Emerging Technologies

Cascaded Displays: Spatio-Temporal Super-Resolution Using Offset Pixel Layers

This project demonstrates that layered spatial-light modulators (SLMs), subject to fixed lateral displacements and refreshed at staggered intervals, can synthesize images with greater spatio-temporal resolution than that afforded by any single SLM used in their construction. Dubbed cascaded displays, such architectures enable super-resolution flat-panel displays composed of, for example, thin stacks of liquid crystal displays (LCDs). They also enable super-resolution digital projectors by, for example, relaying the image of one SLM onto another.

The demonstration introduces a comprehensive optimization framework, leveraging non-negative matrix and tensor factorization, that decomposes target images and videos into multi-layered, time-multiplexed attenuation patterns, which offer a flexible trade-off among apparent image brightness, spatial resolution, and refresh rate. Through this analysis, a real-time dual-layer factorization method that quadruples spatial resolution and doubles refresh rate was developed.

Compared to prior super-resolution displays, cascaded displays impose fewer restrictions on the hardware, offering thin designs without moving parts or the necessity of temporal multiplexing. Furthermore, cascaded displays are the first use of multi-layer displays to increase apparent temporal resolution. The concepts are validated using a custom-built head-mounted display (HMD) employing dual-layer cascaded LCDs.

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Douglas Lanman
NVIDIA Research

Felix Heide
NVIDIA Research

Dikpal Reddy
NVIDIA Research

Jan Kautz
NVIDIA Research

Kari Pulli
NVIDIA Research

David Luebke
NVIDIA Research