First LCD Smartphone Display With Local Dimming Shown
If there’s one exciting new display technology that has emerged over the past few years, HDR (High Dynamic Range) definitely is a good contender. HDR has been popular on televisions and is slowly becoming more widespread on computer monitors as well, and requires an LCD display with local dimming or a display with OLED technology. The American company Tianma has shown a local dimming smartphone LCD display, which is a first.
Local dimming is a technique where the backlight of an LCD display can be operated in a number of zones, resulting in a better contrast. OLED displays don’t need a backlight at all since all pixels can be controlled individually. Local dimming is practically mandatory for a good HDR effect on LCD displays, as a single or two backlight zones can suddenly be split up into hundreds of smaller areas that can individually control brightness.
The local dimming technique has been used by LCD televisions, and it appears that we’ll start to see local dimming displays in smaller devices such as smartphones as well. Tianma has shown a working 6.46 inch LCD display with 286 individual local dimming zones, resulting in a much better contrast than regular LCD panels. In fact, the company claims to be able to achieve a contrast ratio of 20000:1, which is up to 15 times better than current LCD smartphone displays.
OLED displays have an infinite contrast, but LCD displays with local dimming are generally able to reacher higher brightness levels. OLED displays can also suffer from image retention and in some cases, even permanent image burn-in.
Tianma’s reference panel features a 1440p resolution and is set to be available to manufacturers in the fourth quarter of 2019. It’ll be interesting to see how these local dimming LCDs will be able to match up with OLED smartphones and their HDR performance.