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Developers of head-mounted displays (HMDs) could benefit from Nvidia’s recent efforts sometime in the future. Nvidia was able to quadruple display resolution by stacking two cheap LCD panels on top of one another.
Called cascaded displays, the technique involved the use of two 7-inch 1280x800 LCD monitors. The LCD panels were removed from the casings and the backlight removed from one panel. Both panels were then placed slightly offset, about a quarter-pixel, on top of each other with a quarter-wave film placed between them. The reason the panels were offset, according to the company, is that it acts like a “shutter” for a cluster of four pixels. This is how the resolution is quadrupled. In addition, both panels are able to provide refresh rates over 60Hz.
During its research Nvidia created its own HMD prototype, and special software to take advantage of the cascaded displays, and provided screenshots that compared how a game would look on a conventional LCD HMD and a Cascaded LCD HMD. The result was that text and details were a lot clearer on the cascaded displays than a conventional one.
According to Nvidia’s research paper, the technique is an alternative to the “brute force solution of addressable pixel count” that results in 4K monitors and even mobile displays.