As I alluded to at the end of my last blog, today we announced our DPO 2.0 technology; I wasn’t kidding when I said ‘VERY’ soon. So, rather than waste a bunch of space with my often over-loquacious prose, I’ll go right to a FAQ-style blog…
Q: What makes DPO 2.0 different from DPO 1.0?
A: DPO 2.0 has what we call ‘Intelligent Brightness Control’ (IBC), which adds to our existing ability to save system power by adding the variant of display content into the DPO engine.
Previously, DPO 1.0, working with VEE, modulated display brightness based solely on the ambient light environment the phone/tablet user is in. The display brightness that DPO sets is completely independent of what is actually being shown on the display—only on ambient light.
When the content being shown on the display is of lower contrast and/or dynamic range, there is a good deal of brightness that is wasted on the display: i.e, brightness can be lowered without negatively affecting the viewing experience. DPO 2.0 examines display content on a real-time basis, and takes the extra step of reducing display brightness (LCD backlight or OLED power, if you prefer) when the content allows it. With DPO 2.0, power savings are based on both the ambient light viewing environment along with the display content.
Q: What are the expected power savings with DPO 2.0?
A: DPO 1.0 showed an average savings of 25%, with a high number of 41%. DPO 2.0 adds as much as 10% to those numbers (content-dependent). So, we believe battery savings could be as much as 50% with DPO 2.0.
And to clear up any residual confusion, DPO 2.0 savings are on top of what we saw with DPO 1.0—one does not cannibalize the other.
Q: Why do you keep saying that DPO 2.0 savings are “content-dependent”?
A: I mentioned earlier that the IBC feature is able to lower brightness for lower contrast and/or dynamic range display content. Examples of this type of content would be streamed YouTube movies, mobile phone-generated video and still images, and mobile TV. DPO 2.0 will excel in these type of uses. However, in higher contrast/dynamic range display content (email applications, natively-hosted professional movies and images, etc…), IBC will likely not be able to provide additional battery savings beyond the already substantial ambient light-based savings.
So, brass tacks time…when you’re streaming YouTube videos to your device with DPO 2.0, you should anticipate 25-35% battery savings on average. When you’re watching the high-quality copy of “Monsters” that you downloaded from Amazon, your expected savings would be 25%, with perhaps a bit more saved in certain scenes.
Q: Does DPO 2.0 reduce VEE’s effectiveness?
A: Not at all. VEE continues to be as effective as before in enhancing the viewing experience. DPO 2.0 also does not reduce the speed of our devices, and there are no performance negatives to DPO 2.0.
Q: Is DPO 2.0 new silicon?
A: No, and that’s one of the great things about our CSSP model. We have implemented DPO 2.0 in the programmable fabric of our ArcticLink II VX2 and VX4 devices. Rather than a team spending 12+ months to design, route, test, tape out, test, and correct silicon, we took our production-qualified production silicon and added DPO 2.0 as an optional PSB.
I’d also be remiss in not mentioning that in addition to shaving many months of the development schedule by using fabric and not new silicon, we also saved a bunch of money.
Q: Will you continue to develop solutions for fabric, or do you see QuickLogic developing new silicon platforms?
Q: When is DPO 2.0 available?
A: Today. You can bet that we have already taken this solution to our in-development and potential customers. To preempt what I assume will be follow-up comment, sorry, no, I cannot name them.
Q: Is DPO 2.0 field-upgradable?
A: Unfortunately no. The fabric portion of our CSSP devices requires programming in our production process, which means that CSSPs already shipped cannot be modified.
Q: So, is this it for VEE and DPO? Have you reached the end of your engineering development?
A: Not by a long shot. You can bet that when we are ready to announce, you’ll read it here first.
Questions, comments, concerns? I’m all ears