Texas Instruments' DLP® technology enables innovative optical solutions that disrupt existing end equipment and create new markets. The DLP chip, or Digital Micromirror Device (DMD), is an array of micromirrors that can be used for high speed, efficient, and reliable spatial light modulation. Not only a leader in consumer projection, DLP is redefining industrial, medical, telecom, security, and many other applications. With TI's powerful yet easy-to-use development tools, customers are able to reduce design cycles and deliver disruptive products.
How DLP Technology Works
At the heart of every DLP chipset is an array of highly reflective aluminum micromirrors known as the digital micromirror device (DMD). The DMD is an electrical input, optical output micro-electrical-mechanical system (MEMS) that allows developers to perform high speed, efficient, and reliable spatial light modulation. Using TI's proven semiconductor manufacturing capabilities, each DMD contains up to 2 million individually controlled micromirrors built on top of an associated CMOS memory cell. Since the first DLP chipset was sold in 1996, TI has produced more than 35 million DMDs for customers around the world.
During operation, the DMD controller loads each underlying memory cell with a '1' or a '0'. Next, a mirror reset pulse is applied, which causes each micromirror to be electrostatically deflected about a hinge to the associated +/-12° state. The deflection angle of these two valid states is very repeatable due to a physical stop against two spring tips. In a projection system, the +12° state corresponds to an 'on' pixel, and the -12° state corresponds to an 'off' pixel. Grayscale patterns are created by programming the on/off duty cycle of each mirror, and multiple light sources can be multiplexed to create full RGB color images. In other applications, the +/-12° states offer two general purpose output ports with a pattern and its inverse.