3G handsets bring the promise of new applications that will make greater use of the display than their predecessors. Backlighting efficiency will become more critical than ever as users take advantage of these new features. To maintain the small handset form factors that we have grown accustomed to, designers will need to provide better efficiency in smaller footprints at minimum cost. The variable mode fractional charge pump provides the best compromise of efficiency, performance, PCB area, and cost for driving white LEDs.