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LCOS chips lower flat panel TV costs

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Intel has developed a new type of Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCOS) microdisplay technology that promises to bring down the costs of large, widescreen (16:9 image ratio) flat panel TVs.

Code-named “Cayley”, the company claims that its version of LCOS technology is based on a 100 percent digital design that produces a sharper, more precise high-definition TV (HDTV) image than other LCOS architectures that are generally based on analogue technology.

As the world’s largest chip producer, the company’s entrance into the display market is highly significant and reflects the ongoing convergence of PCs with other traditionally separate consumer electronics applications such as home entertainment systems.

LCOS is one of the newer types of microdisplays and is essentially a cross between liquid crystal displays (LCDs) and silicon processors. In a LCOS display the silicon forms part of an electronics display driver backplane. A highly reflective, mirror-like surface patterned with pixels sits on top of the silicon chip below a layer of liquid crystal that is then covered with glass to form a panel.

Cayley LCOS technology exploits advanced silicon manufacturing processes to produce “an extremely bright display”. In addition, pixels on the panels can be made smaller than is possible with other microdisplay technologies and are capable of delivering resolutions of 1920 by 1080 pixels without increasing the size and cost of the panel.

Cayley LCOS will not be limited to large displays – the architecture is scalable and lends itself to use in a wide range of other display application sizes and resolutions without changing the basic size of the microdisplay. Intel plans to deliver LCOS microdisplays based on Cayley in the second half of this year.

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