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Luminus Devices samples 1500 lumen chipset

LED manufacturer Luminus Devices hooks up with Texas Instruments to offer television makers a new, brighter chipset for microdisplay projection systems.

Luminus Devices, the Woburn, MA, LED maker that has made a big splash with its "PhlatLight" chipsets for television backlighting, has introduced a 1500 lumen white-light source.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology spin-out's new PT120 product has been optimized for use with Texas Instruments' hugely successful digital light processor (DLP) chipset.

TI has already sold over 10 million DLP subsystems for applications such as high-definition projectors. Each features up to 2.2 million tiny mirrors that switch thousands of times per second to deliver crisp, full-color images.

The P120 is currently being sampled to makers of microdisplay projection televisions, and Luminus says that it has already been designed into a number of high-definition televisions based on the DLP. "Several models from various manufacturers will be commercially available in 2007," said the company.

One of the critical advantages of using LEDs in place of fluorescent sources in television applications is the speed with which the solid-state emitters can be switched.

"In a DLP high-definition television, the red, green and blue PhlatLight LEDs can cycle at 2.9 kHz, which is 48 times faster than traditional television frame rates - providing superior motion quality," explained Christian Hoepfner, VP of products at Luminus.

Recently, Luminus has been issued with six US patents covering its photonic lattice technology, an approach that results in its LEDs operating with a high light extraction efficiency.

One of those patents dates from late 2004, but the other five were all awarded in the past three months. Before the end of this year, the company also expects to receive many of the 100 or so additional patents that it has applied for.

Claiming to have invested more than $10 million in its intellectual property portfolio, the firm will soon be looking to penetrate beyond the relatively limited market for high-specification televisions.

Luminus founder and CTO Alexei Erchak said, "There are unlimited opportunities for LEDs using photonic lattice technology today and in the future."

"Luminus...will also support other LED applications through collaborations and licensing agreements."

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