LONDON Arasor International Ltd., a company soon to list on the Australian stock exchange, has claimed it has developed an optical integrated circuit that is key to the production of a laser television that could replace plasma and LCD televisions in the consumer market.
According to reports referenced on its website Arasor's television technology offers double the color gamut and clarity at half the cost and a quarter of the power consumption of comparable large LCD and plasma televisions.
A demonstration of a Mitsubishi-manufactured prototype laser display was given Tuesday (Oct. 10) prior to Arasor's expected initial public offering of stock next week. The laser television is not expected to come to market in 2006 but could be ready in time for the 2007 holiday buying season, the reports said. Arasor and its U.S. partner Novalux Inc. claimed the prototype to be the world's first laser television according to several reports.
However, Laser-Display-Technologie GmbH & Co KG (Heilbronn, Germany), a joint venture between Schneider AG and Daimler-Benz AG, demonstrated a laser television at the International Funkaustellung in 1997 (see September 1997 story).
And despite Arasor's recent demonstration it is not clear exactly how the display works and what part of the engineering has been done by Arasor (Mountain View, Calif.), what part by Novalux (Sunnyvale, Calif.) and what part by Mitsubishi. No references could be found to how red, green and blue lasers are made to raster scan.
Novalux would appear to own one of the key technologies of the Arasor-Novalux partnership. Novalux was founded in 1998 to commercialize a new form of solid-state laser it calls a NECSEL, or Novalux extended-cavity surface-emitting laser. The initial applications for the NECSEL was in communications where the company claimed it produces a beam that is larger more powerful, with a better tunable-wavelength capability and needing less power than vertical cavity surface-emitting lasers.
As long ago as 2000 the then CEO of Novalux, Malcolm Thompson, said: "We could, for example, use our parts to make low-power RGB lasers and make beautiful, and powerful, displays."