AI visual processor sets new standard for image quality on mobile displays

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Pixelworks, Inc. has unveiled its sixth generation mobile visual processor, the i6 and i6 Pro, claimed as the first with a low-power artificial intelligence (AI) processing unit that adaptively optimizes overall picture quality for a “cinematic experience” across different mobile viewing conditions. With a new AI-driven architecture and dynamic refresh rate up to 144 Hz, the processor sets a new standard for image and video quality on LCD and OLED mobile displays, said the company.

How it works: The Pixelworks i6 processor uses AI to intelligently upscale the dynamic range of video and gaming content while also optimizing contrast, sharpness, brightness, and color temperature of the display based on ambient lighting conditions, content attributes, display characteristics, and usage patterns for always-cinematic visual quality, Pixelworks said.

The new i6 processor also supports the company’s color calibration and management technologies as well as its always-on high dynamic range (HDR) technology and HDR10/10+ tone mapping, while delivering up to 40% lower overall power consumption than its predecessor, the Pixelworks i3 processor, formerly known as Iris 3. (The rebranding of the Iris series also includes the new i6 processor, using the existing chip numbering. Iris 5 becomes part of the X series and is renamed Pixelworks X5 processor.)

The Pixelworks i6 Pro processor provides additional system-level software optimization for improved visual quality and power efficiency at the highest possible refresh rates and resolutions, Pixelworks said. It is accomplished by intelligently mapping feature sets and modes across the widest range of apps and use cases for LCDs as well as OLED displays.

Both the i6 and i6 Pro feature the company’s auto-adaptive display innovations including flicker-free DC dimming and ultra-smooth brightness control for OLED displays and dynamic brightness control with 3× more video and gaming contrast for LCD displays. A new processing unit delivers sharpness, contrast, and skin tone accuracy across all color gamuts and viewing modes.

Pixelworks highlights some of the key advanced features of the adaptive visual processor:

  • Dedicated AI processing unit– Lightweight AI display inferencing that augments the company’s fuzzy logic IP to adaptively and intelligently optimize overall picture quality for video, games and photos at low power.
  • AI scene detection– Provides optimal real time SDR-to-HDR conversion for videos, games and photos, while dynamically tuning local contrast and sharpness for an always-on HDR experience with superior visual quality.
  • AI adaptive display– Analyzes ambient light conditions, settings, and the content to intelligently adjust daylight view controls for even more perceptually accurate display under a variety of lighting conditions.
  • Skin tone accuracy –Dynamically detects and protects skin tones for a more natural look across color gamuts and custom viewing modes.
  • Dark noise suppression– Dynamically reduces visual background “noise” in low-light videos and photos.
  • Color calibration 3.0– Takes industry-leading color accuracy to new heights with colors that are indistinguishable from perfect with quick one-pass tests easily deployable on the factory floor.

The Pixelworks i6 processor is sampling now to lead customers and is expected to be in commercial production in Q4 2020.

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