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Investigating The Galaxy S21 Ultra New OLED Emitter: Huge Efficiency Improvements – AnandTech

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This generation of Samsung flagship devices in the Galaxy S21 line-up is quite different to that of past years, as Samsung has opted to create a much more uneven device line-up between the “standard” Galaxy S21, S21+ and the larger, more feature-packed Galaxy S21 Ultra.

Beyond the cameras and the general form-factor, the one area where the Galaxy S21 Ultra differs significantly to its siblings is the display. This is not only due to the cheaper siblings opting to downgrade to FHD resolution panels, but also because the S21 Ultra generationally employs a brand new first-of-its-kind OLED screen that pushes the boundaries in terms of technology.

QHD at 120Hz, finally, but still limited VRR

One of the larger changes in the capabilities of the S21 Ultra display is that ability to finally run the screen at its native 1440 x 3200 resolution at 120Hz – an option that previously wasn’t possible on the S20 or Note20 series devices.

Samsung’s way of enabling this is relatively straightforward and in line with what’s we’ve seen in the OnePlus 8 Pro last year: the MIPI interface clock has been upped from 1157MHz to 1462MHz. It’s still a single 4-lane interface in terms of width, but like on the 8 Pro, the increased frequency allows for sufficient bandwidth to now enable the high refresh rate at high resolution.

The panel of the S21 Ultra, much like the Note20 Ultra, uses a new hybrid oxide and polycrystalline backplane technology which is roughly equivalent to LTPO display technologies, and allows it to enable low refresh rates and seamless switching between refresh rates.

We’ve covered this new VRR (variable refresh rate) extensively in our screen analysis of the Note20 Ultra and how it works transparently to the hardware, and how the LFD (low-frequency drive) is able to achieve great power efficiency benefits when in the “Adaptive” screen refresh rate mode.

In this regard, the Galaxy S21 Ultra behaves the same as the Note20 Ultra. It’s to be noted that this also includes the behaviour of the VRR mechanism is not functional in low ambient brightness situations, with power consumption varying depending on what the ambient light sensor of the phone is picking up. This means that when in brighter situations where the ambient light sensor detects luminance beyond 40 lux, the VRR and LFD are working seemingly as intended.

The Galaxy S21 Ultra now allowing QHD at 120Hz, mean that we have 2 additional operating modes for the display compared to how the Note20 Ultra ran things:

Device-On Black Screen Power Consumption (Airplane Mode)

At 60Hz QHD resolution, the base power consumption of the S21 Ultra (an Exynos 2100 variant in this context), uses up 469 to 481mW of power on a completely black screen in terms of total device power. Similarly to the Note20 Ultra, we’re seeing that there’s still some sort of VRR/LFD operating when in the 60Hz mode as the display will consume less power when in brighter ambient situations, although the delta here is less than what we saw on the Note20 Ultra.

At 120Hz FHD, the same operating modes that possible on the Note20 Ultra, the S21 Ultra here seems to consume 130mW more for some reason, ending up at 558mW over the Note20 Ultra’s 428mW. I’m not too sure as to why we’re seeing this larger difference between the devices, but we are talking about different DDICs and different panels along with different SoCs here.

The S21 Ultra here compares very well against the Snapdragon S20 Ultra, using up to around 200mW less power, although the difference to the Exynos S20 Ultra isn’t that big at only around 45mW.

Unfortunately, the big catch on Samsung’s VRR/LFD mechanism is the same as on the Note20 Ultra, as when you are in ambient light conditions below 40lux, the power savings mechanisms do not work anymore, and the phone will consume a great amount of power, similar to what we’ve seen on the Snapdragon S20 Ultra last year.

If you’re using your phone in dark or even dim conditions, the variable refresh rate doesn’t work at all, and the 120Hz mode comes at a huge 300mW cost in baseline power. Because the display panel in general uses less power in such conditions, because I’m assuming it runs at lower brightness levels, this baseline power impact is a very large % of the total device power consumption.

I wasn’t a big fan of this aspect of the Note20 Ultra and previous generation 120Hz implementations – I wish Samsung instead of disabling the VRR/LFD under dim conditions would simply switch to 60Hz mode as that would be a much more power efficient alternative. Of course, the best solution would be simply to get rid of this ambient brightness limitation and allow 120Hz and VRR in all conditions – it’s still not exactly clear at to the technical reason why Samsung is employing this limitation in the first place, as I’m not seeing any difference at all in the screen quality when tricking the phone’s ambient brightness sensor and it switching between VRR/LFD on and off.

A new OLED Emitter Generation – Huge Leaps

So, while the QHD 120Hz and VRR/LFD technology are interesting, they’re not exactly the newest technologies although Samsung does finally bring them to the Galaxy S series (well the Ultra at least).

