Technologies Supporting Innovation

Microdisplay Technology

Microdisplay Technology Powers Epson Projectors to No.1

If you want to share information with a large number of people on a big screen, nothing beats a projector. That is why projector use is expanding and why the projector market continues to grow. Businesses use projectors for presentations. Consumers use them at home in home-theater systems. Teachers use them for lessons. Commercial outlets use them for advertisements and promotions.

Epson's microdisplay technology lies at the heart of our LCD projectors. This technology is what has enabled Epson to maintain its grip on the top spot in the global projector market, by share, for 17 consecutive years*.

* Largest unit share of the market for 500-lumen and higher projectors. (Source: Futuresource Consulting Limited, 2001-2017)

Big Pictures from Small, High-Resolution Displays

LCD projectors deliver bright images with natural-looking color

Epson's microdisplay technology encompasses HTPS panels (high-temperature polysilicon TFT liquid crystal panels), optical design, and manufacturing technology. Heading up the list of products that use this microdisplay technology are our LCD projectors, which use an optical device built from a combination of three tiny, high-resolution HTPS panels ("chips") to project images.

Three-chip LCD projectors work by splitting white light emitted by a light source into its three primary component colors of red, green, and blue. Each of these beams of light is directed to its own HTPS panel. The beams pass through their respective panels before being recombined efficiently to form an image. It is this precision optical device that gives Epson's business and home projectors their characteristic image brightness, natural colors, and eye-friendliness*.

* Epson's LCD projectors are easier on the eyes because there is no color breakup, a phenomenon in which viewers can see a rainbow-like pattern produced by a combination of movement of the image on the screen and the movement of a viewer's eyes.

HTPS panels are key devices that are an important determinant of 3LCD projector performance. Microfabricated much like semiconductors, HTPS panels have driving circuits integrated on the panel, and successive generations of panels are generally smaller and have higher pixel densities and light transmittance ratios than their predecessors. In addition, equipped with unique transistor and light blocking structures, Epson's HTPS panels boast excellent light stability and resolutions exceeding 4,000 dpi. These HTPS panels help make projectors smaller while increasing image brightness and resolution.

Epson has a variety of technologies that enable liquid crystal panels that are small and have high pixel densities yet transmit light efficiently.

Micro lens arrays are such technology. Each of the tiny individual pixels on an HTPS panel has an area that transmits light (called an "aperture") and an area with interconnects and other components that does not transmit light. To increase the brightness of a projected image, as much light as possible has to pass through the panels.

To collect the light and boost light usage efficiency, Epson forms an array of tiny lenses, each nearly the same size of a pixel, on the glass substrate through which light enters a panel.

Vertical integration provides creative control

In addition to the HTPS panels, Epson also develops and manufactures nearly all of the key components in Epson projectors, including the lamps, projection lenses, and IC chips for image processing engines.

This vertical integration is a distinct advantage when it comes to creating unique products because it gives Epson complete control over everything from the development of core technologies and key devices to the planning, design, manufacture, sale, and after sale servicing of Epson's finished products.

Silicon-OLED Displays Enable New Modes of Visual Communication

Enjoy big-screen, see-through images hands-free anytime and anywhere with Moverio smart eyewear

Epson is using its microdisplay technology to create new tools and modes of visual communication. Moverio smart eyewear is such a tool.

In 2011, Epson launched its first smart glasses, the Moverio BT-100. The BT-100 enabled hands-free enjoyment of perceived big-screen images on see-through screens, anytime and anywhere. In November 2016, Epson released the Moverio BT-300. The optical engine for these smart glasses employs Epson's silicon organic light-emitting diode (Si-OLED) displays. OLED displays are known for high brightness and contrast, and we take advantage of these features to create realistic augmented reality (AR) images that blend seamlessly with the background.

MOVERIO BT-300/350

Field of view comparison (conceptual image)

BT-200 (previous model)

Images and information appear inside a screen

BT-300 (new product)

Only images and information are visible

The streamlined BT-300 is smaller and lighter than its predecessor, the BT-200—approximatelyabout 20% lighter (69 grams to 88 grams, excluding cables and shades). In addition, the weight was redistributed and the nose pads redesigned for extended wearing comfort.

A smaller display module

OLEDs are self-emitting, so, unlike liquid crystal display panels, they do not need a backlight. Epson integrated the driver circuitry in the displays to shrink the area of the driving board and reduce the size of the display module.

A smaller display module

BT-200 (previous model)
BT-300 (new product)

Size of lenses reduced through optical control

We reduced the size of lenses and light guides by adjusting the color filter of OLED panels to control the direction of light and achieve a tighter focus.

Lens miniaturization

BT-200 (previous model)
BT-300 (new product)