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DLP Micromirror Chip

DLP Micromirror Chip

Robert Silva
Definition: DLP stands for Digital Light Processing.

A video projection technology, developed by Texas Instruments, that utilizes a chip, referred to as a DMD (Digital Micromirror Device). In essence, every pixel on a DMD chip is a reflective mirror.

The video image is displayed on the DMD chip. The micromirrors on the chip (remember: each micromirror represents one pixel) then tilt very rapidly as the image changes.

This process produces the grayscale foundation for the image. Then, color is added as light passes through a high-speed color wheel and is reflected off of the micromirrors on the DLP chip as they rapidly tilt towards or away from the light source. The degree of tilt of each micromirror coupled with the rapidly spinning color wheel determines the color structure of the projected image. As the amplified light bounces off the micromirrors, it is sent through the lens and can be projected on a large screen.

Another way that DLP is implemented is to utilize a separate DLP chip for each primary color. Light from a single source is passed through a prism, which creates separate red, green, and blue light sources, then reflected on each of the chips designated for each primary color, and from there, projected onto a screen. This application very expensive, in comparison to the color wheel method, and is used only in higher-end consumer and commercial DLP projectors.

This technology is used in both rear-projection televisions and in separate video projector, screen applications.

Also Known As: Digital Light Processing
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