Novalux and Epson join forces on consumer displays

March 15, 2006
Novalux has entered into a joint development and license agreement with Seiko Epson for NECSEL-based RGB illumination devices for use in microdisplay-based products such as projection TVs.

SUNNYVALE, CA - Novalux has entered into a joint development and license agreement with Seiko Epson for NECSEL-based RGB illumination devices for use in microdisplay-based products such as projection TVs. As a result of this agreement, future laser-based projection TVs could one day exhibit unmatched picture brightness and contrast, lifelike colors, long life operation, and responsive on/off-all from a lower cost system than can be produced today.

According to the agreement, Novalux licenses its RGB laser reference design and will supply Epson with the NECSEL semiconductor chips. Using the chips, Epson plans to leverage its high-precision processing and optical technologies and years of expertise to develop optical engines for integration into its market-leading 3LCD projectors. This development is expected to achieve high-quality, high-performance projection displays with lower production costs.

“This agreement with Epson, one of the world’s leading microdisplay manufacturers … will allow solid-state light sources to infiltrate projection display, a market that has been severely limited by legacy lamp technology,” said Jean-Michel Pelaprat, Novalux chairman and CEO. “NECSEL sources are higher performance, longer life and lower cost-they are perfectly suited for next-generation projection devices and will enable the best viewing experience to date.”

The joint development agreement also underscores Epson’s commitment to its high-temperature polysilicon (HTPS) and 3LCD projector business. Epson has been the leading manufacturer of HTPS panels, the main component in 3LCD projectors, since volume production began in 1994.

“While our 3LCD projection systems continue to gain marketplace recognition for their superior brightness and picture quality, we are further driving growth by perfecting these systems with the latest advanced technologies,” said Epson President Seiji Hanaoka. “We believe laser illumination is a breakthrough in lighting technology that, combined with Epson’s cutting-edge projection technologies, could allow us to provide enhanced device performance at a competitive price. NECSEL technology is ideal for this application and we are excited to work with Novalux to bring this innovation to our customers.”

Novalux’s NECSEL sources produce high-power light output from a revolutionary package smaller than a matchbox. They provide an expanded color space and allow simplified, lower cost light engine architecture over UHP lamp-based systems. Specifically, when used in a 3LCD optical engine, NECSEL sources eliminate the need for polarizers, color filters, turning mirrors and fly’s eye lenses. Other advantages include long lifetime, instant-on, and low étendue, according to the company.

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