Sharp shares plans for tablet with advanced battery-saving screen tech
Display panels on smartphones and tablets keep getting more and more pixels, pack those pixels into denser and denser areas, and have even broke free of the 2D plane for some wrap-around curved action. But for all these advancements, sometimes progress just doesn’t seem to move quickly enough in one of the most important areas: power consumption. We’ve been teased by the promise of super-low-power displays utilizing new technologies for years, like the interferometric panel on the Qualcomm Toq smartwatch, but issues with practicality have largely kept the phone and tablet race to an LCD versus OLED one. But now Qualcomm’s teaming up with Sharp for a new hybrid solution that sounds like it could be a best-of-both-worlds situation, and Sharp has just shared plans to deliver a tablet built around this screen tech in the first half of next year.
The key to this advancement is the pairing of indium gallium zinc oxide semiconductors (the IGZO we know from iPad displays) with Qualcomm’s low-power MEMS shutter-like system. The two together promise to offer great color reproduction with low power consumption, while also allowing for even higher-efficiency grayscale operation and enhanced visibility in direct sunlight.
This Sharp tablet is set to employ a seven-inch 1280 x 800 panel using the MEMS-IGZO system, which is a little lower-res than we’d like to see, but we’re willing to let that slide if this screen tech really is as impressive as we hear. We also know the tablet will be powered by a Snapdragon 800, but detailed specs aren’t yet available. With a little luck, we’re hoping that we might be able to check this guy out in person at CES or MWC in early 2015.