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TI ships Linux-ready DLP eval module for pico projectors

Jan 25, 2012 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 666 views

Texas Instruments announced a Linux-based evaluation module featuring the digital light processing technology from its DLP Pico Projectors. The DLP LightCrafter combines an ARM9-based, 300MHz DaVinci TMS320DM365 processor, a 20-lumen RGB LED light engine and projector, as well as TI's 0.3-inch, WVGA DLP chipset, enabling up to 4000 binary patterns per second, says TI.

The DLP LightCrafter evaluation module is intended to help develop DLP (digital light processing) devices for the industrial, medical, security and scientific instrument markets, says Texas Instruments (TI). Examples are said to include pico projectors, 3D fingerprint scanners, and other devices that require structured light pattern projection, intelligent lighting, wavelength selection, and portable display.

DLP LightCrafter

(Click to enlarge)

The 4.6 x 2.56 x 0.9-inch (117 x 65 x 23mm) evaluation module lets developers create, store, and display high-speed pattern sequences, says TI. A USB-based application programming interface (API) is supplied, as well as a graphical user interface (GUI), both running under Linux, says the company.

The DLP LightCrafter is built around TI's DLP 0.3 WVGA Chipset Reference Design (see block diagram below). The design's Linux firmware runs on TI's well-traveled DaVinci TMS320DM365 processor, which offers an ARM926EJ-S core clocked to 300MHz, as well as video accelerators and an ISP (image signal processor).

DLP 0.3 WVGA Chipset Reference Design block diagram
(Click to enlarge)

The DM365 system on chip (SoC) is tag-teamed with an unnamed field programmable gate array (FPGA). The processor board that sits atop the module is further equipped with an unspecified allotment of DDR2 memory, as well as 128MB of NAND flash memory for pattern storage and a micro-SD slot, says TI.

A "configurable I/O trigger" integrates cameras, optical sensors, and other peripheral devices, says the company. These are said to include peripherals connected via the onboard micro-USB, mini-HDMI and UART interfaces.

On the DMD controller board underneath the processor board sits the the same DLP chipset found in the latest version of TI's Pico Projector, which first shipped back in 2009. With a native resolution of 684 x 608 pixels, it can display images up to 854 x 480 pixels (presumably using interpolation) and up to 4000 binary patterns per second, says the company.

The DLP chipset combines TI's DLP3000 MEMS device and DLPC300 controller. The MEMS device is comprised of 415,872 microscopic mirrors for high speed operation of the micromirror array, says TI.

DLP LightCrafter block diagram
(Click to enlarge)

The DLP LightCrafter further integrates an RGB LED light engine that is capable of producing more than 20 lumens of light output, says TI. The light engine connects to an integrated pico projector.

Stated Mike Troy, CEO, FlashScan3D, "DLP technology allows us to capture greater detail in fingerprints with higher accuracy, thus cutting down on the possibilities of technician error and fraud, and with the new DLP LightCrafter development module, we can scan prints faster, store data internally versus on a laptop or separate storage device and, because of its size, create even smaller, portable products."


The DLP LightCrafter is available now, with a suggested retail price of $599, says TI. More information may be found at TI's DLP LightCrafter product page, as well as at SPIE Photonics West, held Jan.24-26, 2012 in San Francisco's Moscone Center, at booth #2415.

Eric Brown can be reached at [email protected].

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