LG launched its new flagship smartphone the G2 just the other day and it came with a ton of impressive hardware specs and features including a full HD 5.2 inch IPS LCD screen, buttons at the back, a Qualcomm 800 processor and interestingly, a new feature called GRAM or Graphic RAM.
I am certain you know what RAM is. This is the temporary memory on a device that makes it possible for a device’s operating system and programs to run. Graphic RAM, as the name hints, is basically RAM dedicated to the graphic unit of the handset. GRAM is designed to reduce how much power the display uses by as much as 26% according to LG, resulting in better battery performance on the device. LG says that GRAM alone can increase how long your phone’s battery lasts by up to 10%.
Today’s smartphones come with larger screens and although manufacturers try to equip the devices with bigger battery packs to handle the large displays with more pixels than ever, display remains the greatest battery consumer for most devices in a typical usage condition. LG’s Graphic RAM is a Panel Self Refresh technology which has been around for quite a while, but the manufacturer is the first to equip it in a mobile device.
Whenever a frame of an image or a page of a website is displayed on the screen of a smartphone with GRAM and nothing is moving on the screen, the Graphic Processing Unit (GPU) inside the device’s SoC (System on Chip) or processor as it is commonly referred sends refreshes of the image to the screen at a rate of 60 frames per second. If nothing is moving, it means that the GPU is sending the same image over and over. If something moves, say a cursor or the page is scrolled, the GPU renders a new image and starts sending it at the same rate. GRAM is a memory cache on the display unit that can send the frames of a still page or screen without necessarily communicating with the GPU.
GRAM eases the load on LG G2’s graphics unit when the user is not using the device for applications that involve rapid page movements because when nothing on the page moves, the device’s CPU will instruct the GRAM to re-send the current screen image to the display and keep re-sending it till something changes. During this entire process when the GRAM is resending the screen image without involving the GPU, a majority of the device’s SoC circuits including the GPU can be disabled hence will not use any power.
The user will not notice any changes in the display because the typical refresh rate is 60 frames per second. An average human eye blink, the fastest eye movement, lasts about 0.3 to 0.4 seconds, meaning that in that single blink, the device screen will have refreshed between 18 and 24 times. LG says that this technology will significantly improve how long your battery lasts, and they are right. This will be most beneficial when browsing, chatting or playing games that do not involve rapid movements on the screen.
Note, however, that the screen will still consume power in lighting pixels, so even when your screen display is static, as long as it is lit, it will use battery power. LG promises that the GRAM addition tin its new flagship smartphone the G2 will prolong battery power by up to 10%, and it definitely is welcome to mobile devices.
Courtesy of Phone Arena and LG.com