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China: SMIC to Mass-Produce LCoS Chips

Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC) of Shanghai has started mass-producing HD digital LCoS (liquid crystal on silicon) panel chips for Aurora Systems, based in San Jose, Calif.

Previously, Aurora designed both 1920x1080 resolution and 1280x720 LCoS modules, appropriate for rear-projection systems. Basically, an LCoS chip contains a grayscale LCD shutter sandwiched between a cover glass and a mirror. The bottom of the cover glass is coated with indium tin oxide that holds a charge. When combined with the charges at the x-y location on the chip's matrix, it causes the liquid crystals to modulate the light for that particular pixel.

Aurora's collaboration with SMIC started more than a year ago, according to published reports, and both firms pledged to maintain a long-term relationship for future projects. SMIC said in published reports its target is to become "the foundry of choice for LCoS backplane wafers to global IDM and fabless [non-fabrication producing] customers."