Telescopic Pixels: New Display Technology by Microsoft Research

Telescopic Pixels: New Display Technology by Microsoft Research

Microsoft Research has published a paper in Nature Photonics that details a new display technology based on telescopic pixels that use two micromirros allowing for fast on/off switching times of just 1.5 milliseconds. 1.5ms isn’t too big a deal since there are monitors that you can buy right now that feature 2ms response times. So, what’s the big deal?


The big deal is that at 1.5ms Microsoft Research is claiming that you don’t need three sub-pixels of red, green and blue to generate color, like how we do with LCDs right now. With fast-enough switching speeds you can use what is called field sequential color. Field sequential color relies on the human visual system to fuse images into a single image. Getting rid of the RGB sub-pixel structure allows for simplification of a display and, ultimately, reduction of the cost of manufacture. Field sequential color has been attempted for many years without success. Maybe Microsoft Research can do it by version 3. So structure is simplified and possibly leading to lower cost. Is that the big deal? LCD manufacturers have been simplifying the structure as well as reducing the cost so we can have 32″ LCD TVs for just $499. Just a few years ago, we had 32″ CRT TVs going for double that!

Well, there is something else to this telescopic pixel based display technology. The light that is generated by the backlight is transmitted through to the front of the display at a significantly higher rate of 36% compared to just 3% or so for LCDs. Backlights make up about 30% of the cost of a LCD panel so this is very good news. Let’s see how long it takes Microsoft Research to get this out of R&D and into the hands of consumers. I hope it takes quite a bit less than what it took them to bring Vista out and hopefully the performance will be much better too.

Source: Treehugger via Technology Review

[tags]Microsoft Research, Telescopic Pixel, Micromirror[/tags]

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