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IDF 2011 | IDT showcases energy efficient self-refreshing notebook monitors

The Panel Self Refresh (PSR) tech claims to boost battery life by up to 45 minutes

Integrated Device Technology (IDT) took its time to reveal one of the more interesting energy-saving technologies at IDF 2011.

During Mooly Eden’s keynote address, IDT showcased its Panel Self Refresh (PSR) technology that the creators claim can potentially increase battery life by up to 45 minutes.

The panel works in conjunction with a specialized Timing Controller (TCON), which stores the current static image locally in an integrated frame buffer. During this time, the display will refresh the static image from the local frame buffer instead of from the GPU, so the GPU is allowed to power down to a more idle state, at least until the next onscreen movement occurs. Essentially, the power savings comes from eliminating some of the workload by the GPU altogether. To prove its point, IDT even detached the connection between the mainboard and the specialized TCON during a static image, only to still see the idled image on the showcased display.

As readers are probably predicting, the PSR technology will not be all that effective during gaming sessions or movie playback where images fly by quickly. It should, however, make a noticeable difference during web surfing or PowerPoint presentations when more static images are displayed throughout a time span.

Our newest PSR-ready eDP timing controller helps our customers meet these [longer battery life] requirements, making IDT’s solution the ultimate high-performance, low-power interface for use in next generation notebooks, Ultrabooks, and tablets,” said vice president Ji Park of IDT Video and Display Operations division in the press release.

Exactly when the technology will be implemented in laptops and its associated costs were not announced, but Intel is likely already a big supporter of the energy-saving technology, especially when it can potentially extend the battery life of future Ultrabooks.


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Allen Ngo, 2011-09-15 (Update: 2012-05-26)