Brian, one of our frequent readers and commentors here on QuickLogic’s HotSpots inquired on my last blog with the question below:
The RGB-split accepts one incoming signal and splits the signal between to two displays (i.e. one image spread over two displays). Down the road do you envision an RGB-split capability (or a market need) for two video signals to be received and sent to two different displays? For example, CNBC (on mute of course) playing on one screen while a movie plays on another.
We could do this today without the need to change our chip…let me explain how.
Popular mobile OS’s today can (read: not necessarily do) support multi-tasking on the display, meaning that the entire display doesn’t have to be a single application. You can have a video playing on part of the display, with text, images, etc… on a different part. This takes some software work, but it can be done.
Let’s use a specific example: The end product in design in our scenario will have two displays, both 640 x 800. What the host processor outputs in this case is a 1280 x 800 native video stream.
But in actuality, the QuickLogic CSSP with RGB split is taking that 1280 x 800 signal, and splitting it into two 640 x 800 streams (splitting doesn’t have to be in half, or thirds…it just makes for an easier illustration in this blog):
During design, the system engineers at the OEM/ODM/design house understand this, and can gear applications and software towards this architecture. Specifically, they can design or modify video applications to either play at native video resolution (which may use part or all of both displays), or use software to upscale or downscale the video so that it is equal to or less than 640 pixels wide. Doing so allows the video to occupy only a single display in the end product.
This is how it would look in our example, first natively to the CPU:
In all fairness, I have to say that I may be trivializing the amount of work needed in software by the system designer to do this–it is not something that I believe could be done in, say, a few hours, but it can be done. I believe this type of software work to be essential to a proper user experience on a multi-display handheld product. I also haven’t addressed audio, but that is outside the realm of my experience, so I believe it’s better to leave well enough alone.
In the architectures above, RGB-split enables multiple videos to play on multiple screens. VEE can work to optimize video on both screens, and DPO will continue to save more and more power (the more displays, the more power DPO will save as a % of system power).