Displays have always been a major power consumer in mobile devices. In the past, one easy way to keep power demands in check was to limit the display performance in terms of luminance, color gamut, resolution and refresh rate. This way, users could get away without recharging their devices for several days. By contrast, today’s power-hungry devices must be charged every day. Typical color displays require 400-500 mW, which is ~50% of the average power consumption of the device when using a multimedia application. Reducing the power consumption demand of a mobile device display is a certain way to increase the time required of a user between recharges, but today it is unrealistic to limit display performance in order to achieve that.

This article will offer technical information for designers about a multi-primary display solution that will reduce power consumption of the display without limiting its performance.