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LCD TV Display Enhancement Controller

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LCD TV manufacturers are quick to create new competitive edges for their products. Motion image blurring of fast moving objects is emerging as a key technical challenge for high-end LCD TV manufacturers.

The LCD Display Enhancement Controller (LDEC) is jointly developed by ICD and SI to reduce the motion blurring effects on LCD TVs and to realize the algorithm on silicon IP for commercial adoption.

Motion blurring is the smearing of fast moving objects on LCD. The main causes of LCD TV motion blurring are slow liquid crystal (LC) response time and long display image hold time. Display image hold-type effect is perceptual. The longer and brighter a picture is displayed, the slower its residue image will fade in human brains. Human eyes, however, track the motion of moving objects on the screen. This technology focuses on reducing the hold time of each displayed image by increasing the frame rate up-conversion (FRC) from 60fps to 120fps or 240fps.

Reputable foreign TV brands introduced new lines of LCD TVs to address the motion blurring issue. Successful implementation and technology transfer of this technology could advance the competitiveness of Mainland LCD TV manufacturers on this particular feature.

As a natural extension of ASTRI’s display control IP portfolio, the R&D team is leveraging its experience in video motion estimation to explore the development of super resolution to address emerging Internet-enabled TV applications and potential medical imaging enhancements. The team is also working on original algorithm research on 3D display, multi-view image capture and auto-stereoscopic display controls.

Key Technologies

ASTRI’s LDEC technology provides an integrated silicon solution to double the frame refresh rate for LED backlight-based LCD TV from 60Hz to 120Hz.

A temporal frame interpolation based on estimated motion vectors from the original video image streams is developed. Two consecutive frames from the original stream are compared. Motion vectors for frame objects are estimated and this information is used to interpolate a new frame inserted between two source frames. The LCD frame refresh rate is thus doubled and each frame’s hold time is halved.
Also, LDEC augments the frame interpolation with ASTRI’s own 2-D dynamic LED backlight dimming control to reduce power consumption and enhance image contrast.

Hardware accelerated super-resolution uses temporal sub-pixel shifts of motion objects in consecutive low-resolution or low-quality video frames to estimate pixel contents for high-resolution grid, thus improving both image quality and resolution.

An efficient and robust silicon implementation bridges the gap between algorithm simulations and real impact on commercial products.

Image motion blur effect

Major causes of motion blur on LCD TV

LCD TV frame interpolation