Intel Expects Beyond 1080p Notebook Displays in Coming Years

High Pixel Density Drives Ultra High-Definition to Masses

by Anton Shilov
04/13/2012 | 10:20 PM

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.