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PenTile Super AMOLED Chosen for Display Application Gold Award – 2nd Year in a Row

There is one organization that is more focused than any other on displays—the Society for Information Displays, now celebrating its 50 year anniversary.  Display Week is held each year as a gathering of the world’s display experts.  After evaluating every new display component that has been introduced into products this past year SID selected the display in the Samsung Galaxy Note for the gold award winner.  You might recall that the display in the Samsung Galaxy S won this award last year.  So, for two years in a row a PenTile OLED panel has been awarded this coveted honor.

Shown below is T K Lee of Samsung SMD accepting the award at SID’s awards luncheon event.











Here is a photo of the Galaxy Note Gold Award winner exhibit in the Samsung booth.










So if the world’s experts in displays, who also generated he first comprehensive standard for display metrology published May 31, 2012 have judged this PenTile display as the best how can it be that so many bloggers persist in finding fault with PenTile displays? It is time to recognize the impact that PenTile has had on the display industry and the quality that it offers.

Shown below is the Samsung SID booth.

Amongst the roughly 30+ displays that were shown this about one half of these were PenTile displays, including the PenTile Super AMOLED displays used in the Galaxy Note, the Galaxy Nexus, the Galaxy Prime, the Galaxy Nexus and the newly announced  Galaxy SIII smartphones.  Samsung also exhibited their line of mirrorless digital SLR cameras, each of which uses a 3-inch VGA PenTile OLED display.

PenTile for Digital Still Cameras (DSC)

There was a very thorough review of the Samsung NX10 camera on dpreview which uses a 3.0-inch VGA PenTile RGBG OLED display.  This review covers every aspect of this camera including the display.

I would like to only make a couple of minor corrections to this reviewer’s comments.

1.  PenTile technology was not used for this camera display to save power.  OLED can be intrinsically low power if the user interface is design to be predominantly black with white or bright text or graphics.  OLEDs do not consume power where they are not being lit up.  Unlike smartphones where users are accessing any and all pages on the web, the for a DSC can be entirely designed by the manufacturer and can take maximum advantage of this property of OLEDs.

Instead PenTile technology is applied here to enable such high resolution while maintaining such good brightness and a display  lifetime equivalent to lower resolution displays.

2. The author says

The other difference is that, rather than using a red, a green and a blue triplet of dots to represent each pixel, it uses pairs of sub-pixels to present the same information, in a way that is claimed to be visually indistinguishable. This technology, originally developed by a Californian company, is now owned by Samsung. As explained in this white paper, the screen offers the same resolution in luminance terms as a conventional screen. What isn’t made quite so clear is that you don’t have full color information at each pixel (because you’ve effectively got 640×480 green sub-pixels and two offset 320×480 matrices of blue sub-pixels and red sub-pixels).

Nouvoyance never says that PenTile is visually indistinguishable. We do say that it is equivalent in resolution per the VESA spec offering the same resolution as an equivalent RGB stripe display.  The author then says we don’t have the full color information at each pixel.  This is not the case.  Subpixel rendering allows us to create luminance centers at every logical pixel on the screen in the full resolution–here at 640 by 480 VGA.  It is quite true that there are fewer red and blue subpixels than green, so the red and blue luminance information may be positioned slightly further from the center of the center of the pixel in some circumstances, but every pixel will have the correct and full luminance information.

The comment that PenTile doesn’t have full color information at each pixel is strictly speaking correct, but this has far less impact than those words convey.  There is full color resolution in the vertical and horizontal at every pixel, but there is a slight reduction in color information on the diagonal. It would not be possible to detect this for photographs.  For PenTile RGBG OLED there is a reduction in chrominance information on the diagonals, but it is not such a reduction that the human vision system (HVS) can detect this except for selective test patterns which would involve fully saturated red on black.  Keep in mind that the human vision system can resolve 50-60 cycles/degree of luminance information, but only 6 cycles/degree on the red/green line of colors and only 3 cycles/degree on the blue yellow line of colors.  For this reason the vision system cannot tell where each color subpixel is located relative to the logical pixel.  As an expert on cameras the author is probably familiar with how the camera sensor uses a Bayer pattern (see below) that functions in much the same way.   Similarly, JPEG compression uses the same difference in resolution of luminance and chrominance to achieve some portion of this compression.  In neither of these cases, do people claim that these implementations lack full color information.

Overall the review was excellent, but I wanted to set the record straight as to the purpose of PenTile OLED, what we claim for the merits, and what we achieve with this technology.

Day 1: SID recap

Visitors to the PenTile SID demonstrations at SID

Day 1 at SID is behind us and we’re pleased to say we had an incredibly busy day. The Samsung/Nouvoyance demonstrations were mobbed, almost to the point that it was difficult to walk through virtually all day. The demos of the new WQXGA 10.1″ tablet display, as well as those for the multiprimary PenTile displays, performed stunningly.  We were glad to see some tech industry experts, including some folks from Engadget, come through and take a tour of the new tablet display.

But we were also pleased to see that the PenTile multiprimary display demonstration got a bigger crowd throughout the day. We are encouraged that this means good things to come for our entire line of PenTile displays.

Demonstration of PenTile Multiprimary Display

Thanks to all who stopped by yesterday. If you’re in the neighborhood of SID, stop by our booth #707 and see the displays for yourself!

Where Have I Seen PenTile Before?

PenTile technology has been incorporated into more than 70 high-resolution mobile products over the last three years, so you’ve seen it in a lot of places… though you may not have known it at the time.

There are two versions of this technology. One is called PenTile OLED, which has no white subpixel and uses an RGBG pattern of OLED subpixels. The other is PenTile RGBW technology.

PenTile OLED has been used most famously in phones like the Samsung Galaxy S and in digital cameras like the Samsung NX10.

PenTile RGBW LCDs have been used in phones like the Motorola Atrix.

It can just as easily be used in a GPS screen, portable video player, computer monitor, HDTV, electronic game or other high resolution phone or digital camera device.

The short answer to the question… you’ve seen PenTile displays all over the place.