The display is one of the most power-hungry features in modern laptops, tablets, and smartphones. So if you can produce a display that uses less power, you could dramatically improve battery life in those devices.
That’s the idea behind Intel’s new Low Power Display technology, which the company says can “cut LCD power consumption by half” and offer from four to eight additional hours of video playback time on some devices.
Intel doesn’t plan to become a display maker. Instead, the company is offering a specification that companies can use when designing their own display panels. If a screen meets that spec, then computers with Intel processors can use their integrated graphics to automatically adjust screen refresh rate, brightness, and other settings to help extend battery life.
If everything works as expected, users wouldn’t notice any difference. For example, you might want your screen to refresh 60 times a second when watching videos or playing games. But a lower rate is fine when you’re looking at static images. So your device’s GPU would recognize the activity, send a message to the display, make an adjustment, and… everything would look normal to the user.
There’s no need to cut corners on colors, pixel density, or other features.
Intel says Sharp and Innolux have already built a “one watt panel” that uses the technology, but there’s no word on when you’ll be able to buy devices using the new low-power display system.