PORTLAND, Ore. Next week Texas Instruments fellow Larry Hornbeck will receive the Prize for Industrial Applications of Physics from The American Institute of Physics (AIP) at its annual meeting in Seattle (October 14-19, 2007). Hornbeck invented the Digital Micromirror Device (DMD), which integrates millions of electrically controlled mirrors on the surface of a metal-oxide semiconductor (MOS) chip.
Hornbeck, a Fellow of both the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the International Society for Optical Engineering, is no stranger to award ceremonies. Earlier this year he was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering, and he is also the only solid-state physicist to ever receive an Emmy from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
Known mainly for the application of his DMD invention to TI's digital light processor (DLP) for high-definition projection televisions, Hornbeck's millions-of-mirrors on-a-chip are also widely used by physicists for 3-D metrology systems that measure ultra-fine details, for confocal microscopes that eliminate the out-of-focus "haze" normally seen around fluorescent samples, and for holographic storage systems that write data in three dimensions instead of just two.
The Prize for Industrial Applications of Physics, which includes $10,000 cash, is awarded every other year to recognize a physicist who has made unique and important contributions to industry. Hornbeck's contribution was to harness the high-precision fabrication tools used to make MOS chips in the service of crafting nearly microscopic mirror arrays.
Hornbeck was born on September 17, 1943, and invented the DMD in 1987. He has also made pioneering contributions to the development of CCD image sensors, uncooled infrared detectors, and reflective spatial light modulators.
Hornbeck holds 33 U.S. patents and is also the recipient of the Progress Medal from the Royal Photographic Society, the Progress Medal from the Photographic Society of America, the Daniel E. Noble Award from the Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers, the David Sarnoff Medal Award from the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, the Karl Ferdinand Braun Prize from the Society for Information Display, England's Rank Prize and Germany's Eduard Rhein Foundation Technology Award.