Site: Rosich and Co., Ltd.
3 Kabelnaya Str. 1
Date: October 27, 1993
Report Authors: M. Slusarczuk, R.R. Rice
Dr. Alexander V. Sadichikhin
Dr. Victor N. Katsap
Atkin, the predecessor of Rosich, was founded in early 1991 by Dr. Alexander Sadichikhin and his friends with very little money and no equipment, but with enthusiasm and ideas. Highly- qualified scientists and engineers from Platan and other Moscow institutions now work at Rosich. It became a part of the Rosich conglomerate, which consists of a trading company and other businesses. The display component of Rosich now employs over 400 people and is still growing. It is supported almost completely by the private capital generated by the trading side of Rosich, and is buying shares of government-held entities that are privatizing. The Russian government provides some money, but most of the government support is moral support. It has no foreign investment yet, but it has the ultimate objectives of foreign investment -- to integrate into world economies. It sees foreign investment progressing along one of two paths: (1) money to fabricate prototypes and begin production equipment development; and (2) investment by a pool of investors that forms a joint venture and enters the mass production of projection equipment. Rosich does not have any western representatives, but would prefer to work with companies that would help enter into production (strategic alliances) rather than those that just want to sell their products. Rosich wants to produce products that meet world market demands. Dr. Sadichikhin stated that he wants to create a research and production company like modern western and Japanese companies.
Rosich has a good intellectual property portfolio. The company has fifteen Soviet patents that it is preparing for filing in the United States, Canada, Japan, and Holland. Rosich has already filed three patents, and has a number of new ideas that have not yet been disclosed, and are being evaluated for foreign filing. Rosich is not, at this point, considering licensing any of its technologies. No foreign organization has yet made an investment in Rosich, though the company has held meetings with Sony and Thomson CSF.
Rosich is impressive because it brings together capabilities from a variety of organizations and seems to understand what will be required to sell products in the West. Rosich also receives some state support, though it is not described as being a large amount, and is given significant political support. Rosich has reportedly delivered a DKDP light valve projector prototype to the Spaceflight Control Center at Kaliningrad for large-screen projection of video imagery.
Rosich display activities are presently spread across four facilities:
In the near future, the display part of the company plans to merge its business office into its facilities at Chromatron.
The display activities of Rosich focus on three business areas:
The main part of research and production works is carried out at its facilities at Rosich, and includes apparatus designing; development and production of optical components, including units, based on liquid crystals; development and production of cooling devices; development and production of light valves, based on LC-photoconductor structures, and sets of targets based on DKDP crystals; development and production of projection CRT and laser tubes; and development and production of electronic units.
The large area projector based on electron beam stimulated lasers (the tube is called a quantoscope by the Russians) is a very impressive device. It is based on the technical principles developed by Professor Ulasjuk of Platan, Inc. A diagram of the Platan projection tube is shown in Figure 4.8. The electron beam pumps the semiconductor resonant cavity, which stimulates localized laser emission from the other side. As the beam is scanned across the face of the tube, laser emission takes place at a different location. In this manner, X-Y deflection is achieved with no moving mechanical components.
The main drawbacks of the Platan configuration are that the laser light must pass through the adhesive layer and through the cooled window. Rosich has modified the design of the tube to overcome these short comings. The Rosich configuration is shown in Figure 4.9 (Since the WTEC team's visit, several other organizations have stepped forward claiming ownership of the Quantoscope design. The revised design shown in Figure 4.9 is claimed by both Platan and Rosich.) Cooling is achieved in such a manner that the laser light does not have to pass through the cooling medium. This configuration causes the electron beam spot size to be not uniform as it is scanned across the surface of the lasing material. Rosich has devised a compensating mechanism for this artifact.
The specifications of the Rosich EBSL tube are as follows:
The present EBSL tube has 2,000 lines resolution. Panelists saw a VGA image demonstrated, but the display capability was limited by the support electronics. Rosich believes it can fabricate tubes with 4,000-5,000 lines resolution in the future. When the WTEC team came up close to the image on the screen, there was quite a bit of space between adjacent scan lines, indicating that this resolution target should be attainable. The present lifetime of a laser projection tube is 300-500 hrs, but the company believes that a 2,000-hr lifetime is possible. The main degradation mechanism is damage to the laser mirrors.
The projection system consists of three EBSL tubes, each with its own cooling unit. A block diagram of the EBSL system is shown in Figure Rosich.1. It uses three rear quantoscopes to generate the red, green, and blue scanned laser beam. The laser screens use a 45 mm wafer section polished to about a 30 þm thickness. The cathode voltage is -60 kV, with the screen at ground potential, and the current is 2-5 Ma. The tubes do not require an oil bath to prevent corona discharge, though it was not clear how this was accomplished. Video input is via an optical isolator. The screen temperature is maintained at about -120 degrees centigrade to -130 degrees centigrade by a very quiet and compact refrigeration unit that can remove up to 60 W at these temperatures. (See below for more details on cooling.) The tubes produce 10-15 W in the red, 4-8 W in the green, and 3-4 W in the blue. Typical efficiencies are in the range of 3-6%, with the very best values approaching 20%.
