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New Intel Chip Could Lead to Cheaper HDTV Sets

Several news sources carried stories on Intel's entry into the digital display arena. You may want to check them out before buying a new HDTV set. A New York Times article, New Intel digital TV chip could remake the market by John Markoff said the technology could lead to "lightweight 50-inch screens only seven inches thick for about $1,000, perhaps as early as the 2004 holiday season." The Associated Press had similar story covered in many newspapers - Intel to develop chip for slimmer TVs that predicted the 50 inch screen using the technology could sell for as little as $2,000 by the end of 2004 and "half that price a year later."

The technology these articles are referring to is Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCoS). See the Kent State University Liquid Crystal Institute Web page on Liquid Crystal on Silicon Devices for a description of how they work. Only one glass substrate is required for these devices, substantially reducing their cost. Intel invested in ColorLink, which manufactures the filters needed to combine light from multiple monochrome LCoS sources to generate color displays. The ColorLink home page has links to several technical papers on the optical technology. LCoS offers many of the benefits of the micro mirror technology pioneered by Texas Instruments with their DLP systems, but at a much lower cost.