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High-definition video and graphics have radically redefined personal computing industry some 5-7 years ago. The time has come for beyond high-definition resolutions to make another revolution.

Capabilities and performance of modern personal computers is what the vast majority of users consider as sufficient for the vast majority of applications. But there are things that can be improved and to be appreciated by the mass user, such as integration of Internet connectivity and services, high responsiveness as well as radically better displays. As it turns out, Intel Corp. has serious reasons to believe that ultra high-definition resolutions will become mainstream in 2013+ timeframe.

At the Intel Developer Forum in Beijing, China, the world's largest supplier of chips, shared its vision regarding trends for display resolution of various personal computers, such as notebooks, ultrabooks, all-in-one systems and so on.

Intel believes that "rich displays" - with high resolution, brightness, colour gamut and other qualities - will become a major focus for the whole PC industry. Intel asserts GPUs that can render images in ultra high-definition (UHD) resolution are already available and the major  obstacles for them from becoming widely adopted are their costs, power consumption as well as lack of UHD monitors.

Nonetheless, those issues can be resolved  with the volume production of appropriate UHD display panels and some other tweaks. The first systems with UHD displays are probably going to emerge in 2012, according to rumours. Form-factors of actual devices - notebooks, tablets, PCs - are not going to change, what is going to is pixel per inch (PPI) density.

 

The PPI of the iPhone 4 is so high (326ppi) that no single pixel can be distinguished with a human eye. What should be kept in mind is that displays of devices that are held at closer proximities than smartphones, the PPI can be lower. In fact, the larger the display is, at longer distance it is viewed; therefore, for 11" - 13" screens ~250ppi should be enough to provide extreme resolutions like 2560*1440 or 2800*1800. For larger monitors, that resolution can grow to 3840*2160 for 15" laptops or 3840*2160 for AIO 21" desktops.

Intel clearly understands that with current technologies it will be absolutely necessary to implement a number of rather severe means to cut power consumption of displays. The company does plan to implement those software- and hardware-based technologies into its offerings sometimes shortly, but not exactly into every ultrabooks, which are upcoming in 2012.

Tags: Intel

Discussion

Comments currently: 12
Discussion started: 04/14/12 07:13:57 AM
Latest comment: 01/09/13 05:49:18 AM
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1. 
In my opinion, it is absolutely ridiculous to call resolutions like 2560*1440 or 2800*1800 "extreme resolutions". Such resolutions are not extreme, they are barely adequate for a normal 20 ... 24 inch display.

I agree that the 1920*1080 resolution is adequate for watching movies, but there still are a lot of people like me, who spend much more time reading texts than watching movies.

An acceptable display for reading texts must have a height of at least 12 inch (30 cm) to be able to read A4 or letter sized pages at their actual size. The best existing displays of this size have a resolution of only 100 ppi (Apple Retina displays do not matter because they are too small). At such a resolution the shapes of the letters are severely distorted and one must use only special typefaces designed for low resolutions (e.g. Georgia) to be able to read comfortably for many hours. If the resolution would be increased to 300 ppi, that would be a great progress and it would allow an acceptable rendering of many more typefaces, but the quality of the display would remain much less than the quality that was already achieved by the books that were printed two hundred years ago.

An even greater resolution is required to finally match the quality of the printed paper.

I am very happy to learn that Intel will finally push for better display resolutions, but we must not forget that this comes after 12 years (2000-2012) during which the resolution of the displays remained absolutely constant. It is true that during these years the large & heavy CRT's were replaced by much more convenient LCD's, but that did not result in any resolution improvement.

In fact during the last 5 years, the *average* resolution of a notebook display has diminished considerably. In 2006 I could buy cheap notebooks with a vertical resolution of 1050 lines and medium-priced notebooks with a vertical resolution of 1200 lines.

Now all the notebooks are provided with cheap TV screens so the typical vertical resolution for cheap notebooks is 768 lines or at most 900 lines and only the most expensive models are available with a vertical resolution of 1080 lines, which is barely adequate for reading.

