[Ultra-small Projectors Teardown] DLP Projector Opened [Part 1]

Dec 26, 2008
Nikkei Electronics Teardown Squad
Fig 1: The battery cover of the PK101 was removed. The battery has a capacity of 3.7V, 1,100mAh.
Fig 1: The battery cover of the PK101 was removed. The battery has a capacity of 3.7V, 1,100mAh.
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Fig 2: We took out the screws from the chassis and inserted a screwdriver in the gap to pry open the chassis.
Fig 2: We took out the screws from the chassis and inserted a screwdriver in the gap to pry open the chassis.
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Fig 3: The chassis was opened. It consists of an optical module and a main substrate. The picture was taken from the back of the chassis.
Fig 3: The chassis was opened. It consists of an optical module and a main substrate. The picture was taken from the back of the chassis.
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Fig 4: The optical module and the main substrate were removed from the chassis. The picture was taken from the front of the chassis. An image processing LSI is seen in the central area, and on its right is a DMD driver LSI.
Fig 4: The optical module and the main substrate were removed from the chassis. The picture was taken from the front of the chassis. An image processing LSI is seen in the central area, and on its right is a DMD driver LSI.
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Fig 5: The parts around the DMD
Fig 5: The parts around the DMD
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After playing with the ultra-small projectors (See related article), we began to tear them down with the assistance of an engineer who has a good knowledge of projectors.

This time, we are breaking down two models, the "MPro110" manufactured by 3M Co of the US and the "Optoma pocket projector PK101" by Optoma Corp of Taiwan. We started from the PK101 by removing the Li-ion secondary battery from the chassis (Fig 1).

Then, we took out the screws from the chassis and opened it (Fig 2). The chassis was separated into two parts, the front side and the back side, exposing the components. The internal structure seemed to be simple, composed of an optical module and a main substrate (Fig 3).

The optical module contains the display elements such as DMD and LED light source as well as optical parts (Fig 4). The main substrate has a DMD driver LSI and a few other electronic parts.

Two large LSIs stood out from the other parts on the substrate. One is an image processing LSI manufactured by Weltrend Semiconductor Inc of Taiwan, which is sealed by a 14 x 14mm package. The other is a DMD driver LSI manufactured by Texas Instruments Inc (TI) of the US.

TI markets the driver LSI with a DMD as "DLP Pico chipset," targeting ultra-small projectors (See related article 2). The 0.17-inch DMD, which was downsized by reducing the number of pixels, features 480 x 320 pixels. Meanwhile, the driver LSI, which is 14 x 14mm, looks too big to be used in an ultra-small projector.

The DMD is mounted on a small substrate, which is sterically connected with the main substrate by a connector (Fig 5). Projectors that use the DMD as a display element usually employ a flexible substrate to connect the main substrate with the DMD. It seems that priority was placed on ease of assembly in respect to this model.

Then, we began to disassemble the optical module.