Mirasol displays pushed to second half of 2012

Qualcomm's Mirasol screen technology promises to blend the lower power consumption and sunlight-friendly characteristics of e-ink displays with the full color we enjoy with LCDs. When we first heard about the technology last year, it was due to arrive in devices in 2011. Now, it looks like we may have to wait until the second half of 2012 to see Mirasol displays in consumer products.

Technology Review has an update on the display tech, and it seems modifications were needed to make manufacturing commercially viable. Those modifications appear to be complete, because a facility is being constructed in Taiwan to handle mass production. Qualcomm is set to pour close to $1 billion into the factory, suggesting Mirasol still has a future, even if it's been delayed.

Initially, there was some concern about Mirasol being capable of delivering a high enough refresh rate for video playback. The 5.7" prototype seen by Technology Review is capable of updating the screen at 30 FPS, though. Under bright light, the colors are reportedly rich and "not unlike the pages of a magazine," which sounds very promising indeed. The most frustrating thing about tablets for me is the fact that their highly reflective screens are all but useless in the sort of weather that's conducive to outdoor surfing.

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