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Proceedings Paper

Ferroelectric liquid crystal SLMs: from prototypes to products
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Paper Abstract

The road from a new technology's proof-of-principle prototype to commercially successful products always seems to be more challenging, more expensive, and longer than its inventors had imagined. Displaytech built its first experimental FLC-VLSI SLMs in 1989, began ramping up its efforts to commercialize FLC-VLSI displays around 1995, and now is building more than 100,000 displays per month with its manufacturing partner Miyota. Here we review the motivation for using FLC-VLSI technology and trace the developments that were necessary for its commercialization. We discuss problems that had to be overcome in FLC materials, device design, manufacturing, applications, product definition, and systems support in order to develop the technology and to lower barriers to its adoption by customers. The principal focus here is on technical challenges encountered in manufacturing and in FLC materials development that had to be met to go from hand-built prototypes to mass production. We also review future potential markets other than displays and describe some of our work on experimental FLC-VLSI devices that addresses those opportunities. Examples include holographic optical data storage, 3D projection, optical image processing, smart-pixel SLMs, and high-speed computer interfaces needed to support high frame rate SLMs.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 November 2001
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 4457, Spatial Light Modulators: Technology and Applications, (8 November 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.447758
Show Author Affiliations
Michael J. O'Callaghan, Displaytech, Inc. (United States)
Mark A. Handschy, Displaytech, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4457:
Spatial Light Modulators: Technology and Applications
Uzi Efron, Editor(s)

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