NVIDIA Tegra 3 Chips Will Offer Power-Saving Display Hack
It seems like every time we bring up the topic of quad-core smartphones, our readers chime-in with their concerns over the battery life of these devices. Given the current state of the struggle between our desires for phones that are simultaneously lightweight, powerful, and long-lasting, those fears aren’t exactly surprising. We’ve heard about some efforts to reduce the power impact of quad-core processors, like NVIDIA adding a fifth, low-power core to its Tegra 3. It turns out that’s not the only trick the company has planned, revealing a display technology called DIDIM that promises to cut-down on backlight power consumption.
DIDIM attempts to extend your battery’s life by not running the display’s backlight at full-blast all the time. Instead, on a frame-by-frame basis, DIDIM will attempt to modulate backlight intensity while simultaneously changing pixel brightness to compensate. With both processes effectively canceling each other out, you should end up with a picture that looks the same as ever, but with less power expended to display it. NVIDIA estimates that you could see a 40% improvement in video playback time compared to Tegra 2 devices.
Obviously there are some limitations to the technology; its very nature means it’s incompatible with AMOLED screens. Still, it sounds great on paper, and we can’t wait to see how it holds up to some real-world testing.