Monitors to boost battery life with Panel Self Refresh tech

Summary: Monitor technology was demonstrated at Intel Developer Forum 2011 that promises 45 minutes to an hour longer battery life by removing from the PC the burden of refreshing a display panel 60 times per second.

Intel’s Mooly Eden, vice president and general manager of the PC client group, showcased Panel Self Refresh (PSR) technology during his keynote at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) conference in San Francisco this year (2011).

A monitor said to be using version 1.3 of the Embedded DisplayPort (eDP) standard was used for the PSR demonstration and was connected to a PC running Windows set to display a photo slideshow.

The principle behind the technology is that the panel refreshes itself when displaying a static image instead of requiring that the system’s graphics processing unit (GPU) do so.

In the case of an average monitor, this could mean saving the GPU from refreshing the display 60 times per second with the same image over and over again.

The PSR eDP panel has its own memory from which it shows a static image and when the demonstrator unplugged the monitor’s display cable, the last displayed image remained on screen.

Panel Self Refresh demo - IDF 2011
Panel Self Refresh demo on Embedded DisplayPort panel

While it may vary from system to system, Intel said that there is about a 500mW reduction in power requirements between a normal LVDS (low-voltage differential signalling) system and one with PSR.

This translates to a gain of 45 minutes to an hour in battery life.

“We really need to work together to make it a standard in industry,” Eden said, adding that he feels confident that PSR will be the new standard in less than two years.

Jan Vermeulen is a guest of Intel at IDF 2011

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Monitors to boost battery life with Panel Self Refresh tech