back to article Man survives death march to display-on-a-chip

Today, the Digital Micromirror Device puts images onto new-age movie screens. But in a past life, this light-bouncing semiconductor was a print technology. Sometime in 1984, inside a Texas Instruments research lab, Larry Hornbeck and his cohorts first demonstrated their tiny-mirror tech by printing a few choice words on spare …


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  1. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects
    Paris Hilton

    Name and shame

    What is the point of this sort of article with its non news innuendos? We all want to know the names of the pr*cks who worked at that duffers incorpulant. Get some serious research in will you!

    If anyone wants to know who invented what, they can look it up on the computer; it's what the Internet is for.

  2. amanfromMars Silver badge

    For Speed of Invention too

    "Sometimes, you need a patron. ®"

    It is the reason for fortunes.

  3. Joe
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    I enjoyed it. Nothing wrong with the occasional magazine piece! Who says it all has to be the latest news?

  4. Grant
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    Good Piece

    I was surised a nice little piece of journalism, with no gratitous swearing or side lines written only to make the article contraverisal so people will post lots BS.

  5. Tam Lin

    contraverisal [sic]?

    But of course it is. Is DLP worth the burden that is Texas and the new TI?

    Also and alas, Larry Hornbeck and George Heilmeier only bothered to work out the easy bits. I don't actually own a TV or a movie theater, but every time I've checked, I've reconfirmed that no one has yet to make headway on engineering anything worth the effort of watching.

  6. Jasmine Strong

    Well, I liked it

    I like this kind of article. And not just because Larry Hornbeck is a great guy.

  7. Dillon Pyron
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    Saw that puppy early on

    In the mid 80s to mid 90s, my wife and I worked at TI, in the Defense Electronics Systems Group (basically, we made the smarts for bombs). We were invited to give our opinions on some different TVs. The difference was astonishing. This was well before HD, yet the images on one were so much superior to the other. After we consistently (as we found out) picked the DLP over the others, we were shown the chip. Astonishing!

    I knew George, too. Nice guy.

  8. Anonymous Coward
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    Great Stuff

    This is the type of article that makes you glad you clicked on it, -for the message, for the sharing in the successes of others. Kudos.

  9. stu
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    I got my first DLP HD projector a few months ago.

    As you say, awesome picture, but what I find most amazing is the technology. Because of its reliance on 'moving stuff' it can be explained to non-techies. And mostly when I do this they think I must be taking the piss...

    a chip with >million mirrors !

    they switch off hundreds of times individually every second!

    there is a synchronized colour wheel in front and your eye does the rest!

    One of the truly remarkable new techs to come out of the last 20 years imho.

  10. Shane Sturrock
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    DLP lives

    I'm on my third DLP projector now having first bought into the tech back in the mid 90's. The choices for projection at the time were CRT which was scanline city even with a line doubler (expensive) or even a quadrupler (very expensive) or LCD which was like watching your film through a screen door. DLP was a revelation by comparison. Sure it was noisy but it had decent black levels for the time and the colour wheel meant that every pixel could be any colour. My latest one is HD and it looks amazing when driven with a Blu-ray or HD DVD. The local digital cinema also uses DLP and I saw Watchmen on it and it was incredible how crisp and flawless it looked compared with their 35mm projectors in other screens.

    It is funny, I've seen 100" plasma 1080p screens and the pixels are way more obvious than with a DLP projecting at the same size and resolution.

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