Microsoft's game-changing pixel-dimming technology will bring some OLED magic to all displays

It's called Pixel Luminance For Digital Displays, and it's all about adding pixel-dimming technology to improve image quality and efficiency.

1 minute & 18 seconds read time

A new Microsoft patent could revolutionize gaming on modern LED/LCDs. Pixel Luminesce for Digital Display technology involves an EM gate driver that can send a signal to a row of pixels to control individual pixels' brightness. This adds pixel-dimming functionality normally seen in OLEDs to traditional LED monitors.

Microsoft's game-changing pixel-dimming technology will bring some OLED magic to all displays 02

It's a rather technical process that includes a luminance controller that sends a pulse-width modulated signal to a row of pixels, letting parts of a screen be brighter while others are dimmer. This can improve color accuracy and works alongside VRR or variable refresh-rate technology.

There's also the benefit of improved power efficiency, which could see the technology make its way to laptop and mobile devices running Windows. For PC gaming, it will add more dynamic contrast to an image, bringing a traditional LED display's immersion closer to that of OLED - at least, that's the idea.

The patent describes problems with "pulse-width modulated signals" and VRR displays because their frequencies are set to be higher than a display's refresh rate. If a VRR frame is a non-integer multiple of the display's max refresh rate, the result is unintended increased brightness or flickering. There are ways to mitigate this, as listed in the patent, so it sounds like something Microsoft is serious about bringing to market and making it work across games, media, and productivity.

It remains to be seen how it would be integrated into displays, and Windows for that matter, and what additional hardware would be required for it to work. As the patent outlines, Pixel Luminesce for Digital Display technology is compatible with OLED, QLED, micro-LED, and LCD technologies.

Patents are notoriously difficult to decipher at the best of times, so we hope Microsoft will soon share more about this exciting display technology.

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Kosta is a veteran gaming journalist that cut his teeth on well-respected Aussie publications like PC PowerPlay and HYPER back when articles were printed on paper. A lifelong gamer since the 8-bit Nintendo era, it was the CD-ROM-powered 90s that cemented his love for all things games and technology. From point-and-click adventure games to RTS games with full-motion video cut-scenes and FPS titles referred to as Doom clones. Genres he still loves to this day. Kosta is also a musician, releasing dreamy electronic jams under the name Kbit.

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