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Measuring Display Resolution with Contrast Modulation Methodology
Illustrated below are a conventional RGB Stripe subpixel arrangement and a higher-efficiency PenTile RGBW™
subpixel arrangement (Figure 1). Using fewer subpixels, the PenTile RGBW pattern on the right renders
information at the same resolution as a conventional RGB Stripe pattern. Displays made using the PenTile
RGBW pattern offer improvements in cost performance and power efficiency compared to conventional RGB
Stripe displays, due to the combined effect of increased aperture ratio and improved light transmission through
the white (clear) subpixel.
A consistent methodology for determining resolution independent of display technology or subpixel layout is
provided by the Video Electronics Standards Association, a non-profit corporation formed in 1989 which
“promotes and develops timely, relevant, open standards for the display and display interface industry, ensuring
interoperability and encouraging innovation and market growth.” Novel subpixel arrangements such as PenTile
RGBW, as well as other emerging new display technologies, prompt the question of how resolution should be
measured when technology and structural differences complicate direct comparison. This document explains
how VESA’s definition of resolution applies in the comparison of the conventional RGB Stripe pattern to
Clairvoyante’s PenTile RGBW architecture.
VESA Flat Panel Display Measurement Standards
The VESA Display Metrology Committee defines resolution in Section 303-7 of Flat Panel Display Measurements
Standard Version 2.0 1 as “the number of alternate black and white lines that can be displayed with a stated
minimum contrast modulation”, and establishes a contrast modulation threshold (CT) of 50% as the standard for
displaying crisp edges on text and graphics.