Qualcomm® Mirasol™ display technology Building Blocks
Meeting new mobile consumer demands requires new ways of thinking, like creating a color screen that uses reflected light and something called interferometric modulation (IMOD). We all learned in school that light travels in waves, and each color of the spectrum has its own unique wavelength. Our displays create an interference of those wavelengths, so that the color the pixel needs to be is the only hue visible to the human eye.
This concept of light and color interference plays out in our everyday life. For example, oil on water produces a rainbow effect. You’ve seen it in soap bubbles and in nature — in the iridescent colors reflected off the feathers of a peacock or butterfly. But how does this happen, exactly?
Each of these examples is the result of an optical resonant cavity (a pocket of air inside the reflective material, be it soap, oil or scales of a feather). And it’s inside that air pocket where the magic happens. That’s where the light is harnessed and the interference occurs, creating either a rainbow effect, or a single color.
Mirasol technology does essentially the same thing, except we use microscopic machines (MEMS) to actually manipulate the size of the air gap, to create a color display.
Current Generation IMOD
IMOD-BASED** Qualcomm Mirasol™ Display Technology
Mirasol displays are extremely efficient because they don’t emit light—they reflect it. Microscopic mirrors in each pixel change the size of an air gap inside the display. Depending on the size of the gap, white light is reflected back as red, green, or blue.
The benefits include long battery life, to the point where the display can be always on and always useful, with color, high resolution and touch enabled interactions and the display is visible in the brightest of sunshine.
Next-Generation Single Mirror IMOD (SMI)
SMI-BASED*** Qualcomm Mirasol™ Display Technology
The next generation Mirasol SMI leverages a single pixel element to address a continuous spectrum of visible color (vs. multiple sub-pixels, as is the practice across the display industry and current-gen IMOD). The low-power function of the technology has also enabled next-generation Mirasol display technology multiple days of battery life between charges.
As more highly relevant information becomes available through context, location and preference, there is an increasing need to filter and personalize content and the more people will want the display to be always on. No other display solution can fill this need without trading off battery life or modern mobile display attributes like visibility, color, touch or resolution.