Epson Commences Volume Production of World's Smallest XGA HTPS-TFT Liquid Crystal Panel for 3LCD Data Projectors
Seiko Epson Corporation (Epson) today announced that it has started volume production of its latest line of liquid crystal panels ("3LCD chips") for 3LCD data projectors. Measuring just 0.55 of an inch (1.4 cm) on the diagonal, the new 3LCD chips are believed to be the world's smallest high-temperature polysilicon (HTPS) TFT panels offering XGA (1024x768) resolution.
The new 3LCD chips enable projectors to deliver 2000 to 2600 lumens of brightness. Epson made this possible by using a liquid crystal material with high light-resistance and by further increasing the luminance of panels with an organic alignment layer. Also, Epson achieved an aperture ratio equivalent to that of the company's earlier 0.63-inch (1.6 cm) panels while shrinking the chip size to 0.55 inch by using its latest process technology to narrow the pixel pitch of the new panels to 11 microns.
The data projector market is expected to continue growing. Propelling this growth are trends in business, where presentations are becoming increasingly common, and in the education market, where information communication technology is becoming more widely applied. The ways and situations in which data projectors are being used are also quickly expanding, driving the need for higher resolutions, wide aspect ratios, and higher levels of brightness. In addition, the spread of portable media players and other hand-held devices has elevated the demand for smaller, mobile projectors.
Responding to these demands, Epson has been bringing to market successive generations of 3LCD chips that offer progressively higher aperture ratios. This has been made possible by Epson's innovative high-aperture process technology, which is built into each new generation of process technology. While measuring just 0.55 inches on the diagonal, the new 3LCD chips boast a 73% aperture ratio - nearly identical to that of its larger, 0.65-inch XGA predecessor. Simply put, the new 3LCD chips deliver the same brightness in a smaller size.
Smaller, brighter panels make it possible to offer projectors with better cost/performance, thus allowing projector manufacturers to meet the expanding variety of projector needs. Going forward, Epson will continue working to further increase the resolution of its small panels.