The weight of the system was given as 600 kg, and the power consumption was quoted variously as 500-900 W per channel. At present the smaller, lighter, and more efficient version has been developed. This projector is being manufactured now. Its weight is 320 kg, and its overall dimensions are (W x D x H): 750 mm x 1,000 mm x 1,350 mm. The packaging will also emulate western styles and standards.
The image was bright and generally excellent in appearance. The image was projected in the Russian standard format. The green image was brightest, followed by red and then blue. The blue image seemed dim by comparison, and defects in the crystal were visible in the image. The registration of the colors appeared to be imperfect in the demonstration. On close examination, it appeared that the laser flying spot was covering only about one- third of the screen. Upon questioning it was learned that the electronics limited the resolution of the display, and that higher video bandwidth and closer placement of the scan lines could produce an image with 2,500 line resolution. Overall, the prototype made a very strong impression.
The life of the screen was quoted as 300-500 hrs at present, and would be at least 2,000 hrs ultimately. The screen life is reportedly limited by the life of the mirror coatings, not the crystal itself. The Russian definition of tube life is the time required for the output to drop to 70% of its initial value. This is evidently a military standard that is widely applied to display device life.
Figure Rosich.1. Block diagram of EBSL system.
Rosich has designed a compact cooling unit that has a cooling capacity of 60 W at 160 degrees Kelvin. Each cooling unit requires only 500 W of power input. Each projection tube and associated electronics consume about 300-400 W, for a total power consumption of 800-900 W per color channel. The refrigerating unit is based on a consumer appliance product design and has an expected lifetime of 50,000 hrs. The high voltage side of the equipment relies completely on air insulation and uses no oil as insulating material.
Rosich identified the following technical problem areas that still need work: color balance, uniformity of image over the whole screen, and quality of the image over time.
In addition to these technical problem areas, there are also the issues of size and weight. The present projector is about five feet wide, four to five feet high, and abut three to four feet deep. It weighs about 600 kg. About one-third to one-half of the volume appeared to be occupied by the refrigeration modules. The Rosich group showed the team a mockup of the next generation unit, which would be smaller and lighter, but would still be a substantial piece of equipment.
Rosich initially acquired its EBSL projection tubes from Platan, but now it manufactures its own. For this purpose Rosich acquired special equipment and deployed it in manufacturing areas of the Chromatron plant. The lasing material is obtained from a local Moscow company. The WTEC team was not given the name of this source. The lasing material is a wafer of single crystal II-VI compound that has been polished to a thickness of about 30 microns. Rosich had a well- equipped polishing and characterization facility at Chromatron. For four years, Rosich has had a research program exploring the possibility of using MOCVD epitaxial material.
In addition to using the EBSL tube for image projection, Rosich envisions other applications. One is for fabricating three- dimensional models from photoactive polymer materials using a layer-by-layer build-up process. Another application is a laser scanning microscope.
Rosich also makes other projection systems: a Hughes-type liquid crystal photoconductor light valve projector, a projector based on a DKDP light valve, and a series of CRT projection systems. The demonstration of this was also quite impressive, though only two colors were operating. The brightness and crispness of the image certainly rivalled the Hughes projector in the United States, although the range of hues was obviously restricted. The RGB image was projected from a single aperture and was formed using large dichroic mirrors to combine the channels internal to the projector. A clever optical design allows up to 10% optical collection efficiency from the arc lamp. The package engineering appeared to be sound, though the package did not have the cosmetic appeal of equipment manufactured in the West.
The liquid crystal-photoconductor light valve has a resolution of over 1,000 lines and light output of about 1,000 lm. (See Table Rosich.1.) The DKDP light valve has a resolution of about 750 lines, and light output of 1,500 lm. (See Table Rosich.2.) These projectors use an innovative color separation scheme based on cholesteric liquid crystal filters. Rosich has also designed an innovative light condenser with efficiency of 25% in these projectors. (See Figure Rosich.2) The lamp is oriented along the axis with the arc at point C. Tables (in Russian) are also available from the authors or the WTEC office detailing specifications of CRT projection systems and projection tubes manufactured by Rosich.
Specifications of the Liquid Crystal - Photoconductor Light Valve Projector
Specifications of the Liquid Crystal - Photoconductor Light Valve Projector
Figure Rosich.2. Light source.
There was little to see in the case of the crystal light valve projector. The electro-optic material is KD*P in the longitudinal optic axis orientation. The crystals are hand- polished at the Rosich laboratories at the Chromatron plant. The resolution was quoted as three times higher than for AMLCD. The contrast ratio is 70-80:1. Rosich wishes to take the electrooptic crystal light valve to production at Chromatron, but admits expensive automation is required. Of the three technologies being pursued by Rosich, this seemed to be the least well developed.
Rosich would like to address several medical applications with quantoscope technology. Many medical test, therapy, and research procedures can be effectively conducted. One is photodynamic therapy, in which an injected photosensitive material is preferentially taken up by tumor tissue that is subsequently irradiated by red laser light from a quantoscope. Another is the scanning laser microscope, in which a laser beam from a quantoscope tube is focused through the optics of a microscope to a submicron spot on a tissue target. The medical equipment facility was not part of the tour because these works are presently being realized at Platan.
In summary, Rosich is a well-run, well-financed company that has a broad range of projection display products. As of the time of the WTEC team's visit, it had acquired control of key suppliers and partners, had a vision of its future, and was progressing well to achieve its objectives.