LOS ANGELES -- Energy efficiency is constantly improving in flat-panel displays as backlight LEDs are improved and architected to constantly better performance. This year's DisplayWeek attested to that.
“The LED efficiency continues to improve, around 10-15 percent per year through improving internal quantum efficiency (IQE) and increasing light extraction efficiency,” according to Ross Young, SVP, Displays, LEDs and Lighting for IMS Research.
At the "Green Technologies" market research conference here in conjunction with the Society for Information Display event here the consensus was lower-power displays have an overall economic advantage over higher-power displays.
Helping along are the government Energy Star compliance specifications. Version 4.0 was introduced in May 2010, reducing power requirements by around 40 percent. Version 4.0 also requires TVs to use less than 1W in standby mode.
Energy Star 5.3 goes into effect in September 2011 which will be particularly challenging for large screen displays as not only are power requirements reduced by another approximately 30 percent at smaller sizes, but power requirements will no longer scale with screen size beyond 50 in., resulting in a 40 percent reduction at 55 in, according to Young.
"Plasma TVs will have a real problem meeting 5.3 over 50 in.," said Young. "CCFL LCD TVs will also be challenged by Energy Star 5.3."
"The average power consumption for TVs is rising sharply due to the rise of average screen size and the wide spread of larger screen LCD TVs," said Jun Souk, senior adviser to LCD division at Samsung.
"The economics of green displays is such that if all the FPD TVs in the U.S. households meet ES 4.1 there could be $5 billion in yearly energy savings, if all TVs meet ES 5.1 that could translate to $7 billion in savings."
Beyond LED-backed LCD TVs, Souk sees optical shutters with MEMS technology providing a short-term efficiency boost and beyond that more improved efficiency will come from electro-wetting displays which Liquavista, acquired by Samsung earlier this year, is working on.
Liquavista’s technology is available in transmissive, reflective and transflective modes with 2x, 3x, 4x optical performance. Souk said that "EWD has great potential."
"It is twice more light efficient than other technologies, has a wide viewing angle, consumes ultra-low power by the use of low frequency driving technology, and is readable under all lighting conditions."
It's only a matter of time before backlights are built with RBG LEDs that time-multiplex the colors. Color filters, which convert 2/3 of the white light to heat, will go away. So there's your power savings and/or increased brightness. They just need fast LCD response time and new frame buffer chips.