In conclusion while these actions of Intel are commendable, it is not like that they have discovered anything revolutionary, it is just an acknowledgement that the lack of any progress during the last 12 years towards the goal of being able to read a book on a computer display as well as when it is printed, can no longer be accepted by many users.
1 2 [Posted by: Adrian  | Date: 04/14/12 07:13:57 AM]
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The flaw in your analysis is that it assumes that resolution is the most important aspect that determines the quality of a screen. You can easily have a 1080P screen that provides superior image quality to a 2560x1600 screen, such as any modern Plasma > 30 inch LCD/LED for movies, sports. That's because resolution is just 1 key aspect that helps improve the level of detail. Thus, even if manufacturers increase resolution 4x, it may not universally solve poor viewing, poor contrast, poor black levels and inherent limitations related to the response rate of LCD/LED technology.

A high quality 1080P OLED screen would be superior to a 4K LCD/LED screen because the key advantages such as deeper black levels, more accurate colors, instant response time, better viewing angles would easily override any benefits of increased resolution on LCD/LED. To truly revolutionize visuals, we need to ditch LCD/LED and even Plasma as they are inferior technologies. LCD/LED is the worst. Trying to improve it is like putting lipstick on a pig.

We haven't had higher resolution on the desktop partly because it's expensive to manufacture a large 24-30 Inch screen with 4K resolutions, and partly because Windows wasn't great at scaling resolutions like iOS did.

In other words, adapting much higher resolution screens requires a rethinking of how the OS is created from the ground up. The first Windows OS to start addressing this issue is Windows 8. This is why we should see a new wave of next generation high PPI displays in the next 2-4 years.

Finally, what we need are technologies that improve contrast, black levels, response time. Resolution is important no more important than those other aspects. Most people cannot distinguish between 720P and 1080P sitting 7-10 feet away from a 50-60 inch Plasma. However, most people can instantly tell you that Plasma has far superior image quality to an LCD/LED and that OLED is better than either of those technologies.

You had stated that 2560x1440 or 2800x1800 is barely acceptable for you to read texts on a 24 inch display. It's actually totally unacceptable resolution for Windows XP, Vista or Windows 8 since it would make texts unreadable and tiresome for the eyes. That's because Windows 7 won't properly scale the icons and text in Windows to those resolutions as it was not designed for such purposes. This is why in a lot of cases too high resolution can worsen the user experience in today's Windows OS systems. This especially true for people working 8-10 hours a day staring at a small 13 inch laptop.

Most of the things you described sounds like a 1st world problem you created. 20 years ago people didn't even have computers. 1080P is perfectly adequate, while anything extra is awesome, most people will not pay $4-5K for a 4K screen right now. Cost is a big reason why we haven't seen high resolution large displays yet.

Eventually, we'll all benefit from high resolution screens and content, but to imply that 1080P is not adequate for 20-24 inch screens is absurd. I have the new iPad 3 and next to it at a 17 inch 5 year old 1280x1024 monitor. Sure there is a difference, but it's not dramatic enough to care. It's not like when the abacus was replaced by a calculator. Maybe you are too young and you get impressed by small advancements in life. Again, a 1st world problem.

Fundamentally, something like Google 3D Reality glasses will change our life. High resolution screens are simply evolutionary but not revolutionary.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vb2uojqKvFM

If you had the Google Glasses, you wouldn't even be reading off a screen, but reading texts right in front of your eyes.

Now, that's revolutionary!
1 1 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 04/14/12 11:29:37 AM]
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The higher the resolution, the higher the text quality. A higher resolution monitor together with a higher dpi OS setting resulting in more finely rendered text. How do you think XP, vista, windows 7 and 8 are scaling the text to make things worse? It's not exactly hard to get right.

Resolution is definitely important, besides these other factors which are also important. Fortunatly sub-pixel anti-aliasing can help with low-resolution screens, but even with this, a 1080p 24" screen is very low resolutions and you can see the distortions in the text easily.
0 0 [Posted by: CSMR  | Date: 04/16/12 03:31:52 PM]
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2. 
Besides what I have written above, I want to add that the phrase "The PPI of the iPhone 4 is so high (326ppi) that no single pixel can be distinguished with a human eye" sounds like b*s*t.

