Nvidia’s new ‘cascaded display’ basically involves shoving cheapy phone screens together, to magically sharpen the image.
The worst thing about busting your phone and having to make do with a cheapy budget replacement is the terrible, grainy screen. But graphics maestro Nvidia may have just solved the problem of low-res displays, boosting their resolution and picture quality in a most peculiar way: sticking basic LCD panels together, but slightly skewed.
By bolting one cheapy panel on top of another, Nvidia has apparently quadrupled the resolution and doubled refresh rate, an incredible feat considering the slight increase in cost. Above you can see an example of the ‘cascaded displays‘ technology in action. The left image represents the quality Nvidia was aiming for, the middle shows the results with just one screen, and the right is the result with Nvidia’s cascaded displays. The zoomed image of the logos shows a clear improvement, and here’s another example if you need more convincing:
Nvidia’s technical paper is tougher to understand than Gazza after twenty pints, but from what we can gather, the experiment started with a couple of bog-standard 7-inch 1280×800 LCD panels which were then pressed together with a quarter-pixel offset.
Some clever software helps to cut down the distortion, and while there are still some issues such as reduced brightness and narrowed viewing angles, the boost in clarity and refresh rate is a massive advantage.
So, will we see Nvidia’s cascaded display tech appear in any budget phones or tablets any time soon? Probably not for a while, sadly – certainly not until late 2015, at the earliest. But if high-quality screens can be produced at a fraction of the cost, and the brightness issue can be sorted out, then we could see HD-ready phones appearing for well under £100.