Texas Instruments (TI) DLP
chips are taking center stage at the Consumer
Electronics Show in Las Vegas today, as electronics companies ranging from
Samsung to Dell to Toshiba demonstrate so-called "pico projector" technology.
technology, which enables cell-phone-sized handheld devices to project videos
and computer files on screens as big as 50 inches, uses a TI chipset that got
its start in the television market. Known as the DLP
Pico Chipset, the new technology is serving as the foundation for such tiny
projectors as the Samsung MBP200, the
Cinemin Stick from WowWee Technologies, Pico
PK-101 from Optoma, the BUG projector from
BUG Labs and a host of pico-based
notebook companion products from Dell, Toshiba and Acer.
Most notably, Samsung today is reportedly wowing CES showgoers by demonstrating
a soon-to-be-released "smart phone" from Samsung that incorporates DLP Pico
technology, thus enabling it to project multimedia.
"We saw it
last night and it's an incredible product," says Frank Moizio, business
manager for DLP emerging markets at TI. "It's absolutely amazing."
say the key to the splashy debut of such products is its DLP technology, which consists of microchips
that incorporate millions of tiny mirrors measuring just 8 µm across. The core
feature of the technology is the switching speed of the mirrors - at 8 µs,
they're about 1,000 times faster than liquid crystal displays, TI says. To
date, the technology has made a name for itself in HDTV systems.
engineers say they glimpsed an opportunity a few years ago in the projection
market. "We saw that mobile devices had a limited viewing screen and we asked,
‘Is there a way we can apply our technology to solve that problem?'" Moizio
said at CES earlier today. "We were talking about, ‘Wipe the slate clean and
figure out how to go from a two-pound product to a two-ounce product.'"
two years developing the DLP chipset before introducing it as a concept at CES
last year. This year, many of the products have gone into, or are about to go
into, full production.
concepts are expected to be introduced at this year's CES. DLP Pico's low power
consumption and small size, however, appear to have given TI a head start in
the Pico Projector arena.
our technology looks like it's only going to get better with time," Moizio
View a video of Pico DLP at CES.