mirasol

Qualcomm: mirasol on track, first tablets/ereaders in Q1 2011

Qualcomm: mirasol on track, first tablets/ereaders in Q1 2011

With E Ink's new Pearl display making its debut in the third-generation Kindle, resolutely monochrome and - according to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos - staying that way for the near future, attention turned to what's been described as the key color competition, Qualcomm's mirasol. Comments from Steve Mollenkopf, the company's executive VP of CDMA technologies, earlier this week seemed to suggest production hadn't even kicked off. We caught up with Jim Cathey, VP of business development for Qualcomm's MEMS division to find out exactly where mirasol is up to, and when we could expect to see devices using the display technology reach the market.

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Color Kindle “a long way out” insists Amazon CEO

Color Kindle “a long way out” insists Amazon CEO

Hopes for a color Kindle refresh to better position the ereader against Apple's iPad have been dashed this week, with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos telling company shareholders that the technology is "still a long way out".  The outspoken executive confirmed that Amazon have been looking into color e-ink displays, but said that what he'd seen "in the laboratory" were "still not ready for prime-time production."

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Color E Ink devices to ship Q1 2011

Color E Ink devices to ship Q1 2011

Ereader display heavyweight E Ink reckon they'll have a color e-paper panel ready in time for devices to ship in the first quarter of 2011, according to their VP of marketing.  Speaking to PCMag this week, Sriram Peruvemba revealed that E Ink plan to show off newer color e-paper displays at SID in a few weeks time, and that the company is working on significantly improved refresh rates.

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Qualcomm mirasol e-reader coming Fall 2010

Qualcomm mirasol e-reader coming Fall 2010

Qualcomm's mirasol team had their animated demo device at MobileFocus today, but what was more interesting was their information about shipping e-readers using the low-power display technology.  They've confirmed that the first mirasol-based unit is expected in fall 2010, though they won't reveal who exactly will be using the panel.

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Tablets, tablets all around (& not just Notion Ink)

Tablets, tablets all around (& not just Notion Ink)

One of the big surprises from CES 2010 last week was the sheer number of tablets. Perhaps, what with the persistent rumors of Apple's imminent entrance to the segment, that shouldn't be seen as too unusual, but as many commenters seem to have conveniently forgotten, this isn't exactly a new niche in the tech world. Microsoft, however badly they subsequently managed it, lent their weight behind compact tablets (aka UMPCs or Ultra-Mobile PCs) back in the days of Origami, and more recently we've seen PMPs first grow large, video-capable displays and then borrow internet functionality from notebooks as WiFi proliferated.

Qualcomm mirasol color ereader hands-on

Qualcomm mirasol color ereader hands-on

Qualcomm's mirasol display technology grabbed attention back in November 2009 when it graduated from tiny PMP status displays to a legitimate, video-capable and full-color e-ink alternative.  Back then, the company had a working display but a mock-up ereader, a real mirasol panel frozen with a single image.  They've brought along a new prototype to CES 2010, and this time it's capable of playing full video.  Check out our demo video after the cut.

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Qualcomm mirasol gaming ereader concept plus video demo

Qualcomm mirasol gaming ereader concept plus video demo

Remember the Qualcomm mirasol ebook reader prototype we we exclusively showed you yesterday?  One thing we weren't allowed to photograph - something Qualcomm rectified today - was one of the more interesting attachments they envisage potentially figuring highly: a snap-on gaming controller.  The mirasol team won't confirm any OEM names, but using the low-power displays in gaming hardware looks to be another potential avenue.  Plus, after the cut, a video of the mirasol display in action.

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Qualcomm mirasol color video ebook readers to ship in 2010

Qualcomm mirasol color video ebook readers to ship in 2010

Ebook readers are arguably coming of age, but don't assume e-ink - and the push to produce color e-ink panels - have won the game quite yet. SlashGear met up with Qualcomm's mirasol team today to discuss their latest display news, and while you might remember the technology from their early 1.1-inch single-color panels, they're now showing off a 5.7-inch display capable of full color and video playback, with minimal impact on battery life. They've set themselves the target of having color ebook readers with mirasol panels on the market by the latter part of 2010, and are working with OEMs now to achieve that.

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Freestyle Audio FA300 waterproof PMP with Mirasol display

Freestyle Audio FA300 waterproof PMP with Mirasol display

As well as the Skullcandy partnership, Qualcomm also had the latest Freestyle Audio PMP on show with their new color mirasol display.  The ruggedized audio player manufacturer first announced it would be using the 0.9-inch low-power display back in May; it now has a name - the Soundwave Ltd. Edition FA300 - and more specifications, including Bluetooth A2DP wireless stereo headphone support.

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Skullcandy MFM Pro headphones with integrated Mirasol PMP

Skullcandy MFM Pro headphones with integrated Mirasol PMP

Skullcandy has unveiled a set of combination headphones and PMP player, which is the first such device to include Qualcomm's innovative mirasol display technology.  The Skullcandy MFM Pro headphones have a slot-in PMP that can both be used with the over-the-ear headphones as well as any other sort of earbuds courtesy of the standard 3.5mm audio socket.  mirasol, meanwhile, uses the same concept that makes a butterfly's wings iridescent to create a color display with dramatically lowered power consumption.

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Qualcomm color mirasol display debuts in rugged PMP

Qualcomm color mirasol display debuts in rugged PMP

Qualcomm has announced the industry's first color IMOD displays, which will be used by Freestyle Audio for their latest rugged PMPs.  IMOD, which stands for Interferometric Modulation, is currently marketed under Qualcomm's mirasol brand; previously only bichrome displays using the technology were available, already being used in a number of cellphones.  The mirasol displays are similar to OLED, in that they require significantly less power than traditional LCDs, but use ambient light to illuminate the screen rather than a backlight. 

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