Qualcomm MEMS Technologies said it uses natural ambient light for its approach, which also reduces the power sucked up by conventional LCD screens.
The design, said the firm, can also provide “always on’ display functions and better viewing, even in bright light outside.
The invention uses a mirror with a thin absorbing layer that has a precise gab with an absorbing layer filtering out a narrow slice of the spectrum.
John Hong, a scientist at Qualcomm MEMS said: “The incredibly efficient display is able to create a rich palette of colours using only ambient light for viewing, much like the way we would read and view printed material.”
Hong estimates that power savings compared to existing backlit displays will be 10 fold. A prototype uses a panel 1.5 inch across that holds 149,000 pixels, but the resolution and area of the display can be scaled.
Making a display panel can be done in one piece, with the MEMS, upper layer and lower layer using the same deposition, lithography and etching processes used to create LCD panels.
Qualcomm MEMS didn’t say when we’d see such panels widely available.