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Graphics IC permits electronic alignment of RPTVs

Posted: 16 Jan 2007     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Silicon Optix  Geo  video/graphics-geometry  processing chip  rear-projection TVs 

Silicon Optix has announced Geo, a revolutionary video/graphics-geometry processing chip that makes possible a new class of low-cost, high-performance, rear-projection TVs thin enough to hang on a wall, while also eliminating hot spots and colour non-uniformity in LCD and projection displays.

Geo is the first chip to allow for pixel-by-pixel brightness control, thereby ensuring brightness uniformity for large-area LCD panel displays—especially those driven by LEDs, which can vary significantly in brightness. Geo can also correct for a problem, popularly called the "green glob" (pastel-discoloured regions), commonly seen in three-panel projection systems.

Geo is the first and only chip to offer three independent geometry-processing channels capable of high-precision, pixel-by-pixel processing capable of digitally achieving lateral chromatic aberration correction, one of the big cost adders in optical system designs.

With Geo, optical problems such as lateral chromatic aberrations, optical distortion, and three-panel misconvergence can be corrected electronically, eliminating the need for more expensive optical and mechanical solutions. Geo's sophisticated array of adjustments will, for the first time, free designers to create inexpensive RPTVs with cabinet depths that rival those of today's popular flat-panel LCD and plasma displays—with much less weight and power consumption. Video wall systems with multiple display elements, each of which may have a different brightness, can now be balanced for a more seamless appearance.

A complete "system on a chip," Geo incorporates three high-precision geometry-correction engines, one for each colour channel (red, green, blue). Each channel has independent adjustments to compensate for pincushion/barrel distortion, keystone distortion, and rotational misalignment.

By correcting common picture problems digitally instead of optically, Geo improves performance and reduces costs. Optical assemblies can now be designed using less expensive glass, simpler lens construction, and fewer lens elements. In addition, optical designers can concentrate on optimising parameters such as MTF and lens-element count instead of distortion and lateral colour shift, as the latter can be corrected digitally—resulting in both lower cost and better image quality.

According to the press release, Geo is the first chip to provide per-pixel adjustments to eliminate hot spots (light intensity falling off from the centre of the image or bright patches within the image) and colour non-uniformities, two image-quality problems that are endemic to front and rear projectors.

When implemented in flat-panel LCD displays, Geo's ability to separately adjust the brightness of each pixel enables the chip to accurately compensate for the light-output non-uniformities that plague such displays, and yield significant improvements in image quality.

Silicon Optix added that Geo is the first chip that permits electronic alignment of RPTVs. Digital alignment is not only much faster and more precise than manual alignment, it also permits post-delivery alignment in the consumer's home through the use of special front-panel or remote-control functions, said the company.

The Geo chip has begun sampling and will be available in volume in late Q1 2007.

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