MRS Bulletin

Technical Feature

Technical Feature

The DMDTM Projection Display Chip: A MEMS-Based Technology

Larry J. Hornbeck

The possibility of an all-digital (sourceto-eye) projection display was realized in 1987 with the invention of the Digital Micromirror Device™ projection display chip at Texas Instruments (TI). The DMD™ chip is a microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) array of fast digital micromirrors, monolithically integrated onto and controlled by an underlying silicon memory chip. Digital Light Processing™ projection displays are based on the DMD chip. DLP™ projection displays present bright, seamless images to the eye that have high image fidelity, and stability.

Larry J. Hornbeck is a TI Fellow in DLP™ Products at Texas Instruments in Dallas. In 1987, he invented the Digital Micromirror Device™ projection display chip, a MEMS array of fast digital light switches monolithically integrated onto a silicon address circuit. He has continued to develop architectures and fabrication processes to improve performance and reliability. The DMD™ display chip forms the basis for Texas Instruments Digital Light Processing™ projection display technology.

Hornbeck has received numerous awards for his invention of the DMD display chip, including Germany's Eduard Rhein Foundation Technology Award, England's Rank Prize, an Emmy™ Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, and the Karl Ferdinand Braun Prize from the Society for Information Display. He holds 30 patents in CCD, infraredimage- sensor, and DMD technology, including the fundamental patent for the DMD display chip. He received his PhD degree in solidstate physics from Case Western Reserve University in 1974.

Hornbeck can be reached at Texas Instruments, P.O. Box 869305, MS 8476, Plano, TX 75086 USA; tel. 972-575- 0203, e-mail, and URL