February 23, 2012Francisco Cheng
If the major theme for mobile devices this year isn’t reducing battery drain, it should be.
How often do you glance down at your phone or tablet halfway through the day, only to notice that most of its battery life is drained after letting it sit untouched the whole time? While there are many potential culprits that reduce battery life, the biggest one is the display. In fact, Android devices have a battery usage monitor that tells you exactly what’s eating up all the battery life, with the screen being responsible for most of it. Most users are left to manually dial down the brightness or let the OS control the brightness settings, but why should they even have to worry about this? Why can’t these technologies be baked right into the device? Snapdragon S4 brings two innovative solutions to this problem and makes them completely invisible to the user.
Combatting the draining-effects of the screen are two technologies—BRITE and GridView—enabled by Snapdragon S4 chips that do the power management grunt work behind the scenes.
BRITE (Backlight Reactive Illumination Technology)
BRITE solves the issue of backlight intensity and its effect on battery consumption. This technology takes cues from content being displayed on the screen and dynamically adjusts the backlight to make use of natural light, and under the right conditions, can reduce power consumption by up to 50% without compromising image fidelity. What makes BRITE different is that it’s tunable. Different profiles can be chosen based on how much power is needed for the task at hand. For instance, for full screen movie playback, a more aggressive profile can be chosen to control the brightness of the display. For basic tasks like email and web browsing, BRITE can be turned off completely. Qualcomm uses APIs that monitor display quality and brightness levels so that developers can link their applications or type of content to the API and tune the battery savings.
With any Android device, a user is constantly tapping icons and swiping the screen to get from one app to the next. While certain devices will redraw the screen one icon at a time, GridView will intelligently redraw a UI as an entire image. Not only does this speed up refresh rates, but it also reduces CPU and memory utilization (up to 1.5 times), which translates into additional power savings for the user.
February 23, 20120