Apple’s next-gen MacBook Pro to feature new LED backlight technology

“A forthcoming update to Apple’s MacBook Pro line will usher in a generation of more vibrant and uniformly-colored notebook displays thanks to some new underlying backlight technology,” Kasper Jade reports for AppleInsider.

“Confirming an earlier but widely discounted report from Taiwan-based DigiTimes, faithful industry sources say the new pro-oriented systems will mark the start of a gradual transition away from cold cathode fluorescent backlights (CCFLs) and towards LED backlights for the Mac maker,” Jade reports. “Thus far, those sources say Apple has agreed to implement the LED technology only within a revision to its 15-inch MacBook Pro due sometime in the second quarter of this year. A broader expansion to the 17-inch model and across the company’s 13-inch consumer line, though inevitable, reportedly remains under consideration.”

Jade reports, “While pricer than CCFLs, LED technology is more efficient at distributing lighting evenly across the entire display surface and offers an increase in color saturation. According to a white paper from Cree, a backlight solutions provider expected to provide its LED technology to Apple, LED-based backlights also consume less power, run cooler, and last longer than CCFLs.”

“For end users, the new technology translates into improved notebook battery life and displays that will maintain their initial levels of brightness longer into their respective life-cycles. Come this spring, LED-lit displays will also deliver a more vivid canvas for the various software user interface enhancements and animation techniques that will be included with Mac OS X Leopard,” Jade reports.

Full article here.

Related article:
Report: Apple to launch LED-based notebooks – January 03, 2007

27 Comments

  1. They are all still “LCD” screen. What’s different is the way they are backlit.

    Once again, Apple leads the way with a new technology or design implementation in laptop computers.

    This will be great. No fading of brightness. Reduced unevenness in brightness. Longer battery life. What took so long for this technology to become available for this purpose.

  2. So the LCD displays last longer for notebooks versus CCFL displays? Who cares? If you replace your notebook every 4 to 5 years, will it really matter that the LCD displays could last for 7 or 8 years? The only real advantage for LCD technology would have to be a savings in power usage, better color, and more uniform brightness. Is this technology transferable to the cinema displays and is it also economical to use LCD for cinema displays?

  3. All LCD displays need backlighting. Present backlighting systems need high voltage to operate flourescent lighting. The necessary transformer/ballast produces heat and consumes large amounts of energy. LED backlighting would be applicable to all LCD screens.

  4. > If you replace your notebook every 4 to 5 years, will it really matter that the LCD displays could last for 7 or 8 years?

    Except that the dimming starts almost immediately. It may not be noticeable for the user because the change is gradual, but if you compare a new display to one that is one year old (at the brightest setting), the difference is apparent. Plus the bright white color of the CCFL bulb changes in some cases.

    > The only real advantage for LCD technology would have to be a savings in power usage, better color, and more uniform brightness.

    That’s THREE advantages; isn’t that (plus longer lasting) enough to make this a “big deal”??? ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  5. I used to be an investor in Cree so I know a little about them. They are the leaders in LED technology, and Apple is partnered up with the right folks. Their stock is volatile though, but if LED lighting for the home ever takes off, they could do very well. Their main problem has been getting cost down. Maybe this is a sign they’re getting closer on that front.

  6. Cree’s Web site includes a picture of two iPods, presumably to illustrate the use of their chips for backlighting computer and handheld LCDs. So perhaps their Xbright Power Chip LEDs are already being used in some of the more recent iPods.

  7. “Once again, Apple leads the way with a new technology or design implementation in laptop computers. “

    Sony, HP and Toshiba will ship models with LED backlight before Apple. But I forgot, to Mac fanboys, technology doesnt exist until Apple ships it.

  8. Luxeon LEDs from Lumileds are the best LEDs for the home. I think there are 1 watt, 3 watt, 5 watt, and 7 watt versions out there. I have LED flashlights from Arc Flashlight, Inova, and Surefire and they are way brighter, cooler, and longer running than regular incandescent flashlights. LED is the future that’s here now, baby!

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.