[SID] Fraunhofer Prototypes OLED-based Small Projector without DLP

Jun 10, 2009
Tetsuo Nozawa, Nikkei Electronics
An image being projected by the OLED panel-based small projector
An image being projected by the OLED panel-based small projector
[Click to enlarge image]

Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering (IOF) of Germany presented an OLED panel-based small projector at SID Display Week 2009.

This projector projects images of the OLED panel using only static optical systems such as lenses, instead of Texas Instrument Inc's DLP (digital light processing), LCOS (liquid crystal on silicon) or other reflective devices that are generally used for small projectors.

"Reflective technologies like DLP are unnecessary because OLED is self-luminous, said Constanze Grossmann of the Optics System Development Group of Fraunhofer IOF, who developed this projector.

The prototype projector combines five lenses and an 8 x 6mm green light-emitting OLED panel that has a pixel count of 640 x 480 (VGA). The projector is up to 17mm in diameter and 24mm in length and has a volume of about 10cm3.

The projector can project an image equivalent to a 6-inch screen at a distance of 30 to 50cm. However, it has a challenge to overcome: the low luminance of projected images.

"OLEDs are still developing," Grossmann said. "Our projector will become usable if their luminance is raised to four to five times the current level by improving the efficiency."