Who is Syndiant?
Syndiant Inc. is a privately held technology company. The Dallas-based company architects the world’s best light modulating devices for ultra-portable or pico projectors, as they are commonly called. Syndiant is currently providing the world’s smallest display panel that supports WVGA or SVGA resolution, with elements that produce the world’s highest resolution and smallest form-factor light modulation available using low-cost fabrication technology. Syndiant’s products uniquely meet the challenging requirements of high resolution, small form factor, and exceptional image quality at low cost. (Top)
What are pico projectors?
Hand-held consumer electronics are constrained by their small screen size. Ultra-portable projectors, or pico projectors, allow consumers to enjoy a large-screen experience in portable electronics, such as smart phones, notebook computers, digital media players, game consoles and cameras.
Generally, these projectors are small enough to fit easily in a shirt pocket and are expected to be integrated into a range of portable devices including multi-media players and cell phones. With a pico projector, you can show images on a larger surface for easier viewing such as a slideshow presentation, business pitch, pictures of your kids or friends, Internet content such as You Tube or Facebook, or even a movie from your mp3 player.
Pico projectors are available as a stand-alone accessory or as an embedded feature:
- Accessory pico projectors are external devices that can be as small as a cell phone. They attach to a cell phone, notebook computer or other media device via USB cord or wireless connection, and project the screenshot onto a larger surface. The lightweight, battery-powered projectors fit into most pockets.
- Embedded projectors are built into consumer electronics devices. Similar to cell phone cameras, embedded pico projector technology can be integrated into mobile phones, MP3 players, notebook computers, portable gaming devices, Mobile Internet Devices, cameras and any other electronic devices that warrant the need for a larger displayed image. This market segment will be much larger and is taking off earlier than analysts have forecasted. (Top)
Why are pico projectors becoming a market necessity?
With the technological advancements of cell phones and digital media players, consumers now enjoy a variety of viewing options. Handsets now host more Internet traffic than PCs and video transmission is the fastest-growing element of Internet traffic. Consumers are watching streaming video of breaking news, music videos from their favorite artists and downloading movies to their preferred wireless devices. However, today’s displays are limited in size to about 3 inches (7.5 cm) in diagonal, or what can fit into a person’s pocket. Even displays on the iPhone® and similar devices are smaller than a business card. Pico projectors enable the mobile use of higher resolution content allowing consumers to watch and share videos that are large enough to be comfortably viewed.
Anyone trying to view document attachments such as PDF files on a cell phone has encountered a small, low resolution image that is unreadable, or the difficulty of panning through it with tunnel vision, seeing only a segment of a horizontal line. Browsing standard Web pages is also difficult on a small handheld display. Pico projectors can support higher resolutions and screen sizes to make reading typical email attachments and Web pages as easy as viewing them with a large desktop or laptop display.
For on-the-go professionals, pico projectors are ultra lightweight, pocket sized devices that allow them to give a high quality business presentation without the need to carry a heavy notebook computer.
Beyond the initial consumer and mobile professional markets for pico projectors, vehicle companies are looking at pico projector technology to provide head-up displays on windshields to enable drivers to safely view instrumentation, GPS or back-up cameras without lowering their eyes to look at the dashboard displays. There are also huge potential markets for pico projectors in digital commercial signage, as well as in the toy and game markets. (Top)
Where do you see the pico projector market heading?
The target market for accessory and embedded projectors includes cell phones, notebook computers, digital cameras, camcorders, Mobile Internet Devices and media players. In February 2008, Insight Media predicted the market will grow to 32 million units by 2012. In 4Q2008, accessory projectors were introduced as the first wave of pico projector products to reach the market, pairing the technology with notebook computers, cell phones and MP3 video players. These handheld devices also are the most likely candidates for the first embedded projectors.
As with computer displays, displays on mobile devices, video games and digital cameras, there is an ever increasing demand for higher resolution. While initial embedded devices will likely have WVGA (854x480) pixel resolution, we expect that the market will quickly progress to wide SVGA (1024x600), then WXGA+ (1366x768) and beyond. We feel that Syndiant’s technology is best positioned to service the customer’s desire for more pixels and higher resolution. (Top)
What is Field Sequential Color?
Field Sequential Color (FSC) is a display method where a single light modulator is illuminated by a series of colors in sequence. The human eye will then put them together to form a single, full-color image. FSC systems require only one spatial light modulator and small, simple optics, which results in smaller and less expensive systems. (Top)
What is a Spatial Light Modulator (SLM)?
A Spatial Light Modulator (SLM) has a two dimensional pixel array that controls light output on a pixel by pixel basis. SLMs are commonly found in data projectors, rear-projection TVs and home theater projectors. Syndiant’s VueG8 products are all-digital, light-modulating chips, or SLMs, that enable a single field sequential color panel to run at a very fast rate of up to 360 color fields per second, creating excellent color display and high resolution. (Top)
What is unique about Syndiant’s technology?
Syndiant’s all-digital smart panel performs on-chip display processing, which creates the unique ability to make the pixel small enough to provide high resolution in a small, low-cost form factor while supporting Field Sequential Color. The Syndiant panels are able to be used with LEDs or laser light illumination sources.
Syndiant’s light modulating panels use Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCOS) to provide a very high resolution display. Syndiant’s smart architecture allows it to use a very mature 0.18-micron CMOS digital process to fabricate the highest resolution color field sequential SLM that is less than 7 mm tall. Syndiant’s first device has a 5.4-micron pixel pitch with 854x600 pixels and a display diagonal measuring about 0.22-inches.
Syndiant’s superior chip architecture technology enables a comprehensive VueG8® product family that will satisfy a complete range of pico projector applications from low-cost embedded cell phone projectors to very bright high resolution notebook PC accessory projectors. Syndiant will introduce in 2009 higher resolution VueG8 products that take pico projectors to a new level of performance. (Top)
Why is Syndiant’s solution so cost-effective?
Syndiant has developed a patented design for high resolution displays that support field sequential color with a small pixel. At the same time, Syndiant is using mature low cost 0.18-micron wafer fabrication. The liquid crystal assembly also uses a mature process that is lower in cost than MEMs (DLP™ and 2-D Beam Steering) processing.
Syndiant’s technology works very well with both LED and laser illumination, making it the most cost-effective solution for either light source. (Top)
Does Syndiant have any patents that relate to its technology?
Syndiant has achieved four patents in the United States, United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Australia relating to the digital backplane and various methods, systems and devices for controlling a digital backplane, light modulating elements and spatial light modulators. Syndiant has a number of other patents pending. (Top)
Does Syndiant design and fabricate the chips?
Syndiant is a fabless semiconductor company and uses a well-established 0.18-micron CMOS process with a major semiconductor fab. The liquid crystal assembly is performed by a mature supply chain with more than 15 years of experience in LCOS assembly. (Top)
Who are Syndiant’s competitors?
Syndiant’s competitors in pico projector enabling solutions include Texas Instruments, Microvision, Himax, Displaytech and Aurora. However, all competitors use different technologies. (Top)
How does Syndiant compare against its competitors in pico projectors?
None of the competitors provide the combination of benefits offered by Syndiant’s VueG8 products:
• Smart on-display processing
• High resolution in a very small form-factor
• Excellent image quality
• High illumination light-on time
• Low cost
• Very fast response to eliminate motion blur
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