Qualcomm: Mirasol Display Promises 10 to 100X Longer Battery Life Than iPad

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At the D8 conference Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs shed some more light on his company's very promising Mirasol display technology. It boasts a full-color picture for video, web surfing, and reading electronic magazines but also the low-power benefits of eInk. How low? Jacobs said depending on the usage and where you're using a Mirasol-powered device, users will see anywhere from a 10X to 100X increase in endurance. Another benefit is that you never have to power the display down, so you'll be able to just pick up an eReader with a Mirasol display and start using it.

Jacobs says that Qualcomm is starting with eReaders with enhanced functionality (think touch and multimedia), and the prototype on display here is a 5.7-inch panel. But the company is also looking to scale Mirasol down into smart phones and even watches. The only issue I see at the moment is that Mirasol's picture quality seems relatively washed out compared to the iPad, but I suspect a lot of people will want this technology inside their next gadget because of its outdoor readability.

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Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer, LAPTOP Editor in Chief
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
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  • Bart Says:

    Please, please produce an 8.5"x11" color display that is easy to read outdoors and doesn't require an eye fatiquing backlight. Anyone! I have a large collection of periodicals and books which i would like to replace with an e-reader. The iPad is just not good enough for reading text books and tech journals, and has battery life which is too short for my requirements.

    I don't mind if the Mirasol is a little washed out indoors compared to the iPad being washed out and practically unreadable sometimes outdoors; If and when this technology matures to produce vivid color, I'd like to see it offered in an 8.5"x11" version of the iPad. I can dream can't I LOL.

  • Nicole Scooter Says:

    Do you think that this colour is better then what Pixel Qi released at Computex with its update? Too bad they didn't show it in sunlight, I would be interested to see how it worked in those conditions. Interesting how they went to different tradeshows to display their wares.

    This colour reminds me of Fujitsu's Colour ePaper that was just released last month, they are going to make a billboard in Tokyo out of it! I don't think that Mirasol display technology will be as competitively priced or as scalable as ePaper. Granted the refresh rate with Mirasol will be way different, for magazine reading its a little disappointing.

    I'd also like to point out that the rumors in Taiwan about Mirasol & Pixel Qi is that they can make a few working prototypes but can they produce quality for volume? The one advantage that Mirasol has is that they have bought their own fab, but how many lines is still a mystery. Will be interesting to hear what Mary-Loo has to say about this, I might just have to head down to visit her booth at Computex today to find out!

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