The most interesting part of the Galaxy S21 Ultra display is the fact that it’s the first to use a new generation OLED emitter. Over the years, there have been noticeable jumps in OLED power efficiency, and most of them have been tied to introductions of new generation emitters which improved upon their predecessors. Samsung doesn’t really talk much about the technical descriptions of these emitters or their generational nomenclature, but the S21 Ultra is one such new generation.

To measure the difference between the screen generations, we simply measure the power consumption of the different devices at various display brightness levels, comparing the new Galaxy S21 Ultra to the previous-gen S20 Ultra as well as throwing in the Note20 Ultra as an extra data-point:

Right off the bat, we can see that there’s a great difference in display luminance capability as well as power consumption for the new S21 Ultra. The various devices start off at roughly the same baseline power consumption starting point on a complete black screen: 481mW for the S21 Ultra, 510mW for the S20 Ultra, and 476mW for the Note20 Ultra. We’re measuring things in the 60Hz mode as we’re just focused on the luminance power of the displays.

Compared to the S20 Ultra, at 200 and 400 nits, the S21 Ultra is roughly 22% more efficient when displaying full screen white. That’s actually a huge number given that we’re measuring total device power, not just the display.

If we’re normalising the power curves to the baseline power, the S21 Ultra is actually even more efficient – 26% to 31%, depending on brightness level.

In fact, although the new S21 Ultra’s screen is the brightest that Samsung has ever delivered, reaching full screen white levels of up to 942 nits, it uses less power than the S20 Ultra’s 778 nits peak brightness. The peak power is also 20% lower than the Note20 Ultra even though it’s also brighter by 31 nits.

It’s interesting to see the S20 Ultra vs the Note20 Ultra power curves here – the two roughly match up to around 150 nits, after which the Note20 Ultra takes the lead, however the advantage here seems to be more fixed in terms of absolute mW, as the power curves continue to run in parallel to each other – it’s likely the efficiency gains come from the new backplane technology of the Note20 Ultra. The S21 Ultra’s power curve however is clearly more divergent at increasing brightness levels, which is a sign of improved luminance efficiency as opposed to panel drive efficiency, which is exactly what we’d expect given the new emitter technology.

Rather than demonstrating power at a unrealistic full-screen white, let’s take something with a more realistic average picture level, such as the AnandTech homepage:

 
S21 Ultra & S20 Ultra

The scenario here is both the S21 Ultra and S20 Ultra side-by-side, set to 120Hz FHD, calibrated to 300 nits brightness, and under brighter ambient light conditions to trigger the S21 Ultra’s VRR/LFD mechanisms.

40lux” src=”https://images.anandtech.com/graphs/graph16469/121013.png”>

The difference in power consumption between the two phones in this best-case scenario for the S21 Ultra is enormous, using 27% less power than its predecessor.

That’s a huge generational leap, and undoubtedly results in a huge battery life advantage in favour of the new S21 Ultra, particularly for users who use the 120Hz mode, and tends to use their phones at higher brightness levels.

Prelude to Full Reviews

We’re still testing the S21 Ultra for performance and battery life, and are planning a SoC-centric article between the Snapdragon 888 vs Exynos 2100 variants of the Galaxy S21 Ultra soon, followed by device reviews of the S21 Ultra and the regular S21. While the SoC situation remains to be answered and investigated, the S21 Ultra’s advanced display technology and power efficiency looks that it will undoubtedly elevate it beyond its predecessors and baseline S21 siblings.

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PS4 Sold 6 Units A Minute, PS5 Is Selling Nearly 1,000 – Forbes

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Just how insane is PlayStation 5 demand? Sony came up with a striking comparison in a recent presentation about the future of the brand, and the current situation of console sales.

We all know that PS5s are selling out instantly whenever they appear…anywhere, but Sony explains just how fast the system is selling compared to its predecessor:

  • In the US, at this stage of the console’s lifecycle, the PS4 sold 80,000 units in nine days.
  • The PS5 has been selling 80,000 units in 82 minutes, on average.
  • That’s 6 sales a minute for PS4, nearly 1,000 sales a minute for PS5.

They also have a graph about “purchase interest” in the console one year after launch where the PS4 has 28% interest and the PS5 has 55% interest. Again, all of these stem from the fact that so many of the people who want the PS5 just have been physically unable to get one, and this is the only reason that the PS4 is outselling the PS5 at this point in both lifecycles.

The “sales per minute” concept does not translate to something like PS5 sales would be 10,000% more than PS4 if they could only produce enough units, but it’s still pretty fascinating all the same. The slide is titled “unprecedented demand,” which certainly does not seem like an exaggeration, and it’s easy to imagine that PS5 probably would have broken all console sales speed records if Sony was able to produce more units. Instead, they are promising shortages that will continue into 2023 due to the ongoing supply chain/component issues. Things may not normalize until 2024, the company says.

