Qualcomm challenges LCDs through new e-reader

Nov 24, 2011 By SAM KIM , Associated Press
The "Kyobo eReader"

A new electronic display is poised to challenge power-hungry LCDs after U.S. mobile chip maker Qualcomm Inc. teamed up with a South Korean bookseller to introduce a new e-reader.

The "Kyobo eReader" was unveiled this week in Seoul and will reach South Korean consumers as early as Dec. 1, Kyobo Book Centre officials said Thursday.

The e-reader features Qualcomm's 1.0 GHz "Snapdragon" processor, a custom Kyobo application based on and a 5.7 inch "XGA" mirasol display.

The mirasol display uses ambient light instead of its own in much the same way that a peacock's plumage gets its scintillating hues. Qualcomm's mirasols have already been used in a few Chinese and South Korean phones, and in an MP3 player on the U.S. market. The display contains tiny mirrors that consume power only when they're moving, easing battery drain. Mirasol displays also quickly change from one image to the next and show video.

The global market for e-readers is dominated by bright LCDs and grayscale "e-ink" screens. LCDs consume relatively more while e-ink screens are slow to refresh.

The introduction of the e-reader jointly developed by Qualcomm and Kyobo signals increasing competition in the global market for tablets.

U.S. Amazon.com Inc. and bookseller Barnes & Noble Inc. have recently released tablets of their own, Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet, and are challenging Apple's iPad in pricing.

CEO Paul Jacobs noted South Koreans' near-100 percent literacy rate and digital reading skills during a launching ceremony in Seoul on Tuesday, according to the San Diego-based company. Fifteen-year-old South Koreans scored highest in their ability to absorb information from digital devices, according to a 2009 study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Over 80 percent of households in South Korea have broadband Internet access.

The e-reader featuring the mirasol display will be priced at 349,000 won, or $302, said Seoul-based Kyobo, South Korea's largest bookseller.

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Eikka
4.3 / 5 (4) Nov 24, 2011
A mirasol display would work as a litmus test for bad CFL and LED lighting, since its color reproduction depends on the availability of certain wavelenghts of light in the surroundings.

Since both CFL and LED emit in a narrow spectrum with strong spikes, it's likely that it just misses the required wavelenghts of the display and the colors get horribly distorted.
Jimbaloid
4.5 / 5 (2) Nov 24, 2011
To achieve 'true colour' there is also a trade off against resolution and power consumption to create the needed intermediate shades between dark and bright - dithering is used to do this. However, these trade off's might well still be worth it and slight enough not to be of significant bother. It isn't the sort of display that could go in your living room, but for mobile devices, yes I for one have struggled with my phone in bright sunlight and with battery life. I'm looking forward to trying one of these for real.
MorituriMax
1 / 5 (3) Nov 24, 2011
I really wish physorg would give me moderator access to kill spam like the one above.
Vendicar_Decarian
3 / 5 (2) Nov 24, 2011
Yes, horribly distorted, just like active LED and CFL and LED backlit displays currently in production.

"Since both CFL and LED emit in a narrow spectrum with strong spikes, it's likely that it just misses the required wavelenghts of the display and the colors get horribly distorted." - Eika
Eikka
5 / 5 (2) Nov 28, 2011
Yes, horribly distorted, just like active LED and CFL and LED backlit displays currently in production.


You forget that those displays work on an entirely different principle. They are additive color - they create the wavelenghts of light they intend to show. The phosphors and LEDs are picked and tuned for the purpose.

Mirasol is subtractive color - it removes from the ambient light the wavelenghts it doesn't intend to show and reflects back the ones it does.

In a sense, you could think of it as a regular LCD, but the backlight is the lamp at your ceiling. Even the best of the best of LCD panels will show poor colors if you slap a common 840 tube behind it.
Jimbaloid
not rated yet Dec 05, 2011
I really wish physorg would give me moderator access to kill spam like the one above.


For spam just hit the 'report abuse' beneath it. An advertisement is an abuse of the comment system.
rawa1
not rated yet Dec 05, 2011
The display contains tiny mirrors that consume power only when they're moving, easing battery drain.
This technology is consistent with 3D imaging units, as applied in 3D smartmobile displays, because it enables to implement parallax easily. http://physicswor...th/46154