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New Advance in LCOS Technology Breaks 1080p Barrier For HDTV Print E-mail
Wednesday, 26 November 2003
MicroDisplay Corporation, a technology leader in Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCOS) components, recently introduced a single panel 1920x1080 LCOS microdisplay with a resolution of two million pixels at the first annual HDTV Forum 2003. Designed for front and rear projection televisions, the E-HD single panel microdisplay more than doubles the resolution for digital televisions (DTV) compared to products that are available today.

At just 21mm (0.82”) measured diagonally, the E-HD LCOS imaging chip is the smallest single panel LCOS with high definition (HD) resolution on the market. Aimed at the 40-inch and larger rear projection television market, the LCOS display chipset comes complete with a single chip controller IC and a full programming graphical user interface for speedy evaluation and design. A custom designed color wheel ensures color convergence and increases the brightness of the image. The E-HD shows 1080 progressive lines on the screen, improving on the more common 720 lines of progressive scan in today’s HDTV systems.

“We have been working with LCOS technology for several years, and the E-HD chipset gives system builders worldwide a powerful display chip and controller chip with resolutions of 1080p, delivering television images that are as sharp and crisp as photographs,” said Sandeep Gupta, president and chief executive officer of MicroDisplay. “Our early customers and partners have reviewed the chipset over the past five months, and the early engine designs we are starting to see from them are realizing the high efficiency and display quality achievable with a fast single panel LCOS.”

While most current broadcast and satellite HDTV falls short of 1080p (most is 1080i or 720p) the technology to make TVs that can reproduce the highest resolution in the HDTV spec is now starting to become a reality. Video experts in Hollywood say that they have seen Microsoft’s Windows Media 9 reproduce 1080p with very good surround sound all from a standard (not blue ray) DVD.

While much attention is focused on the more glamorous projectors, plasma and flat panel LCD sets, the LCOS technology potentially speaks to the masses who still buy “big screen” TVs by the millions. The CES reports that in September 2003 the sales of DTVs was over 550,000 sets. Many of them were rear screen units. This technology, if priced right, could make HDTV even better for the masses as they quickly adopt the new TV format in the U.S.

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