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Small form-factor electronics to benefit from compact DLPs

Posted: 05 Dec 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Texas Instruments? digital light processor? Google Glass? smartphone? wearable?

Texas Instruments (TI) has rolled out its 11.4mm TRP Full-HD 1080p digital light processor (DLP) chipset for video and data display applications. According to the company, the device is the smallest chipset from its line-up capable of generating brighter, more efficient full high-definition projection displays from small form-factor electronics that include mobile projectors (battery and AC-powered), screenless TVs, control panels, interactive displays and wearables such as near-eye displays.

How was it possible to squeeze two million full HD pixels into an 11.9mm diagonal area? By going back to basics and redesigning the moving mirrors.

11.4mm TRP Full-HD DLP

"We've had 11.4mm 720p [1280 x 720 pixels] HD DLP, but we've engineered essentially twice that resolution in a package only slightly bigger [11.9mm] package by reengineering the tilt and roll pixels, which now tilt 17 degrees instead of 12 degrees," said Frank Moizio, manager, DLP pico products, TI.

TI's latest DLP measures just 12 mm, small enough to fit on Google Glass, inside a smartphone and in head-mounted displays the size of a pair of glasses.

The Tilt & Roll chipset claims to be the smallest DLP to feature full HD (1920 x 1080) definition. It is sampling to OEMs, which are building optical engines of all different brightnesses, from cinema-sized projectors for which TI holds 80 per cent of the market, to plug-in-the-wall screenless TVs capable of 100in displays, to battery powered pocket-sized projectors for conference-room sized displays, to ultra-low-power displays such as control panels, interactive displays and wearables.

The TI DLP TRP promises to deliver twice the resolution of previous Pico models, can handle higher-brightness light engines, but can also be used in low-power apps. TI credits its low power consumption capabilities to its Intellibright firmware that it claims squeezes 100 per cent higher brightness out of 50 per cent lower power requirements than any prior DLP Pico chipset.

DLP on a pair of glasses

Measuring just 12mm, TI's smallest DLP can place a small display just above the lens of a pair of glasses. (Source: TI)

"Intellibright evaluates the images pixel-by-pixel as they come in, and based on the image content adaptively adjusts the currents to the LEDs to get the brightest image, the lowest power, or a combination of the two," noted Dan Morgan, systems engineer, DLP pico products, TI. "For instance, if the pixel is green, it will turn down the red and blue power and give it to the green pixel, thus making the image brighter for the same amount of power, or maintain the same brightness for lower power."

Last month TI introduced the DLP9000 highest resolution 3D DLP for OEMs building 3D printers and 3D machine vision systems, and for lithographic applications with a record four million pixels (2560 x 1600). The micro-mirror array is designed for high-resolution applications, the largest digital micro-mirror device (DMD) in TI's portfolio. It also offers a less expensive two million pixel DLP6500 DMD with 1920 x 1080 pixels.

Both chipsets are designed for light in the 400-700nm range for applications, which is compatible with resins for 3D printing and resists for lithographic applications.

The Full-HD 1080p display chipset will be available in early 2015 for purchase from the TI Store in evaluation quantities and from TI-authorised distributors in high-volume quantities. It includes the DLP4710 digital micromirror device, which will be offered in a 100-pin FQL package. Other components in the chipset are the DLPC3439, which will be available in a 201-pin VFBGA package, and the DLPA3005 that will be offered in a 100-pin HTQFP package.

- R. Colin Johnson
??EE Times

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