Notebook displays eat up an awful lot of battery life, and as Intel continues to reduce the power consumption of its laptop chips, screens will account for an even higher percentage of power usage.

But building low power processors isn’t the only way to improve battery life. You can also reduce the power needs of displays — and Intel is talking to Sharp about supplying new low-power screens to be used in upcoming ultrabooks.

sharp igzo display

Ultrabooks are thin and light laptops that use Intel processors, offer speedy start times, and decent battery life.

Sharp’s IGZO (Indium gallium zinc oxide) screens could be a good match for that sort of mobile computing device, because IGZO displays are thinner than typical LCDs and require less powerful backlights, which means they use less energy.

They can also be produced with high pixel densities. Sharp is already producing 10 inch, 2560 x 1600 IGZO displays, and Ultrabook News notes that the company has a prototype 13.5 inch, 3840 x 2160 pixel display.

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4 replies on “Future ultrabooks could use Sharp’s low power IGZO LCD displays”

  1. I hope with this, Haswell and maybe better battery technology by then we’ll have some non-Atom 10″ notebooks. Whatever the next gen Atom claims to have (quad core, out of order execution, etc.) it won’t likely be fast enough for me. I want an extremely portable notebook that can still do CPU intensive stuff (VMs, MATLAB simulations, C++ code compiling, numerical simulations, file compression/decompression, etc.) with adequate speed on the go and docked when at a desk.

    Right now, Ivy Bridge ULVs have adequate performance for what I intend to do with a 10″ notebook but they’re apparently not efficient enough to put into one.

  2. I’m guessing the 10″, 2560 x 1600 screen that is “in production” is being used in tablets. If so, it’s interesting that tablets are getting this new technology before laptops or desktops.

    1. The rumored mini iPad is rumored to be using a Sharp IGZO panel

      It’s not so big a surprise, power consumption and panel thickness is more important for tablets than laptops (and few desktops care about a few extra watts)

      1. Also, smaller screens are less costly to make and Ultrabooks/Laptops and especially desktops use much larger screens.

        While the high resolution screens also means you need more powerful GPU to support it and embedded/integrated graphics are only starting to get to the performance range to properly support it without inhibiting overall performance.

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