This is a color subpixel-rendering system that promises to improve LCD resolution significantly, while reducing data driver requirements. The PenTile Matrix by ClairVoyante (Sebastopol, CA) doubles the addressable resolution in each axis and the modulation transfer function.

An LCD differs little in basic concept from a stained-glass window, modulating the light that shines through it to create a color image for the viewer. The need to generate a moving image, however, requires that the image elements be as small as possible, yet arrayed to blend subpixels in close proximity to properly represent colors.

In the PenTile Matrix, each color is surrounded by the other two colors, using a pattern of alternating red and green pixels to carry the logical pixel information. The blue pixels provide only low-resolution chroma information, matching human vision characteristics, while significantly reducing the number of data drivers. The light intensity is regulated by white subpixels (a recent innovation being explored by other display configurations and technologies as well).

Conventional color LCDs use three subpixels--red, green, and blue--in vertical stripes. A principal disadvantage of the arrangement is that it relies on the blue pixel to carry high-resolution luminance information--a difficult task because of limitations in human vision.

Subpixel font rendering on the RGB stripe is limited to increasing the addressability by a factor of 2, while the PenTile Matrix can double that number in both the horizontal and vertical axes for a fourfold improvement. Another advantage is that the arrangement is nearly rotationally symmetrical, allowing the display to be rotated more easily for portable devices and other displays that may be viewed from different orientations based on the information displayed.

There are currently no displays using this matrix available, but Samsung is working on some prototypes for possible release in 2005/6.