Processing in light

Plus Corporation — one of Texas Instruments’ customers for its Digital Light Processing technology — had developed two new microportable projectors each weighing less than three pounds (1.3kgs). Both projectors are capable of delivering 800 ANSI lumens of brightness — more than enough for ‘lights on’ presentations — with a choice of either SVGA or XGA resolution.

The new products are the U3-1080 (XGA resolution) and the U3-880 (SVGA resolution): both feature an on/off contrast ratio of 800:1. Their first public showing in North America is expected to be at Infocomm International (Anaheim, CA: 15th – 17th June).

In April, TI announced that shipments of DLP subsystems in the first quarter of the year were almost four times the level of shipments in the year-ago quarter, and that it was planning to more than double shipments in 2000 compared with 1999. This rapid rise is being fuelled by continued growth in the market for microportable projectors.

‘800 lumens in a sub-3 lb. projector is hugely impressive,’ said Bill Coggshall, President of Pacific Media Associates (Mountain View, CA). ‘Just a year ago, DLP re-defined mobile projectors with sub-5 lb. product announcements; now, they’ve done it again. Products like the U3-1080 and the U3-880 from Plus should drive demand up significantly in the fastest growing microportable projector segment. In fact, products like these will create the need for a new mobile projector category.’

Today, TI supplies DLP subsystems to more than thirty of the world’s top projector manufacturers, who then design, manufacture and market DLP-based projectors. There are now over fifty DLP-based products in the market. Since early 1996, over 350,000 DLP subsystems have been shipped. Over the past four years, DLP technology-based projectors have consistently won some of the audio-visual industry’s most prestigious awards, including, in June 1998, an Emmy Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

At the heart of TI’s Digital Light Processing technology is the Digital Micromirror Device, an optical semiconductor chip. The DMD has an array of up to 1,310,000 hinged, microscopic mirrors which operate as optical switches to create a high resolution, full colour image.

More information on TI’s DLP technology can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.ti.com/dlp.