Digital Light Processing Technology Aimed at HDTV

Last week, Texas Instruments announced that it has signed an agreement with Hitachi, which will use TI's Digital Light Processing (DLP) technology to develop the world's first all-digital, large-screen, high-definition rear-projection television. Hitachi plans to release the new television in Japan and the US in the second half of 2000.

The agreement also calls for TI to further develop DLP technology in support of HDTV applications with 16:9 aspect ratio. In addition, the two companies will collaborate in the development of new, higher-brightness projection optics, HDTV signal-receiving technology, and an image-processing large-scale integrated circuit (LSI).

At the heart of TI's DLP technology is the Digital Micromirror Device (DMD), an optical semiconductor chip with an array of microscopic mirrors mounted on a chip. These tiny mirrors operate as optical switches to create a high-resolution, full-color image. TI supplies the DLP subsystems to more than 25 projector manufacturers, who then design, manufacture, and market DLP-based projectors. TI says it has delivered over 150,000 DLP subsystems to its customers, who have more than 50 DLP-based products now on the market.

Masao Kato of Hitachi states that "We have been extremely impressed with the significant advances in DLP technology aimed at serving the home-entertainment market. DLP has served the data-projection market with many leading products, but recent breakthroughs---focused on improving video performance---have elevated DLP to a new level. It's this outstanding video performance that is required to satisfy the demands of home-entertainment enthusiasts. This new project represents an exciting opportunity for Hitachi to bring innovative, premium performance products to the market. We're delighted to have signed this agreement with TI today."

Bob England, senior VP and manager of TI's Digital Imaging division, adds that "Hitachi's choice of DLP for this new high-definition product speaks volumes about not only how much the technology has progressed, but also its extraordinary potential for the future. We're excited that DLP technology will deliver the first-ever all-digital display to the home-entertainment market."