The power used by a screen in a laptop is becoming a major issue. As other components in laptops reduce their power, the percentage of total system power used by the screen and backlight is growing. 20-30% average is common but if you’re just reading a static page, the backlight could account for up to 50%. Come Haswell, that could jump to 70% or more in quiet-state operations. Advances in battery technology aren’t forthcoming so anything to get rid of those LED backlights is going to be worth taking a close look at. IGZO (Indium, Gallium, Zinc Oxide) technology could be one of the few answers.
In short it’s a new type of screen backplane onto which traditional LCD or even OLED can be produced and combined with a new backplane foundation or substrate like Corning Willow Glass it could result in ‘roll-to-roll’ printing.
Cheaper production costs, larger screens, flexible backplanes, higher pixel densities, narrower bezel, less backlight loss, potential for OLED and lower overall power usage means there’s a big list of advantages.
The rumor is that Intel are working with Sharp, a producer (and possible Patent holder?) of IGZO panels to get these into Ultrabooks. A rumor that Intel will buy a 5% share in Sharp has been denied.
Sharp already have a prototype 13.5 inch 3840×2160 display with White OLEDs and a production 10 inch display with 2560×1660 resolution.
We’ll stay tuned to ‘IGZO’ and bring you reports of real-world power savings as we find them.