Press Release


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June 11,2002



Sony Develops a [Grating Light Valve] display device that gives high resolution, excellent contrast ratio and wide color reproduction
-for future use in projectors and projection TV products-


Sony develops a new [Grating Light Valve] projection display device that gives superb resolution, high contrast and wide color reproduction.

Display Device [Grating Light Valve] (Prototype)
Display Device [Grating Light Valve] (Prototype)


In July 2000, Sony announced the signing of a technology licensing agreement with Silicon Light Machines (Head Office: California, USA) in relation to [Grating Light Valve]. Sony's aim was to independently develop display products using [Grating Light Valve] that could be mass-produced and marketed. Since the earlier announcement, in order to make this new display system a reality, Sony has worked to develop a [Grating Light Valve] device and essential [Grating Light Valve] related technologies such as Micro Electro Mechanical System (MEMS) technology and components, and laser light source technology.

[Grating Light Valve] display technology uses micro ribbon array (one-dimensional micro mirrors) that enables projection of high quality, large size images. Differing from other devices that utilize a two-dimensional (vertical and horizontal) structure, [Grating Light Valve] uses only lined micro mirrors enabling a much simpler device structure. In addition, by using high color purity RGB lasers for the light sources, it is possible to obtain wide color reproduction that is over twice the color reproduction area of CRT technology (please see CIE1931 chromaticity diagram).

In this newly developed display technology, the [Grating Light Valve] device is the kernel that consists of one-dimensional diffraction gratings on a silicon base, manufactured using MEMS technology. The diffraction gratings can fractionally alter their shape by the use of electronic signals, i.e. the image signals can be used to control the grating ribbon's displacement to result in controlled diffracted light intensity, providing precise and accurate pixel-by-pixel brightness control. This key feature of [Grating Light Valve] device enables realization of smooth gradation control and a contrast ratio of over 3000:1, resulting in rich and detailed images. The [Grating Light Valve] device that Sony demonstrated today uses 6 ribbons as the diffraction gratings for each pixel and consists of total vertical number of HD-equivalent 1080 pixels (total of 6480 ribbons in a line)

The RGB laser light sources are illuminated as a line onto the corresponding [Grating Light Valve] device, forming a one-dimensional image of 1080 pixels. This one-dimensional image is then scanned horizontally using a scanning mirror to create a two-dimensional image. The present device allows horizontal scanning of 1920 pixels, providing capability for 1920 (horizontal) x 1080 (vertical), the same as full HD progressive image reproduction.

In the future, Sony will continue to research and develop [Grating Light Valve] technology with the aim of introducing this device into the professional projection market and high quality home theatre products within the next two years.


Display Device[Grating Light Valve]main features
Display Device Grating Light Valve x 3[RGB]
Size 34 x 6 x 2mm
Pixel 1080 pixel
Display Resolution 1920x1080 pixel[Compatible with full HD]
Scanning 60 Frame, Progressive Scan
Contrast Average over 3000:1



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