The following information is true and accurate at the time of publication.
February 19, 2003
Sony develops "SXRD",
a display device capable of generating high resolution,
high contrast images of film quality smoothness
for upcoming use in
both front-projectors and rear-projection TVs
Tokyo, Japan - Sony Corporation
today announced the development of SXRD (Silicon X-tal*1
Reflective Display), a liquid crystal display device for
use in projectors, which achieves a panel contrast of over
3000:1 with high resolution of Full HDTV(1920Hx1080V)jusing
a silicon backplane. Its main features are outlined below.
*1 Abbreviation of "Crystal"
<High Resolution Picture Quality>
The outstanding picture quality generated by SXRD is due
to the large number of pixels contained within the image
area of the device. For this to be achieved both the size
of each individual pixel and the space between pixels has
been minimized. The combination of radically designed Silicon
Driving Circuit technology and novel Silicon Wafer Process
Technology, coupled with new Liquid Crystal Device technology,
has enabled 2,000,000 pixels with a pitch of 9um to be arranged
just 0.35um apart (Diagram1-a). This is the world's
smallest inter-pixel spacing*2 thus delivering full HDTV
(1920Hx1080V, 16:9 widescreen format) within an image area
measuring a mere 0.78 inches diagonally across.
In comparison to high temperature Poly-Silicon liquid crystal
devices, this represents a 2.4- fold increase in pixel density,
and a 10-fold improvement in inter-pixel spacing.
These advances have facilitated the achievement of a high-grade,
high-resolution picture quality previously unseen on fixed-pixel
projection devices, with outstanding cinematic quality and
image smoothness that can be enjoyed free from the grainy
"mesh" effect noticeable on conventional projectors.
*2 Current data, based on Sony research
<High Contrast and Rapid Response Time>
In Sony's SXRD device the liquid crystal cell gap measures
less than 2um, far thinner than conventional high temperature
Poly-Silicon liquid crystal or LCOS(Liquid Crystal On Silicon)devices
(Diagram1-b). Furthermore, in place of the TN(Twisted
Nematic)liquid crystal commonly used in projection devices,
Sony's unique "Vertically Aligned Liquid Crystal"
materials, whereby the liquid crystal molecules are aligned
vertically to the cell substrates have been used. The materials
have been developed to provide good driving voltages and
high quality optical properties, even in such thin cells,
ensuring high contrast images that would otherwise be unachievable
with conventional TN devices (Diagram1-b).
These innovations have made a high panel contrast level
of 3000:1, and very rapid 5 milli-second response time a
reality. This represents an approximately threefold increase
over conventional projector contrast levels.
Sony has overcome the long-standing challenge of incorporating
an inorganic alignment layer to the liquid crystal cell,
enabling the alignment technology of vertically aligned
liquid crystals which has been problematic until now. This
inorganic material has successfully replaced the organic
polyimide film previously used to align the liquid crystal.
This innovation has greatly improved alignment layer durability,
ensuring the longevity of the high-resolution, high-grade
features of the SXRD device.
<Combined High Product Quality and Production Efficiency>
With conventional projection devices, in order to ensure
uniform cell gap, the substrates must be assembled one at
a time in a piecemeal fashion. At the same time, spacers
such as beads or posts known as "columns" would
also need to be inserted within the display area of the
liquid crystal cell. However, in the case of the SXRD device,
through the development of Planarization Technology of Silicon
Backplane, and alignment layer fabrication process, Sony
has established a means of assembling entire wafers, even
without the use of spacers (Diagram 2). Thus many panels
are created at once in unison. This process has significantly
reduced dust ingress, while simultaneously improving both
picture quality and production efficiency.
LC Cell Assembly Process
The features and capabilities of the"SXRD"technology
make it ideal for use in front projectors and rear projection
TVs of home theater dimensions, capable of delivering the
high resolution, high-grade content that is becoming increasingly
prevalent. The move towards content of this nature is set
to continue with the forthcoming launch of terrestrial digital
broadcasting in the near future. Sony aims to introduce
front projectors and rear projection products incorporating
this technology to the market within the next fiscal year.
||SXRD(Silicon X-tal Reflective Display)
||0.78" across Diagonal
|Width (between pixels)
||5msec (tr + tf)
|Liquid Crystal Mode
||Vertical Aligned Mode
||Inorganic Thin Film
|Si Backplane Process
||0.35um MOS Process
|Liquid Crystal Cell Gap
||Less than 2um