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Sony develops "SXRD", a display device for high resolution & contrast images for use in projectors

Sony announces development of SXRD, a liquid crystal display device for upcoming use in both front-projectors / rear-projection TVs. The new device achieves a contrast of  3000 : 1 with a high resolution of 1920 x 1080. Overtime we'll see slideshow projectors being replaced with their digital counterparts, and they better keep up with their digital image sources...
Click here for more details and diagrams

PRESS RELEASE

Tokyo, Japan - Sony Corporation today announced the development of SXRD (Silicon X-tal*1 Reflective Display), a liquid crystal display device for use in projectors, which achieves a panel contrast of over 3000:1 with high resolution of Full HDTV(1920Hx1080V)jusing a silicon backplane. Its main features are outlined below.
*1 Abbreviation of "Crystal"

High Resolution Picture Quality
The outstanding picture quality generated by SXRD is due to the large number of pixels contained within the image area of the device. For this to be achieved both the size of each individual pixel and the space between pixels has been minimized. The combination of radically designed Silicon Driving Circuit technology and novel Silicon Wafer Process Technology, coupled with new Liquid Crystal Device technology, has enabled 2,000,000 pixels with a pitch of 9um to be arranged just 0.35um apart (Diagram1-a). This is the world's smallest inter-pixel spacing*2 thus delivering full HDTV (1920Hx1080V, 16:9 widescreen format) within an image area measuring a mere 0.78 inches diagonally across.

In comparison to high temperature Poly-Silicon liquid crystal devices, this represents a 2.4- fold increase in pixel density, and a 10-fold improvement in inter-pixel spacing.

These advances have facilitated the achievement of a high-grade, high-resolution picture quality previously unseen on fixed-pixel projection devices, with outstanding cinematic quality and image smoothness that can be enjoyed free from the grainy "mesh" effect noticeable on conventional projectors.
*2 Current data, based on Sony research

High Contrast and Rapid Response Time
In Sony's SXRD device the liquid crystal cell gap measures less than 2um, far thinner than conventional high temperature Poly-Silicon liquid crystal or LCOS(Liquid Crystal On Silicon)devices (Diagram1-b). Furthermore, in place of the TN(Twisted Nematic)liquid crystal commonly used in projection devices, Sony's unique "Vertically Aligned Liquid Crystal" materials, whereby the liquid crystal molecules are aligned vertically to the cell substrates have been used. The materials have been developed to provide good driving voltages and high quality optical properties, even in such thin cells, ensuring high contrast images that would otherwise be unachievable with conventional TN devices (Diagram1-b).

These innovations have made a high panel contrast level of 3000:1, and very rapid 5 milli-second response time a reality. This represents an approximately threefold increase over conventional projector contrast levels.

Reliability
Sony has overcome the long-standing challenge of incorporating an inorganic alignment layer to the liquid crystal cell, enabling the alignment technology of vertically aligned liquid crystals which has been problematic until now. This inorganic material has successfully replaced the organic polyimide film previously used to align the liquid crystal. This innovation has greatly improved alignment layer durability, ensuring the longevity of the high-resolution, high-grade features of the SXRD device.

Additional information: Click here for more details and diagrams
February 19, 2003
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