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12 December 2006


Novalux delivers 1.5W prototype red laser arrays for RPTV

Novalux Inc of Sunnyvale, CA, USA says it has delivered red 1.5W NECSEL laser prototypes to key consumer electronics partners. The 1.5W output is twice the power of the first 750mW red NECSEL arrays (demonstrated at the end of August) and puts Novalux on track to produce RGB (red, green, blue) NECSEL lasers for integration into high-definition (HD) projection TVs, the company says.

“Reaching 1.5W with our red NECSEL arrays is a significant step toward our goal of shipping RGB lasers that produce 3W per color for our initial product,” said Greg Niven, vice president of marketing. Novalux doubled the power output of its prototype 465-532nm blue and green arrays to the targeted 3W at the end of August. “We’ve been able to apply what we learned with that product development to our red technology,” said Niven. “Our customers want all-NECSEL RGB devices for incorporation into laser-based home theater systems. Now that we’ve met the target with green and blue, red isn’t far behind and will soon be at the same level,” adds Niven. “We are on track to deliver all-NECSEL RGB sources to our consumer electronics partners for integration into HD laser TVs for Christmas 2007.”

NECSEL-based laser TV offers advantages over competing display technologies, such as plasma and UHP lamp-based projection TV, Novalux claims. “Right now, plasma especially has momentum in the over-50-inch big-screen marketplace, but NECSEL laser TVs offer twice the color gamut with one quarter the power consumption,” claims Niven. “Plasma TVs consume about 1kW of power, so a US consumer could save around $300 per year in electricity cost alone by buying a laser TV.”

Early prototype NECSEL-based RPTVs were first introduced at the 2006 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and showed expanded color gamut and striking image contrast over competing display technologies, the company says. The latest prototypes, shown at the Society for Information Display (SID) 2006 event, demonstrated higher-brightness, color-balanced, speckle-free, high-definition images on 52-inch screens. Ultimately, Novalux aims to enable home theater systems that marry over 200% of NTSC color coverage, high-brightness, high-resolution images, a thin, wide viewing angle architecture, and unsurpassed light source lifetime.

All-NECSEL RGB sources provide desirable output wavelengths, increase display performance, and allow lower overall system cost, Novalux claims. Specifically, red NECSEL arrays can produce light in the 615-625nm range, matching existing TV-screen phosphors, whereas competing red edge-emitter laser technology can only go as low as 635nm and has poor lifetime.

Also, in a NECSEL system the same type of laser emits each of the three colors, so they share the same device parameters. This uniformity results in simpler, cost-efficient laser integration from drive electronics to imaging optics, it is claimed.

* Novalux says that, at the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) on 8-11 January in Las Vegas, NV, USA, it will demonstrate new laser product uses, including prototype laser TVs, a laser cinema projector, and portable laser projectors.