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Breakthrough LCD Innovation from Kaneka Boasts 50% Better Battery Life

May 7, 2014 - Written By Nick Sutrich

If you’re a heavy user of your smartphone you know how bad the battery life can be sometimes.  Regularly checking your battery stats will almost always show the screen taking up the most battery life of any one component on your phone, and there’s a good reason for this.  While there’s a ton of different screen tech out there, LCD reigns supreme as the screen type used in the most devices, and as such advancements in LCD tech will affect more people than ones in AMOLED tech for instance.  Kaneka, a Japanese chemical manufacturer, has come up with a breakthrough new type of film that lets light pass through from the backlight to the LCD color panel on your phone, and has increased efficiency from the paltry 10% that most LCDs run right now all the way up to 20%.  While that doesn’t sound like a lot it’s a considerable improvement overall, and could account for 50% better battery life in devices in the future.

How does this all work?  Basically behind that LCD panel you might be looking at is a backlight, and in front of that backlight is a polarization plate that allows the light to pass through to the color filters and eventually to your eyes.  Current polarization plates only allow for 10% of the light from the backlight to actually make its way through to the color filters, meaning that 90% of light generated by the backlight is essentially completely wasted.  This results in some rather obvious battery life issues, but Kaneka’s new film brings that amount of light up to 20% being passed through.  While this is a theoretical battery savings of 50% we may see less in real world situations.  Regardless though this is some pretty excellent news for most users out there, especially when you take into account how many users have issues with day to day battery life and keeping a charge through the end of the day. Although, it likely won’t be making it into products until early next year.  Still we might see this on the excellent Project Ara if the timing is right, making it even more of a killer device than it already is.

kaneka lcd