Over the past 40 years, the United States has been a leader in basic research in projection displays. In the 1950s and '60s, in the basic technology in projection CRTs and light-valve projectors (the GE Talaria projector), U.S. research dominated the field (Glenn, 1970). Currently, university laboratories in both countries are doing quite competitive basic work. In both the United States and Japan, a large part of the basic research is funded by some governmental agency. During the study there was a discussion between Dr. Doane, a panel member, and Dr. Uchida, a Japanese professor, both of whom headed liquid crystal research laboratories. They estimated that the number of expert researchers in liquid crystal research in both countries was about the same.

The development of reflective, optically addressed projectors by Hughes (Sterling et al., 1990) using twisted nematic (TN) liquid crystal materials has its counterpart in the NHK (Takizawa et al., 1991) effort to develop an optically addressed polymer-dispersed liquid crystal projector. The research on on-panel polysilicon drivers for projection at Sarnoff Labs (Lee, 1990) and Xerox (Thompson) has its counterpart at Seiko-Epson (Aruga et al., 1987) and several other Japanese companies. Basic research in efficient solid-state lasers at the three primary colors that could make laser scanner projectors practical has a comparable level of effort in both countries. We found no effort in Japan that corresponded to the deflected-mirror arrays under development by TI (Hornbeck, 1989).

The development of a metal halide arc with high brightness and a 2000-hour life suitable for light-valve projector applications has been successfully accomplished in both Japan and Europe. In the United States, metal halide arcs were developed many years ago with higher brightness and a 75-hour life or lower brightness and a 15,000-hour life, but none that meets the requirements of consumer TV light valves. Xenon arcs for light-valve projectors are being manufactured in the United States by GE and Optical Radiation (Kramer, 1988).

Table 6.1 provides a partial list of the laboratories in both countries and the technologies they are developing that apply to projectors.

Table 6.1
Basic Research on Projector Technology

Published: June 1992; WTEC Hyper-Librarian