Apple Invents a Magnetic Array System Allowing an Apple Pencil to Securely Attach to an iPad +
China Reports that Apple Set to Open a New R&D Center in Zhongguancun Science Park Later this Year

Apple Reveals New Advances for Future OLED Displays & Revisits Ambient Light Apple Watch Invention

10.1 Patents Plural


In April of this year Patently Apple posted a report titled "Will Apple Extend their use of OLED Displays to Future iPads, MacBooks & Beyond?" The report covered Samsung's likely introduction of AMOLED panels for notebooks by partnering with a company called Parade. The CEO of Parade stated that "Samsung's introduction of AMOLED panels for notebooks is an important milestone in the PC industry, and we are honored to be chosen as a development partner by Samsung in this endeavor." With Apple partnering with Samsung for iPhone OLED displays, I wondered if Apple had bigger ambitions for OLED displays as in extending their use to other devices. Today a patent filing by Apple came to light at the U.S. Patent Office that clearly indicates that this is so. In addition, Patently Apple posted a report earlier this month titled "Display Experts Claim that the iPhone 7 LCD Display is the Best Ever Tested." In some benchmarks Apple was able to advance LCD's to even better OLED. As Apple is about to shift to OLED, it must be understood that Apple has filed multiple patents to advance OLED and compensate for its many short comings. Today, two more OLED centric inventions have come to light applying to future OLED displays for Apple products. And lastly, an old Apple Watch patent resurfaced regarding the use of its Photodiode sensor that rests against the user's skin.


OLED Patent #1: Organic Light-Emitting Diode Display with Smooth Dimming Control


For geeks who like to dig deeper into some of Apple's more technical patent filings, today is a treat for you. Two new OLED inventions from Apple have come to light. The first patent application is 20160284275 titled "Organic Light-Emitting Diode Display with Smooth Dimming Control."


In this invention Apple points to a problem with OLED displays when it comes to controlling the brightness of displays that use a peak luminance control algorithm that doesn't always work which produces unexpected color shifts in the display.


Apple's invention covers displays that have a brightness that is controlled using a series of cascaded digital-to-analog converter circuits. The display may be calibrated at a series of predetermined display brightness settings. For display brightness settings that fall between two consecutive display brightness settings in the series of predetermined display brightness settings, voltage interpolation operations may be performed to obtain the corresponding display brightness settings. Performing voltage interpolations instead of digital brightness setting interpolation helps minimize luminance jumps and unexpected color shifts when adjusting the brightness of the display.


2af 88

Apple illustrates in patent FIGS. 1-4 noted above that all of their devices will be able to take advantage of today's advanced OLED technology: FIG. 8 is a diagram of an illustrative display controller; As shown in FIG. 8, display controller #92 may include peak luminance control and brightness control circuitry #100, gamma circuitry #102, source driver circuitry #104, and a timing controller #106.


To review the finer details behind this invention, review Apple's patent application in full here.


OLED Patent #2: Organic Light-Emitting Diode Display with Gate Pulse Modulation


Apple's second OLED centric invention is titled "Organic Light-Emitting Diode Display with Gate Pulse Modulation" found under patent application 20160284276.


Apple notes in this patent filing that "It can be challenging to accurately control the performance of organic light-emitting diode pixels. Drive transistor threshold voltage compensation schemes compensate for threshold variations in the drive transistors, but do not compensate for variations in switching transistors. Dynamic effects for a switching transistor such as clock feedthrough and charge injection can reduce the voltage at the gate of a drive transistor that is coupled to the switching transistor during switching. As a result, pixel brightness range may be reduced and the drive transistor current may be sensitive to variations in switching transistor device parameters. Apple's invention is to fix this problem for future OLED displays that they intend to use.


Apple's patent Abstract states: "Display driver circuitry may load data into an array of pixels via data lines. The display driver circuitry may supply control signals including scan signals to the pixels via control lines. Each pixel may have transistors and capacitor circuitry for controlling the emission of light from a light-emitting diode. A drive transistor may be coupled in series with the light-emitting diode to control the amount of current flowing through the light-emitting diode. The drive transistor may have a drive transistor gate terminal that is coupled to one of the source-drain terminals of a switching transistor. The switching transistor may have a switching transistor gate terminal that receives the scan signal. When transitioning prior to an emission phase of operation, the scan signal may have a two-step transition profile or other shape that enhances display performance by reducing dynamic effects in the switching transistor."


To review the finer details behind this invention, review Apple's patent application in full here.


Original Apple Watch Patent Resurfaces


Another OLED related patent has surfaced today titled "Ambient Light Sensing through the Human Body." It happens to be one of the original Apple Watch patents.


It may appear to be new because it doesn't refer to itself as being a continuation patent. However, anytime you see patent claims "cancelled" it's because it's a continuation patent. In this patent filing, claims 2, 3, 10, 11, 12, 16, 19, 21, 22, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29 were cancelled from the original filing of November 2013. This is not a new invention.



Apple's patent FIG 3A noted above illustrates a cross-sectional view of an exemplary portable electronic device with optical sensors located outside of the device body on the underside of the device.


More specifically, Apple notes that the optical sensor can sense visible light, infrared light, ultraviolet light, and/or other spectra of light, or can be any combination or portion of the above spectra. The optical sensor may be any type of sensor or sensors, including, but not limited to, a photoresistor, optical detector, chemical detector, photovoltaic cell, photodiode, phototransistor, charge-coupled device, and so on.


As noted in Apple's original Apple Watch graphic noted below, they decided to go with a "photodiode" optical sensor as referenced to in the patent above from Apple's patent point #0034.


So this isn't a new invention as others are claiming today or something that coming in the future. No, it's simply reviewing what was introduced with the original Apple Watch. 


4af 888 Apple Watch photodiode sensor

To review the finer details behind one of Apple's original Apple Watch Inventions, see patent application 20160284316 here.


14 Notice BarPatently Apple presents a detailed summary of patent applications with associated graphics for journalistic news purposes as each such patent application is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trade Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any patent application should be read in its entirety for full and accurate details. About Making Comments on our Site: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit any comments. Those using abusive language or behavior will result in being blacklisted on Disqus.



The comments to this entry are closed.