At the heart of every TI DLP® projection system is an optical semiconductor known as the DLP chip, which was invented by Dr. Larry Hornbeck of Texas Instruments in 1987.
The DLP chip can vary in resolution and size and can contain a rectangular array of over eight million micromirrors. Each of these micromirrors measures less than one-fifth the width of a human hair. The micromirrors tilt either toward the light source (ON) or away from it (OFF). This creates a light or dark pixel on the projection surface.
In a DLP projection system, red, green, and blue light is shone alternately onto the mirrors, which switch on and off in response to a video or graphics signal being fed into the underlying memory chip. The mirrors can switch at a rate of up to thousands of times per second; the light they reflect is directed through a lens and onto the screen, creating an image.
In projectors for high brightness applications, three DLP chips are used—one each for green, red, and blue. Light from the lamp is split by a prism into these three colors and directed towards the appropriate DLP chip. The image is then created by recombining these reflections from the corresponding pixel on each DLP chip.