The PS5 shortages seem to go hand in hand with another development, that Sony has started to realize they are shooting themselves in the foot by limiting their game sales to the PlayStation and PlayStation only, especially now in an era where they cannot make enough of the boxes. This seems in part behind their push to get more games to PC, and they’ve reported a huge surge in PC sales due to recent ports like God of War, and it seems like other exclusives such as Returnal are about to make their way to PC in a much faster fashion than past games.

Microsoft has been doing cross-PC sales with the Xbox for a while now, and this is different than Sony which is doing later ports, sold separately, but they can get away with that due to high demand for their exclusives outside of the PlayStation ecosystem. Expect PC to become an increasingly important part of their business as they expand this concept, as Sony says they want half their game sales to be PC and mobile by 2025.

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Instagram is down, users report trouble logging in – MobileSyrup

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If you’ve been facing issues loading Instagram Stories, posts, or DMs, fret not, you’re not alone.

Outage tracking service Downdetector displays that users of the Meta-owned application have been facing issues logging in, along with connectivity issues since 12pm ET/9am PT.

Image credit: Downdetector

It’s worth noting that other Meta-owned services, including Facebook and WhatsApp, don’t seem to be affected.

Instagram hasn’t released an official statement about the update yet. Back in October, the Meta-owned photo-sharing app said that it is testing a feature that will let alert users of outages or technical difficulties directly in the app. It seems as though the feature is still in testing because the app has no mention of an outage currently.

It’s unclear what the cause of Instagram’s technical difficulty is. The last time the photo-sharing app had an outage was on October 4th, 2021, when it went down alongside Facebook and WhatsApp.

Image credit: Shutterstock

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China's Restrictions Delay iPhone 14 Development | by slashdotted | May, 2022 – DataDrivenInvestor

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According to a source, iPhone 14 development is behind schedule owing to Chinese lockdowns

At least one iPhone 14 model is three weeks late

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

According to a fresh rumor today, the development of at least one iPhone 14 model is three weeks behind schedule owing to Chinese lockdowns, which might damage initial production levels in the worst-case scenario.

According to reports, Apple has instructed suppliers to accelerate product development efforts in order to make up for a lost time before the delay impacts the regular manufacturing schedule, which might impair the initial production numbers of the iPhone 14 series.

By the end of June, all new iPhone models should have completed the EVT and moved on to the verification step.

As speculation grows regarding the characteristics of the next iPhone 14 models, such as an always-on display, a fresh source claims that the development of the line has been slowed by China’s coronavirus regulations.

All iPhone 14 versions are presently undergoing engineering verification testing (EVT), which involves Apple working with suppliers to optimize production processes and calculate manufacturing costs.

The unexpected lockdown shutdown of major Apple suppliers in Shanghai, as well as the effect on regional transportation, have caused the delay.

Apple is apparently working with its suppliers to expedite the process and get back on track.

The story seems to imply that, unlike the iPhone 12, the iPhone 14 will not be delayed and would instead come in the same September launch window as its current best iPhone, the iPhone 13.

Is the iPhone 14 going to be delayed?

According to this claim, it is doubtful that the iPhone 14 would be delayed.

The story does, however, raise the likelihood that one of the iPhone 14 versions may be substantially more difficult to get when it is introduced later this year.

The delay is claimed to be due to the internal development of the iPhone 14 series production process

. According to Nikkei, suppliers must adopt new manufacturing processes and adjust current production lines as part of a process known as New Product Introduction (NPI).

Last month, supposed real-world iPhone 14 display panels leaked online, revealing the suspected pill-shape and circular display cuts that would replace the conventional notch on this year’s new iPhone models to house the front-facing camera and Face ID technology.

In March, claimed iPhone 14 Pro 3D CAD renderings leaked, revealing the device’s reported redesigned pill-shape and circular display cutouts, which are likely to contain the iPhone’s Face ID components and front-facing camera module, eliminating the rectangular notch from the device’s display.

China’s restrictions stymie iPhone 14 development — Mobile World Live

According to the news agency, Apple’s iPhone 14 is being created by contract manufacturers Foxconn and Pegatron, with full production expected to begin in late August.

Nikkei Asia reported that engineering verification tests must be finished by the end of June in order to fulfill the manufacturing timetable and that one of the four iPhone 14 variants is three weeks behind schedule.

Due to the limitations, Pegatron paused manufacturing in its Shanghai and Kunshan plants earlier this year, while Foxconn halted operations at its Shenzhen factory.

Apple officials warned last month that supply concerns in China might affect sales by much to $8 billion in the current fiscal quarter.

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