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Home > New Gear > DC Dimming: What is DC Dimming and which brands use or will use DC Dimming
DC Dimming: What is DC Dimming and which brands use or will use DC Dimming

DC Dimming: What is DC Dimming and which brands use or will use DC Dimming

By  Mia Carla 2019-05-15 671 1

The brightness of mobile screens is not controlled as it would seem to the naked eye, although now they are looking for it to be done this way. The system so far consists of reducing the pulse width, a technique known by its acronym in English, PWM, and is used in both LCD panels and OLED panels, although in the latter has more problems than in the former to be the individual voltage of each pixel more complicated to control.

The brightness of mobile screens is not controlled as it would seem to the naked eye, although now they are looking for it to be done this way. The system so far consists of reducing the pulse width, a technique known by its acronym in English, PWM, and is used in both LCD panels and OLED panels, although in the latter has more problems than in the former to be the individual voltage of each pixel more complicated to control.


The brightness of mobile screens


With this reduction in pulse width, the screen, in profane terms, decreases the rate of refreshment, thereby losing luminosity. The problem comes when it is applied to the OLED, because reducing the brightness using the PWM makes the panel blink at very low frequencies. Something that may not be noticeable for untrained eyes but can cause various discomforts, such as headache or tired eyes. Now the DC Dimming begins to reach the mobile, and everything promises to be better.

What is DC Dimming?

As we have said, reducing the bandwidth of the pulses causes a reduction in the refreshment of the screen. Specifically, in the frequency of it. The frequency is reduced depending on how much you want to lower the brightness. Thus, to obtain a screen illuminated by half, you only have to reduce the PWM by half. A 50% duty cycle will give half the brightness on the panel. A simple concept and that is used in a very majority in the mobile.


The DC Dimming is intended to bring to the mobile a concept that is already used in many other sectors, such as traditional lighting, for example. Surely we are familiar with the potentiometers that are installed in the switches of the home, and that allow us not only to turn on and off the light like the classics, but also reduce its intensity. These potentiometers only limit the sending of energy to the lamps, and now we are going to do the same in the panels of mobile phones.


The DC Dimming introduces in the mobile a system of delivery of energy to the panel with some very simple variables. It sets 0 as the voltage needed to turn off the screen, and 10 as the voltage needed to bring the brightness to the maximum. And it is the system itself that, depending on the ambient light, decides which value to use, thus reducing the consumption of the screen and allowing it to maintain the frequency. The brightness is reduced and the flickering disappears.


The curious thing about this system is that it is software upgradeable. OnePlus, OPPO's sister who wants to be one of the first to bring DC Dimming on mobile phones, has already commented that it will deploy a test program among the most adventurous users so that they can serve as testers of the DC Dimming system on their current phones, which would receive an update to change the power system of the screens. The reason for the tests is that DC Dimming can cause the screens to lose some quality.

Black Shark 2 and others already use it

But there are already phones on the market that use DC Dimming to control the brightness of their panels. Like the Black Shark 2 of Xiaomi's gaming brand, or like the Xiaomi Mi 9, which has received this functionality through MIUI 10's beta. Other manufacturers want to get on the train, like Meizu or Vivo's IQOO line. Most likely we will soon see it spread through the market at high speed. We will see if it effectively reduces the consumption of the screens or not, but if it fulfills what it promises, the screens will be better with less brightness. An update we'll certainly appreciate.

 

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