What happened to Darkchip 4? DLP® Products Announces New Darkchip 4 (2007) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 08-10-2012, 07:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorting my inbox, I just came across this announcement from IBC 2007 for the TI DLP Darkchip4, whatever happened to the Darkchip4? Only old projectors seem to have the DC3, budget units the DC2, but no DC4.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts:
Kateri Gemperle
TI DLP Products
214-567-3617
Kateri@ti.com

Eric Raymond
Rogers & Cowan
310-854-8128
eraymond@rogersandcowan.com

DLP® Products Announces New Darkchip 4

New Chipset to Increase Picture Quality and Contrast Ratios for DLP HDTVs and Projector Products

Denver, CO September 6, 2007: DLP® Products from Texas Instruments (TI) (NYSE: TXN) today announced the introduction of a new chipset, DarkChip 4, that furthers the position of DLP as a leader in picture quality and contrast ratio. The new chipset is reported to deliver up to a 30% increase in native contrast ratio depending upon the application. All DLP product lines, including DLP HDTVs, DLP 1-chip projectors and DLP 3-chip projectors currently feature products with various chipset iterations of DarkChip technology. The new DarkChip4 will be available in a number of products in 2008.

Using our current DLP chipsets, our customers have built some of the most competitive Home Theater products in the market, all with excellent picture quality, said Lars Yoder, vice president, DLP Front Projection Business Unit at TI. We are proud to introduce the next generation of the DLP chip for future product implementations. It will provide our customers even more flexibility for designing projectors that can meet the needs of a wide range of markets.

The DarkChip 4 process was first developed for the high brightness and contrast picture quality requirements of the digital cinema industry, of which DLP Cinema® is the founder and uncontested world leader. The contrast improvements from DarkChip 4 are achieved by advances in mirror design lithography and other proprietary process changes.

DLP uses a streamlined optical system that efficiently reflects light to the screen, resulting in a stunning viewing experience - crisper whites, ultra-rich blacks and images that "pop" on-screen, making it ideal for unforgettable presentations or movies. DLP-based products are known for their native contrast ratio levels which ultimately sets minimum product contrast ratio level for all scene content. Native contrast ratio also sets the black level of the system.

We are constantly searching and innovating new ways to create simply the best HDTV experience. The better the native contrast performance our mirrors can deliver, the more images will jump of the screen, said Adam Kunzman, DLP HDTV business manager. This breakthrough, combined with our other innovations, vibrant colors, high resolution, clarity and digital imaging, gives our customers a competitive and unique advantage in the marketplace.

At CEDIA (booth #620) DLP is showing multiple demonstrations, of the capabilities of the new chipset innovation. The DLP DarkChip 4 Theater features a 3 chip, 1080p DLP projector featuring the new chipset producing trillions of colors combined with a native contrast ratio of 15,000:1. Additionally, there is a demonstration of a DLP HDTV with DarkChip 4 and LED illumination with a native contrast performance beyond 100,000 to 1.

For more information about DLP technology and select product demonstrations with the new DarkChip 4 chipset, visit DLP at booth #620 on the show floor at CEDIA.

About Texas Instruments DLP Products
DLP display technology from Texas Instruments offers clarity down to the most minute detail, delivering pictures rich with color, contrast and brightness to large-screen HDTVs and projectors for business, home, professional venue and digital cinema (DLP Cinema®). 50 of the world's top projection and display manufacturers design, manufacture and market products based on DLP technology. DLP is the only HDTV technology built from a foundation in the digital cinema where it set the industry standard demonstrated by the deployment of DLP Cinema technology in 4,500 theaters worldwide. At the heart of every DLP chip is an array of up to 2.2 million microscopic mirrors which switch incredibly fast to create a high resolution, highly reliable, full color image. DLP technologys chip architecture and inherent speed advantage provides razor-sharp images and excellent reproduction of fast motion video. Since early 1996, more than 13 million DLP subsystems have been shipped. For more information, please visit http://www.dlp.com.

About Texas Instruments:

Texas Instruments Incorporated provides innovative DSP and analog technologies to meet our customers real world signal processing requirements. In addition to Semiconductor, the company includes the Educational Technology business. TI is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and has manufacturing, design or sales operations in more than 25 countries.

Texas Instruments is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TXN. More information is located on the World Wide Web at http://www.ti.com.

DLP and DLP Cinema are registered trademarks of Texas Instruments.
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post #2 of 13 Old 08-11-2012, 08:20 AM
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Maybe they held off and redesigned for the next HD evolution: DarkChip 4K tongue.gif
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post #3 of 13 Old 08-11-2012, 12:41 PM
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There are projectors that use DC4 chips, they tend to be +$10k single chip DLP models or the pricier 3 chip models. From what I remember, it is only the TI engineers picking out the 'best' DMD chips that makes them Darkchip4, it is not a different manufacturing process from Darkchip3 as far as I know (please feel free to correct me if this is wrong). It used to be the case that specifications would list which revision of chip was used, that doesn't seem to be the case these days. Most of the high end DLP mdoels use the larger .95" DMD and presumably (given the cost) those are picked to produce the highest contrast. Basically, most high end DLP models that use a .95" chip will be the equivalent of a good Darkchip3 or Darkchip4 DMD, how good may depend on the model/measurements etc. Just to confuse matters, the second generation of DMDs are smaller (.65") and use the same name, a lot of the cheaper, new models use these.
For example, the Digital Projection dvision 1080p uses the .95" Darkchip3, the Mitsubishi HC4000 uses the .65" Darkchip3

The price difference between the models that use the larger chips should give you some indication of which size is better wink.gif

Older models that use Darkchip4 are: Sim2 HT3000e, Samsung A900B, Infocus IN83, Marantz 11S2, Sim2 C3X 1080 (I am sure there are others).
Newer models that state in the specs are: Truvue Vango, Sim2's Mico, M & Teatro ranges.

