updated 08:10 am EST, Fri February 20, 2009
Pixel Qi Ships LCDs
Pixel Qi on Friday said it's closer to shipping LCD displays that should significantly extend the battery life of notebooks. The technology reduces the dependence on a backlight and instead draws on nearby light from both human-made and natural sources to create the illumination itself, potentially extending a portable's run time by letting the backlight stay off in a brightly-lit environment. Pixel Qi estimates that a notebook with three hours of battery life today would get about 4.5 hours on one of its displays, or about a 50 percent boost, without compromising on display quality.
Depending on the priorities for system design, a notebook could be thinner or less expensive by using a smaller battery. The benefits of the display are negated in low light or darkness, however, where a backlight is still completely necessary. Future revisions of the technology should nonetheless extend battery life much further once mainboards are designed to more explicitly recognize the ambient light-based LCDs.
Pixel Qi starts sampling 10-inch versions of its displays within the next few months and ships them in volume by mid-2009. The company doesn't name its customers for the screens but isn't expected to be shipping displays to the One Laptop Per Child project, which used to employ Pixel Qi chief Mary Lou Jepsen and used her technology for the XO notebook. The dual-screened XO2 isn't due to ship until 2010 at the earliest. [via PC World]