eye, with the advantage of a color screen.
With Mirasol, Qualcomm is hoping it can give companies such as Amazon that are reportedly looking beyond black-and-white e-readers an attractive option.
Mirasol displays work by modulating an optical cavity to reflect the desired wavelength of light. The reflected wavelength is proportional to the cavity’s depth. Mirasol screens looks more like glossy scientific books rather a full color LCD screen. But the displays consume very little power, are bistable and can play video.
Over the next few months, Qualcomm hopes to ramp up production of the displays. Qualcomm is building a new $2 billion Mirasol production plant in Taiwan, according to a report in DigiTimes.
A “major client has already started the design-in process,” using Mirasol, says DigiTimes.
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Photo: Jon Snyder/Wired.com
Fuente: Gadget Lab