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Liquid crystal on silicon

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Conceptual diagram of the LCoS technology.

Liquid crystal on silicon (LCoS or LCOS) is a "micro-projection" or "micro-display" technology typically applied in projection televisions. It is a reflective technology similar to DLP projectors; however, it uses liquid crystals instead of individual mirrors. By way of comparison, LCD projectors use transmissiveLCD chips, allowing light to pass through the liquid crystal. In LCoS, liquid crystals are applied directly to the surface of a silicon chip coated with an aluminized layer, with some type of passivation layer, which is highly reflective. LCoS technology can typically produce higher resolution and higher contrast images than standard liquid crystal display and plasma display technologies, which makes it less expensive to implement in such devices as televisions.

1 History and implementations 2 Display system architectures

o o

2.1 Three-panel designs 2.2 One-panel designs

3 See also

4 References 5 External links


and implementations

General Electric first demonstrated an LCoS display in the late 1970s. As a 'proof of concept' vehicle, it was very low resolution. The late 1990s saw a number of companies attempt to develop products for near-eye and projection. At the 2004 CES, Intel announced plans for the large scale production of inexpensive LCoS chips for use in flat panel displays. These plans were cancelled in October 2004. Sony has made it to market (December 2005) with the Sony-VPL-VW100 or "Ruby" projector, using SXRD, 3 LCoS chips each with a native resolution of 1080p (1920 1080), with a stated contrast ratio of 15,000:1 using a dynamic iris. LCoS technology has the potential to enable the manufacture of big-screen high-definition televisions with very high picture quality at relatively low cost. However, LCoS, while conceptually straightforward, can be a difficult technology to master; a number of companies have dropped out of the LCoS business in recent years. Nonetheless, as of June 2006, proprietary methods for mass-producing LCoS developed, and at least four manufacturers produced LCoS-based rear-projection televisions for the consumer market; with the drop in prices for LCD and plasma flat panels, consumers stopped buying rear projection sets, and as of July 2010 LCoS-based rear-projection televisions are no longer being made. Commercial implementations of LCoS technology include: Sony's SXRD (Silicon X-tal Reflective Display) and JVC's D-ILA (Digital Direct Drive Image Light Amplifier), and Epson's 'reflective 3LCD'. Every company which produces and markets LCoS rear-projection televisions uses three-panel LCoS technology,[citation needed]. This is due to the fact that the HEO_5216_MC_5150 is the highest resolution 'single chip solution' currently available and is only 1280x720. Sony and JVC both produce and market front-projection displays that use three LCoS panels. Direct-view LCoS devices such as the single-panel LED-illuminated devices made by Displaytech and Forth Dimension Displays (Dalgety Bay, Fife, Scotland) (formerly known as CRLO Displays) are also used as electronic viewfinders for digital cameras, for pico projectors and within Near to Eye (NTE) applications such as Head Mounted Displays (HMDs). These devices are made using ferroelectric liquid crystals (so the technology is named FLCoS), which are inherently faster than other types of liquid crystals. Displaytech was acquired by Micron Technology in May 2009, which is continuing to develop the FLCoS technology.[1][2] Developers and manufacturers who have left the LCoS microimaging market include: Intel, Philips, MicroDisplay Corporation, S-Vision, Colorado Microdisplay, Spatialight, Syntax-Brillian.


system architectures

There are two broad categories of LCoS displays: three-panel and single-panel. In three-panel designs, there is one display chip per color, and the images are combined optically. In single-panel designs, one display chip shows the red, green, and blue components in succession with the observer's eyes relied upon to combine the color stream. As each color is presented, a color wheel (or an RGB LED array) illuminates the display with only red, green or blue light. If the frequency of the color fields is lower than about 540 Hz, an effect called color breakup is seen, where false colors are briefly perceived when either the image or the observer's eye is in motion. While less expensive; single-panel projectors require higher-speed display elements to process all three colors during a single frame time, and the need to avoid color breakup makes further demands on the speed of the display technology.



In a DLP device the light is separated into three components and then combined back: Two beam splitters are needed. In LCoS devices the light is additionally polarized and then analyzed; four beam splitters are needed. In most DLP sets a color wheel separates colors from a lamp, using one chip for all three colors; SXRD sets use three separate chips, one for each color.



