While using digital halftoning to achieve multi-tones in a 1 bit electrophoretic display (EPD), e.g., a three-pigment chromatic EPD, the drive current is significantly increased because of frequently reversed pixel values. Aimed at this issue, this study first establishes a model that can accurately predict the drive current from image content. Next, based on the direct binary search method, a new halftoning method is proposed by constructing a combined merit function that incorporates both the perceptual image quality and the drive current. As a result, in experiments using a 13.5 in. three-pigment EPD and several test images, compared with the well-developed error-diffusion method, the proposed method produces little image quality degradation, whereas the drive current increase with respect to the minimum current of the EPD is reduced from 71.8 to 33.0 mA, for a significant reduction of 54.0%.
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