11 November 2010


Microvision integrates direct green lasers into pico projector prototypes

Microvision Inc of Redmond, WA, USA, which provides ultra-miniature projection display technology, has integrated ‘direct green’ laser samples from two leading manufacturers into pico projector benchtop prototypes for what it claims is the first time, representing the first step toward the commercialization of PicoP display engines using direct green lasers.

“We are very pleased with the performance of these early direct green laser prototypes,” says Sid Madhavan, VP R&D and applications. “These encouraging results give us confidence that direct green laser diodes will be capable of meeting the performance requirements for integration into our PicoP display platform,” he adds. PicoP display engines that use a direct green laser are expected to offer significant commercial advantages in price, size, power, and performance.

Microvision’s PicoP platform is designed to enable next-generation display and imaging products for pico projectors, vehicle displays and wearable displays that interface with mobile devices. The projection display engine uses laser light sources that can create vivid images with high contrast and brightness.

However, to create a full-color image, Microvision’s existing pico projection engine uses red and blue laser diodes together with a frequency-doubled ‘synthetic’ green laser (where the wavelength of light from an infrared laser is reduced, being re-emitted as green light). This conversion process creates a complex system of multiple components held to tight tolerances, making manufacturing more challenging.

Direct green lasers can produce green light natively, enabling their design and manufacturing processes to be simplified in a manner similar to red and blue diode lasers, facilitating lower cost and rapid scalability to commercial quantities, says Microvision. The firm adds that the combination of smaller size, lower power, and lower cost make direct green lasers an attractive alternative to synthetic green lasers for its mobile display technology.

Also, historically, the availability of synthetic green lasers has been constrained due to their complexity and the existence of only two manufacturers. Today, there are at least five firms worldwide that have announced they are developing direct green lasers for commercial launch between late 2011 and mid 2012. Analyst firm Yole Développement forecasts that the direct green laser market will reach about $500m by 2016, representing more than 45 million devices.

See related items:

Green laser diode market $500m by 2016 as pico-projector market drives growth

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