PORTLAND, Ore. — Last month Texas Instruments introduced its highest resolution digital light processor (DLP) chipsets for 3D printing and 3D machine vision with a record 4 million pixels (2560 x 1600). This month it's following up with its smallest 2 million pixel (1920 x 1080) DLP Pico chipset for ultra-compact applications -- from near-eye displays (think Google Glass), to heads-up displays, to augmented reality, to virtual reality, to gaming, to all sorts of tiny-projector applications, from ones built into what TI calls "screenless TVs" to even some smartphones.
How was it possible to squeeze 2 million full HD pixels into an 11.9 millimeter diagonal area? By going back to basics and redesigning the moving mirrors.
"We've had a 0.45 inch [11.4 millimeter] 720p [1280 x 800 pixels] HD DLP, but we've engineered essentially twice that resolution in an only slightly bigger [0.47 inch = 11.9 millimeter] package by reengineering the tilt and roll pixels, which now tilt 17 degrees instead of 12 degrees," Frank Moizio, manager, DLP Pico Products, told EE Times.
TI's latest DLP measures just 0.47 inches (12 mm) -- small enough to fit on Google Glass, inside a smartphone, and in head-mounted displays the size of a pair of glasses.
(Source: Texas Instruments)
The new 11.9 millimeter (0.47 inch) diagonal Tilt & Roll chipset is now the smallest DLP to feature full HD (1920 x 1080) definition. It is currently sampling to original equipment manufactures (OEMs), which are building optical engines of all different brightnesses -- from cinema-sized projectors for which TI holds 80 percent of the market, to plug-in-the-wall screenless TVs capable of 100-inch displays, to battery powered pocket-sized projectors for conference-room sized displays, to ultra-low-power displays like control panels, interactive displays, and wearables. (Get all the details on applications and availability at TI's website.)
The 11.9 millimeter TI DLP TRP delivers 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 percent higher brightness out of 50 percent lower power requirements than any prior DLP Pico chipset.
Click on image below to see more images.
Measuring just 12 mm, TI's smallest DLP can place a small display just above the lens of a pair of glasses.
(Source: Texas Instruments)
"Intellibright evaluates the images frame-by-frame 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," Dan Morgan, systems engineer, DLP Pico Products, told us. "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 4 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 2 million pixel DLP6500 DMD with 1920 x 1080 pixels.
Both chipsets are designed for light in the 400-to-700 nanometer range for applications, which is compatible with resins for 3D printing and resists for lithographic applications.
— R. Colin Johnson, Advanced Technology Editor, EE Times