Sony announced WhiteMagic today, a “next-generation”, 3-inch TFT LCD screen that boasts 1.23M-dot full VGA resolution. What’s special about the display is that it has two distinct modes: if switched to “low power mode”, power consumption of the backlight is pushed down by over 50% to 125mW, with Sony saying brightness in this mode is still comparable to that of conventional LCDs.
When choosing “outdoors mode”, WhiteMagic’s brightness can be boosted from 470 cd/m² to an impressive 1,000 cd/m², while power consumption of the backlight in this mode (300mW) stays about as high as that of conventional screens. By way of comparison: the iPhone 4 reaches a maximum brightness of 500 cd/m².
Sony achieved this by adding a white pixel to the Red-Green-Blue (RGB) pixels and developing an algorithm to correct picture distortion (“RGBW method”).
The company plans to start shipping the first samples as early as October (price: $65 each). It expects WhiteMagic to be used in mobile devices, for example cameras and smartphones (even though it’s not a touchscreen apparently).