LEDs are powering new types of projectors, LED makers reel in new orders

Recently, Luminus Devices and Everlight have each announced that their LEDs are powering new types of projectors. Luminus LEDs used in Samsung, LG projectors, Everlight starts shipping LEDs for micro projectors.

Luminus Devices has indicated that its PhlatLight LEDs are powering two of the newest portable LED-based projectors, the Samsung P400 pocket imager and LG Electronics’ HS-102 ultra-mobile projector. Both projectors are lamp-free, weigh less than two pounds and fit in the palm of a hand.

The PhlatLight PT54 LEDs used in both units enable brightness to reach and exceed 150 lumens, a breakthrough for pocket projectors. The pure RGB color from the PhlatLight LEDs produce a brighter more vivid image than the ANSI brightness specs would suggest, for a picture that’s easily viewable when projected to a 40-inch size even in a well-lit office. These projectors consume approximately one-third the power of comparable lamp-based projectors and produce an instant-on image at full brightness without the cost and inconvenience of lamp replacement. Both projectors were recently demonstrated at IFA in Berlin and are launching to worldwide distribution. The Samsung P400 is now shipping in the US.

In addition, Taiwan-based LED packaging company Everlight has received high-power LED orders to be used in micro projectors with shipments starting in September, said a recent report. Although initial order volumes are limited, Everlight is the first to enter the market for micro projectors in Taiwan, according to market sources. The market sources noted that micro-projectors are a newly developed product and most vendors are using LEDs from US or European LED makers. Everlight is the first Taiwan-based LED maker to provide high-power LEDs to micro projector vendors.

Everlight indicated that micro projectors require better color saturation and hence RGB LEDs will be used as the light source. Initial monthly shipment estimates are for about 10,000 units, but orders are expected to grow as the market for micro projectors matures in 2009.

Industry players estimated that the market for micro projectors and micro projectors built into handsets may reach 2.34 million units in 2010. However, Taiwan-based Lite-On Technology remains conservative about the new market noting that LEDs typically deliver only one-sixth the brightness of alternative projector light sources. Lite-On said it believes the growth of the micro projector market is limited and it is not considering joining the market at this time.

Optoma has introduced its first micro projector using DLP technology from Texas Instruments (TI), with LEDs as the backlight source. The device is able to project a 20-inch diagonal image from a distance of 50cm. This product is expected to start shipping in October.

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