Both Toshiba's and Intel's single-panel LCOS display program were discontinued in 2004 before any units reached final-stage prototype.[3] There were single-panel LCoS displays in production. One by Philips, one by Microdisplay Corporation and one from Forth Dimension Displays. Forth Dimension Displays have a Ferroelectric LCoS display technology (known as TDI) (available in SXGA and 720P resolutions) which is mainly, but not exclusively, used in high resolution NTE applications such as Training & Simulation. Micron's FLCoS technology is another single panel RGB solution used in pico projectors and near-eye display applications.



3LCD, DLP, and LCoS - How These Three Projection Techologies Compare in Home Theater Projectors
6/7/2008 - Art Feierman

Overview Projector Pacement, Lens Control, Zoom, and Size Projector Brightness, Contrast, and Noise For an older article that also looks at DLP vs 3LCD projectors relating to business projector issues: DLP vs LCD Projectors This article is long overdue. My last writings on this topic were over two years ago, and, at that time, home theater projectors were pretty much limited to three basic groups: 3LCD projectors, single chip DLPs, and the far more expensive 3 chip DLP projectors. Since 3 chip DLP projectors are far more expensive than the others, the real discussion two years ago, was between the single chip DLP's and the LCD - that is, 3LCD projectors. At that time, DLP projectors were definitely considered the performance leader, at least in one critical area - true contrast, and the resulting better black levels than 3LCD. And there really weren't any significant, affordable LCoS projectors, just a very expensive Sony, well over $10,000. Today, LCoS technology, is arguably the best of the three technologies in the under $10,000 home theater projector arena. Certainly, they aren't the cheapest, with all the LCoS action (for all practical purposes) being 1080p projectors, so LCoS is definitely not competing on the low end (720p resolution projectors). Another important point, is that technologies such as dynamic irises and dimmable lamps, which, two years ago, were pretty much limited to 3LCD projectors as they used "technology" to offset the DLP projectors' advantage in black levels and contrast. Today, many of the DLP projectors and LCoS projectors also have added dynamic irises, etc., to further improve their performance.

The Basic Differences in Technologies

I'm not going to go into the finer points of the design and workings of each technologies, but do need to lay down the basics. DLP Projectors (single chip). These projectors can easily be the smallest projectors as they are the only single chip technology. LCoS and 3LCD (like three chip DLP's) require a bigger box. Consider: With a single chip DLP, you start with a light source, bounce light off of the DLP chip, and ultimately, out the lens, to the screen.

With 3LCD, you still start with the light source, but you must split it into 3 beams, one each for red, green and blue, the primary colors. Once the light is split, mirrors send the beams to different locations inside the projector box. At that point, the light passes through one of the three LCD panels. These panels are not colored, but grayscale, but each has a different color filter. The end result, when light passes though them, is three beams - red, green, and blue. Each of these beams then passes through a dichroic prism, which recombines the three beams into a single full color beam. With LCoS, (no matter what the manufacturers call it (Sony uses SXRD, JVC uses D-iLA, Canon calls theirs Aisys, etc.), the process is similar to 3LCD, in that you start by splitting the light into three beams. A key difference, though, is that LCoS (Liquid Crystal on Silicon) is a reflective panel (like DLP) rather than transmissive (light passes through it), like the 3LCD panels. So, light bounces off of the LCoS panels, then to a dichroic prism (like 3LCD) to recombine the light into a single, full color image. Article continues below this advertisement.

Other aspects - DLP projectors claim a sealed light path - that is, dust cannot get into the system to end up on the DLP chip, or other surfaces in the light path. This is also true for most LCoS projectors. 3LCD, however is not sealed, that is air does blow past the panels, and dust landing on them, can cause a dust blob, that can be visible in dark scenes. Fortunately dust blobs are not a common problem, but worth mentioning (most - if not all, 3LCD manufacturers will treat a visible dust blob, as a warranty issue, and clean the projector under warranty. That said, it is another reason that a long warranty is a beneficial thing. OK, so that covers the really basic differences. Read on for other traits of each technology. Overview Projector Pacement, Lens Control, Zoom, and Size Projector Brightness, Contrast, and Noise Search for projectorsProjector packages


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