Everyone knows that a notebook's screen draws even more power than its CPU, but though we've seen some moves toward lower-power LED backlights in the past few years, a typical notebook display still requires near constant input from the computer, even if the picture doesn't change by even one pixel.
With a typical LCD panel refreshing itself 60 times per second, the CPU and video card are required to re-send that signal every time, which makes it difficult for them to go into a low power state when you're just staring at your desktop thinking. Fortunately, Intel has come up with a solution to the power-sucking problem, the amazing self-refreshing screen.
In partnership with panel-makers like LG, which is selling its thin-bezeled Shuriken displays to a number of Ultrabook OEMs, Intel has developed a standard which allows your notebook screen to keep displaying the same image -- in effect, refreshing itself -- while the CPU goes into a low-power sleep state. This will help save precious CPU cycles during moments where you're doing something like watching a photo slideshow or just staring idly at a blank page, waiting for some ideas to come into your head. Intel estimates that this power-savings could result in 45 minutes to an hour of additional battery life on a typical Ultrabook.
At the IDF Day 2 Keynote, Intel's Mooley Eden showed a demo with both a traditional LVS screen and a self-refreshing display hooked up to the same PC, showing the same content. The self-refreshing panel continued to show its content even after it was unplugged from the computer and unable to receive refreshed data. Eden said that self-refreshing displays should be the standard for Ultrabooks within two years time.
Check out the video below to see a self-refreshing display in action.