NVIDIA Corporation and Planar Systems, companies that build graphics cards and specialty video displays, have teamed up to develop a high resolution system based on 10-bit grayscale processing. Current displays can only show 256 shades of gray, since each pixel is represented by an 8-bit code, and 2^8 = 256. The companies believe the new technology will aid with analyzing mammography images, and are showing off the system using Planar’s Dome Z16 30 inch 10-bit monitor at the ongoing RSNA conference in Chicago.
Instead of developing specialty hardware, NVIDIA and Planar have developed a method of “pixel packing” that allows 10-bit or 12-bit grayscale data to be transmitted from an NVIDIA Quadro® graphics board to a Planar Dome display using a standard DVI cable. Instead of three 8-bit grayscale channels, now two 10- or 12-bit channels are transmitted, providing up to 864 possible shades of gray at more than three times the image contrast of an 8-bit system.
The best part of this display solution is that specialty hardware is not required, making it readily available for use with other radiology functions. Instead of developing a specialty graphics board that supports 10- or 12-bit grayscale, NVIDIA has incorporated the pixel packing functionality into its Quadro™ driver, allowing Quadro FX 4600 graphics or higher to support a wide range of grayscale panels from various manufacturers.