[Mobile World Congress] Mobile Phone Might Become Projector

Feb 13, 2008
Hiroki Yomogita, Nikkei Electronics
Projector incorporated in mobile phone
Projector incorporated in mobile phone
[Click to enlarge image]
The prototype only had the projection function and could not be used as a mobile phone.
The prototype only had the projection function and could not be used as a mobile phone.
[Click to enlarge image]
The DLP Pico chipset: In the center is the DLP device and on the upper left is the image processor.
The DLP Pico chipset: In the center is the DLP device and on the upper left is the image processor.
[Click to enlarge image]

Texas Instruments Inc (TI) announced that it is planning to release the DLP Pico, an ultrasmall projector device targeted for use in mobile phones, in the second half of 2008.

The DLP Pico is the smaller version of TI's MEMS device called "digital light processing (DLP)" and it is intended for use in handheld devices. It is composed of optical devices and control chips, etc. Although TI has unveiled a prototype incorporated in a mobile phone before, this is the first time that the company announced the specific plan to release the product.

At the press conference at Mobile World Congress, TI demonstrated the ultrasmall projector enabled by DLP Pico and showed how it projects images. The projector projected images even when the screen was located more than 1m away.

However, its moving image projection performance could not be evaluated because the company only displayed still images in the demonstration. When a handheld device is equipped with the projector functionality, the device may be used "to show image data stored in it to other people by enlarging the data with the projector," said a demonstrator from TI.

The DLP Pico is composed of an ultrasmall DLP device and control processors (the DDP1500 and DDP1505). The DLP device has an aperture ratio of more than 92% and a switching speed of less than 20μs. The DLP Pico reportedly employs a technology called "DarkChip" for the enhancement of contrast ratio.