Mary Lou Jepsen, the former head of Intel's display division and CTO at One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), has formed a startup to design ultra-low power display for laptops and e-books that can run on a standard laptop battery for 20 to 40 hours. The firm promises low-power displays that can be read in direct sunlight and offer HDTV-quality color mode as well. Jepsen says they plan to ship their first laptop and e-book screens in the second half of 2009.
"At Pixel Qi, we have a new series of inventions that go well beyond the OLPC screen that we are developing right now," said Jepsen by e-mail. Her company recently opened offices in Taipei and San Francisco after receiving a first round of funding.
More energy efficient screens are critical for mobile devices such as laptops and e-books because screens are among the most power hungry components on such devices.
Pixel Qi plans to develop entire laptop and PC designs around its new screen technology to create the most power efficient models possible.
One particular product in development at Pixel Qi is a new e-paper that is paper-white and offers both color and video. The screens draw just a small percentage of the power of a standard LCD screen and allow companies to make new kinds of laptop PCs with batteries that can last longer.
"We are working with a number of notebook and e-book makers on a number of different form factors," she said. "We can enable an increase of 5-10X battery life between charges compared with a standard notebook. This means that rather than needing to recharge your batteries every few hours, you could run 20-40 hours of use on a one charge."
The company is working on a range of screen sizes for laptop PCs and e-books, with some as thin as 1-millimeter, she said.