Wednesday, May 06, 2009

"OPTICS: Green lasers arrive for pico projectors"

Using lasers in the emerging pico-projector market enables bright, low-power displays to be packed into modules small enough to fit inside a cell phone, and yet they can project displays as large as 100 inches wide. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) of consumer electronics devices have been clamoring to get the tiny modules--for instance, Microvision's laser-based projection module measures just 7- by 20- by 40-mm--but have been hampered by unavailability of green semiconductor lasers. Now that Corning is mass producing green lasers, look for first adopters to be projecting images from handheld devices by July 2009. R.C.J.

Green semiconductor lasers, a key component for pico projectors, will enter mass production by midyear, according to Corning Inc., which announced a deal with Microvision Inc. to supply the green lasers for Microvision's PicoP Display Engine. Pico projectors use red, blue and green lasers to project large, bright images from displays on handheld devices, but have been held back by green laser manufacturers who have been unable to deliver production volumes. Microvision (Redmond, Wash.) has been waiting over two years for a supply of green lasers from Corning (Corning, N.Y.), Osram Opto Semiconductors and others. Microvision will begin shipping the world's first laser-based pico-projectors later this year.