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Proceedings Paper

Projection displays and MEMS: timely convergence for a bright future
Author(s): Larry J. Hornbeck
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Paper Abstract

Projection displays and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) have evolved independently, occasionally crossing paths as early as the 1950s. But the commercially viable use of MEMS for projection displays has been illusive until the recent invention of Texas Instruments Digital Light Processing TM (DLP) technology. DLP technology is based on the Digital Micromirror DeviceTM (DMD) microchip, a MEMS technology that is a semiconductor digital light switch that precisely controls a light source for projection display and hardcopy applications. DLP technology provides a unique business opportunity because of the timely convergence of market needs and technology advances. The world is rapidly moving to an all- digital communications and entertainment infrastructure. In the near future, most of the technologies necessary for this infrastrucutre will be available at the right performance and price levels. This will make commercially viable an all-digital chain (capture, compression, transmission, reception decompression, hearing, and viewing). Unfortunately, the digital images received today must be translated into analog signals for viewing on today's televisions. Digital video is the final link in the all-digital infrastructure and DLP technoogy provides that link. DLP technology is an enabler for digital, high-resolution, color projection displays that have high contrast, are bright, seamless, and have the accuracy of color and grayscale that can be achieved only by digital control. This paper contains an introduction to DMD and DLP technology, including the historical context from which to view their developemnt. The architecture, projection operation, and fabrication are presented. Finally, the paper includes an update about current DMD business opportunities in projection displays and hardcopy.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 September 1995
PDF: 1 pages
Proc. SPIE 2641, Microelectronic Structures and Microelectromechanical Devices for Optical Processing and Multimedia Applications, (13 September 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.220929
Show Author Affiliations
Larry J. Hornbeck, Texas Instruments Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2641:
Microelectronic Structures and Microelectromechanical Devices for Optical Processing and Multimedia Applications
Wayne Bailey; M. Edward Motamedi; Fang-Chen Luo, Editor(s)

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