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Fig. 3: Qualcomm Mirasol display sub-pixel architecture, next-generation single mirror (SMI). The core underpinnings of the technology are based on the concept of optical interference. As one might observe in a soap bubble, when light passes through an optical resonant cavity, it reflects off both the outer and inner reflective surfaces. Whatever reflected wavelengths that are coming off both surfaces and that are in phase with each other are the color the cavity appears. Mirasol displays operate exactly the same way. An optical resonant cavity is constructed out of thin-films and through the use of MEMS (or indeed, as an example of MEMS), the cavity can be either opened or closed. When open, it is set either to red, green or blue and when closed, the cavity is black. This unique approach to creating a color display is from where the differentiation of Mirasol displays is derived. Because only reflected light, in most instances, is required, the lion’s share of power consumed by most modern displays is not expended. Secondarily, Mirasol displays are bi-stable. This means that once an image is addressed to the display, near-zero MOEMS & MEMS Fig. 4: Image of the single mirror IMOD demo from SID 2013. power is consumed in holding that image in view. Essentially, once the mirrors are set in place, the constant refreshing of the content seen in LCD/OLED is not necessary, another significant savings in power. The above description describes the current version of IMOD, commercially available in the Qualcomm Toq and soon in additional smart wearables – see figures 1 and 2. In development, however, is the next generation of the technology. Bucking the trend in all color displays to date - where a color matrix of RGB is required to address a wide gamut of colors - the next generation of Mirasol displays will use a single element to address each individual state of color. This single mirror IMOD (SMI) iteration of the technology is in early development now, but offers a revolutionary glimpse into the mobile display and consumer experiences of the future – see figure 3. Qualcomm has publicly demonstrated early prototype versions of this new SMI architecture Mirasol display. Demonstrated at SID 2013, the SMI architecture delivers 557ppi of resolution on a 4.7” demonstrator – see figure 4. While a vision of an always-on device may be borne out of the upcoming proliferation of smart wearable devices, the trend towards continuous consumption is well afoot. New and innovative UI and UX design centered on a vision of what will become individuals’ digital sixth sense is already being fueled by hardware and software development. This confluence of experience and consumer demand is bringing a new opportunity for the industry and will be best accelerated by innovative technology development in hardware like the Qualcomm Mirasol display. Surface imaging and metrology software support 3D imaging and analysis Zeta Instruments is now offering ZMorf Surface Imaging and Metrology software with its Zeta optical profilers. ZMorf is based on Digital Surf’s industry-standard Mountains Technology software platform, providing 3D surface imaging and analysis coupled with automated metrology reports and full data export for specific applications. ZMorf supports real time 3D imaging of surface topography at any angle and zoom level, combined with colour image overlays to speed up the identification of surface features and anomalies. Image enhancement tools reveal fine surface details and intelligent pre-processing filters correct and normalize surface data prior to analysis. ZMorf integrates the latest standards and methods for analyzing surface texture and geometry. Surface roughness and waviness components are separated by applying advanced ISO 16610 filtering techniques and IS0 25178 3D parameters are generated. Distances, areas, volumes, step heights and coplanarity are calculated. Regions of interest can be extracted from a measured surface for independent analysis. Numerous advanced features are available including the analysis of tribological surfaces, grains and particles analysis, and 3D Fourier and wavelets analysis. The tool allows users to develop applications and generate multi-page analysis reports quickly and easily. Templates automate the analysis of similar measurement data sets and common sequences of analysis steps can be saved for reuse at any time. All numerical results are accessible in a single results manager panel and can be exported for post-processing by complementary application-specific software or 3rd party software. Images and documents can be exported in standard formats for easy publication. Digital Surf www.digitalsurf.com 28 Electronic Engineering Times Europe February 2014 www.electronics-eetimes.com


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