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DLP products – Getting started

Learn how micromirrors work, select the right chip for your performance imaging needs, and design faster with reference designs, 3rd party solutions and E2E engineering support.

How does DLP technology work?

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 8 million individually controlled micromirrors built on top of an associated CMOS memory cell.

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 +/- degree 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 + degree state corresponds to an 'on' pixel, and the - degree 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 +/- degree states offer two general purpose output ports with a pattern and its inverse.

The TI DLP portfolio offers chips with +/-12° states as well as +/-17° states. The newest TRP micromirror architecture, with +/- 17° states, is an exciting addition as it enables smaller DMDs that are well suited for more portable end equipment needing good brightness and power efficiency.

DLP micromirrors
DMD for digital cinema next to a DMD for pico displays
DLP TRP micromirror in -17 degree state
DLP TRP micromirror in -17 degree state
DLP TRP micromirror in +17 degree state
DLP TRP micromirror in +17 degree state

Why choose DLP technology?

  • Unmatched experience and collaboration with customers has led to the creation of thousands of commercial products:
    • Provide vivid, crisp image quality to traditional and emerging display applications
    • Trusted by innovators in a diverse range of industrial and automotive end products
    • DLP technology Academy Award® winning* DLP Cinema® technology is by far the most compelling choice in projection, powering more than eight out of 10 digital movie screens worldwide
  • Powerful, flexible chipsets provide customers high speed and precise control of millions of mirrors with pixel data rates up to 60 Gbps
  • Ample support resources ease the design process such as online references designs, evaluation modules, software, E2E community support and Design Network solutions

* 2014 Academy Award® of Merit (Oscar® statuette) to Larry Hornbeck for the invention of the digital micromirror technology as used in DLP Cinema projection.


DLP control
Delivering precise high speed control of millions of mirrors

What’s included in a DLP chipset?

DLP chipsets allow users to obtain the maximum pattern rates for the associated DMD(s), as well as the ability to synchronize pattern display with external sensors, cameras, motors, or other devices. Furthermore, developers also benefit from TI's extensive knowledge about how to reliably drive the micromirrors across a wide range of operating conditions.

DLP chipset simplified block diagram
DLP chipset simplified block diagram

The DLP chipset includes:

  • DMD – Digital micromirror device
  • DMD Controller – provides the convenient interface for reliable, high speed control of the micromirrors
  • DMD Micromirror Drivers – deliver analog clocking and reset signals
  • Configuration PROM – configures select DMD Controllers (sold as a programmed IC or offered as downloadable firmware)

Find the right DMD for your design

TI offers a full portfolio of DLP chipsets that span various resolutions, array sizes, micromirror sizes, micromirror tilt angles and wavelengths. Below is a selection guide to learn about the entire DLP portfolio and choose the right chipset for your design, as well as some tables to assist in selecting the DMD best suited for your display or advanced light control solution.

This series of videos covers everything about DLP products, from the basics of the technology to application-specific design challenges.

Use our selection guide to learn about the entire DLP portfolio and choose the right chipset for your design.

Use the tables below to select your chipset based on your application needs.

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Find the right chips to accompany your DMD