In our monitor reviews, we focus a lot on panel parts and associated technology, but there are more components that go into the manufacture of a display than just the LCD. One item that can set screens apart from one another is the display driver integrated circuit. It contains firmware that determines things like bit depth, brightness and contrast, and even how wide the bezel can be.
Narrow-bezel designs are nothing new, but we’ve seen a gradual shrinking of widths from the one inch-plus frames seen just a few years ago. Today, Synaptics Inc., a major developer of human interface solutions, is unveiling a new display driver IC that enables screen borders as small as four millimeters. The ClearView R63353 brings a host of new features to not only desktop monitors, but smaller products like phones, tablets and watches. It can be used to create larger touchscreens, as well.
The DDIC takes the form of a small flexible board that attaches directly to the LCD panel. The above image from Synaptics shows the controller connected to a tablet-sized device.
In addition to narrow bezels, the R63353 supports contrast optimization by way of ambient light sensors, image enhancements that enable viewing under bright sunlight, 10-bit color support, white point and color management calibration, and lower power consumption.
Based on the specs, the R63353 is ideally suited for the high-end enterprise and professional display markets. The ability to precisely adjust color, white point and gamma independently is important to those in need of a proofing monitor. Although there are software solutions available, they tie the display and computer together. Moving the screen to another system means re-calibration is necessary. When a panel’s OSD allows for precise adjustments, it can be connected to any other computer and deliver the same color precision.
Narrow-bezel support is something that will appeal to gamers or anyone using a multi-screen configuration. Extending the workspace, or game environment, is most easily and affordably done with two or three monitors. And setups like this have become more common. Shrinking the line between panels can only enhance the sense of immersion in entertainment applications. Further, users working between multiple applications will enjoy a more seamless experience.
By managing contrast according to ambient light levels, the R63353 can reduce power consumption. All that’s required is for the manufacturer to add a sensor to the bezel somewhere. With Synaptics’ management of color and brightness, the image sharpness and contrast will be preserved regardless of output level.
The Synaptics ClearView R63353 display driver IC is sampling now and scheduled to ship to manufacturers in the third quarter of 2016.