demand, with production ramping up tomore than 100,000 next year.
Lasers vs. LEDs
Laser diode makers say using lasersmeans that the projected images will befocus-free, will deliver a wide range ofbright, vibrant colors, and will consumeless power, while downplaying their majordisadvantages, speckle noise – black dotsthat make the image appear grainy – andcost.
LED manufacturers have been making
inroads into increasing the power, bright-
ness (HB-LEDs) and efficiency of their
products, which are long-lived and less
expensive than lasers. They have been
criticized for a lack of brightness under
normal lighting conditions and for having
Moizio said the first pico prototype
DLP shown in 2007 used a pico DLP chip
and three lasers. “Feedback from cus-
tomers and the market were that lasers
were too expensive and had associated
speckle and safety issues. It was the
choice of brands and manufacturers to use
LEDs instead of lasers, due to their matu-
If lasers can exceed LEDs in terms of
cost, performance and safety, he added,
“DLP customers and manufacturers would
likely take advantage of this and use
Alexander Mönchmeier, senior product
marketing engineer of opto components
for Mitsubishi Electric, said that, over the
next three to five years, laser diode mak-
ers will work to overcome problems such
as thermal expansion and price to integrate
RGB onto one submount. Red lasers are
very inexpensive, about $10 to $15 apiece,
because they are made in high quantities –
about 15 million a month – for the DVD
market. But blue lasers are expensive, as
high as $1000 for one.
He said that having an RGB engine-driven pico projector could add about 15percent to the cost of an already expensivemultimedia phone.
“Demand from the consumer may bethere, but what price are they willing topay?” Mönchmeier asked.
The next big thing for little things
Nikon Corp. of Tokyo is expected toship its first camera equipped with a picoprojector, the Coolpix S1000PJ, thismonth. Featuring an organic LED screen,it is being touted as one of the first combination digital cameras and LCoS pico pro
Nikon’s Coolpix S1000PJ, hitting the market this month, is the first camera equipped with a pico projector.
Courtesy of Nikon Corp.