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April 23, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:30pm

TEXAS INSTRUMENTS MICROMIRRORS USED IN NEW 60″ TELEVISION

By CBR Staff Writer

Texas Instruments Inc’s magic mirrors have made it into the screen of a projection television set built by Projectavision Inc, New York, which projects a mighty 60 diagonal image. The magic mirrors are of course those minuscule aluminium reflecting surfaces, each mounted on a static RAM on a CMOS substrate and individually flipped between reflective and dull by electrostatics to make up the television picture. There are 400,000 Digital Micromirrors on the device, and colour is added under the control of a signal processor controlling the illumination source and a series of optical components (CI No 2,724). Projectors contain from one to three of the 400,000 micromirror grids, depending on their size, and digital control is claimed to result in a much cleaner, sharper picture than analog cathode ray or liquid crystal projectors. Texas Instruments calls the whole process Digital Light Processing, and it has put 10 years, and more money – as much as $500m, analysts contacted by the New York Times estimate – into developing it than any other product in its history. The downside is that the projection sets – Proxima Corp also uses the technology in some of its professional projection systems cost $8,000, about twice as much as rival designs with cathode ray tube technology. Although likely to be used as a frontscreen projector, the Projectavision set can also be used as a rearscreen set. It weighs 100 lbs and analysts reckon that Texas Instruments will have to invest another $100m to get the price down, improve picture quality further and reduce the weight of the finished product.

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