Of course, that must be true if you look at it from across the street, but it cannot be true from a normal viewing range.

The pictures taken with a normal lens of a classic photographic camera correspond with a 4:3 rectangle inscribed in a circle seen under an angle of about 45 degrees. These dimensions were chosen after some researches made many years ago, when the photographic industry was at its beginnings, about the size of a image that can be seen comfortably as a whole.

I accept the angle mentioned above as the angle corresponding to the normal viewing range. In the case of a wide screen (16:9 or 16:10), that refers to the central part of the screen. The resolution of the normal vision is considered by many sources to be around 2 pixels per minute. If we multiply with the angles mentioned above, we obtain an image of approximately 4400 pixels by 3300 pixels.

Therefore, any computer display where you cannot see the pixels at the normal viewing range must exceed 4400 pixels * 3300 pixels, which the Apple display does not exceed.

Of course that size in pixels does not depend on the size of the display, because if the display is smaller you will look at it from a closer point of view.

It is true that the pixels can be distinguished at the maximum resolution only in optimal conditions, i.e. alternating black & white pixels of maximum contrast, like in a small printed text.

When looking at a typical color picture, I can believe that the pixels of iPhone 4 cannot be distinguished.






1 3 [Posted by: Adrian  | Date: 04/14/12 08:00:05 AM]
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3. 
3840x2160 is not Ultra High Definition (UHD). It is Quad Full High Definition (QFHD), or 4x the resolution of 1920x1080. Ultra High Definition denotes a resolution of 7680x4320, which is 16x the resolution of 1920x1080. I welcome these higher density displays as a higher resolution packed into a lower screen size will eliminate aliasing artifacts in video games, and going in this direction, Super-Sampling Anti-Aliasing will eventually be obsolete as we will be able to view a what-you-see-is-what-you-get picture. Five to fifteen years from now I expect 22" UHD OLED monitors to be available to the masses.
0 1 [Posted by: DirectXtreme  | Date: 04/14/12 09:45:59 AM]
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4. 
Translation:
Computer hardware is now sufficient to serve most needs and that worries us. We here at <insert Tech Company Name> badly need to artificially stir up the need for 4x, 16x as much computing power so customers keep buying our (x + 1)th generation chips.

It's OK for humanity to keep artificially creating new 1st world problems, instead of focusing energy on fellow human beings dying of hunger and violence and preventable diseases in 3rd world countries.

http://vimeo.com/36549221

Sorry, had to vent...
0 1 [Posted by: sanity  | Date: 04/15/12 06:54:48 PM]
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5. 
Good luck with more than HD resolution on laptops. Especially for Windows OS. Windows's DPI scaling is extremely bad, the icons are badly scaled, not to mention that Java, Flash or ActiveX program don't scale properly at all with higher DPI...
0 0 [Posted by: TAViX  | Date: 04/16/12 08:31:59 AM]
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What is wrong with Windows scaling?
It's only applications that don't support higher dpi that get their images scaled at all, and these are applications are getting fewer and fewer.
There is only so much an OS can do.
0 0 [Posted by: CSMR  | Date: 01/09/13 05:49:18 AM]
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6. 
Seems a bit late in the piece as Apple have dumped the Intel chips for ARM according to the Semi Accurate report for their upcoming net and notebooks. Presumable this is why they are using the French design school as was reported. It looks like the end for the pair of chip makers and the graphic makers as the next cpu's for high end computing will most likely be ARM as well the future of the games and OS marketers. Microsoft's first os. was written for Apple with a RSIC processor way before Intel.
0 0 [Posted by: tedstoy  | Date: 04/17/12 03:38:29 AM]
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7. 
No point even arguing about this, Intel is just plain wrong here.

Who actually believes manufactures will be including 1080p+ LCDs when they've proven they can't even be bothered to include anything beyond the most basic of bare bones displays.
0 0 [Posted by: blzd  | Date: 04/17/12 08:38:59 PM]
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