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post #4 of 13 Old 08-12-2012, 08:22 PM
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Is the DC4 we have today the same DC4 that was announced?

Where are the 15,000:1 native DLP projectors?

 

 

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post #5 of 13 Old 08-13-2012, 07:04 AM
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Sim2 has been using DC4 for several years in most of their models (both my HT5000's are DC4, one is more than 3yo). As stated above, many of the higher end manufacturer's have also been using the DC4. It's probably the current standard among these manufacturers. Obviously, the spec's generated by individual PJ's are a function of more than just the DMD.




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post #6 of 13 Old 08-14-2012, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
The DLP DarkChip 4 Theater features a 3 chip, 1080p DLP projector featuring the new chipset producing trillions of colors combined with a native contrast ratio of 15,000:1. Additionally, there is a demonstration of a DLP HDTV with DarkChip 4 and LED illumination with a native contrast performance beyond 100,000 to 1.

I read that as 15k native projector. I don't think they would mention 100k for HDTV if they were talking about chip level. It sounds like 15k:1 projector and 100k:1 HDTV based on new technology. DC4 as it's described today is the best of each DC3 binned as DC4. I remember CM saying the HT5000 used the very best DC3 chips which made them the same as DC4 because that's how TI produced DC4 (at the time). The press release was for new tech that broke new ground in native CR. So I realize the DC4 branding is out there, but what happened to the DC4 technology that was originally announced? That doesn't seem to have materialized.

 

 

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post #7 of 13 Old 08-15-2012, 01:54 PM
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What I remember from the DC3/DC4 Sim2 controversy had to do with some of the early HT5000's indicating DC3 when they were actuallyalready DC4. I think there was a licensing/disclosure issue that prevented Sim2 from using DC4 in their specs/literature. Obviously a different issue. I do agree, that the "potential" DC4 performance (as stated by TI) did not materialize in PJ's using DC4 DMD's. I attributed this to other design (limiting) factors within the PJ's, but obviously speculating here.



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post #8 of 13 Old 08-15-2012, 04:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Technology developed for the DCi line of chips. +30% native contrast improvement on DC3. If the demo projector was truly native 15K:1 it must be using an iris, as 2K DCi is about 2600:1 and 4K DCi is around 2100/2200:1 on/off.
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post #9 of 13 Old 08-16-2012, 06:05 AM
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Quote:
The DLP DarkChip 4 Theater features a 3 chip, 1080p DLP projector featuring the new chipset producing trillions of colors combined with a native contrast ratio of 15,000:1. Additionally, there is a demonstration of a DLP HDTV with DarkChip 4 and LED illumination with a native contrast performance beyond 100,000 to 1.

Obviously neither the 15k or 100K:1 came to pass, and it still hasn't happened 5 yr later.

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post #10 of 13 Old 08-18-2012, 07:09 AM
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No, I think DC4 only ever got to around 5000:1 and it was only marginally better than DC3(+). A dynamic iris modifier is usually around 3X putting the best at around 15K on/off. Many high end pjs opted for DC3 with iris over DC4 because of a difference in shadow detail and gamma (this fad was voiced by Joe Kan in the press). Its really a shame, this was the beginning of the takeover of LCOS as DLP refused to remain competitive. (don't get me wrong, I own DLP, but I wish for better on/off contrast) The fact that many people still prefer DLP means they're doing something really right in the other aspects of PQ though (ANSI contrast, brightness, sharpness, color, etc)
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post #11 of 13 Old 08-20-2012, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pottscb View Post

No, I think DC4 only ever got to around 5000:1 and it was only marginally better than DC3(+). A dynamic iris modifier is usually around 3X putting the best at around 15K on/off. Many high end pjs opted for DC3 with iris over DC4 because of a difference in shadow detail and gamma (this fad was voiced by Joe Kan in the press). Its really a shame, this was the beginning of the takeover of LCOS as DLP refused to remain competitive. (don't get me wrong, I own DLP, but I wish for better on/off contrast) The fact that many people still prefer DLP means they're doing something really right in the other aspects of PQ though (ANSI contrast, brightness, sharpness, color, etc)

Correct. The chip alone over the DC3 was a fairly minor change. It had more potential, but that was somewhat reliant on other improvements in the projectors. Not many adopted it due to costs.

Lately DLP seems to be reserved for cheap stuff (almost always DC2/3) or really expensive stuff (could be anything). There are few "mid priced" units.

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post #12 of 13 Old 08-20-2012, 08:39 PM
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Jason, you've seen a lot of projectors. At what point does native CR become high enough that, say, 99% of dark scenes don't look washed out?

I wish I could look at a slow ramp of CR on my favorite dark scenes and see how much CR is good enough. I've only seen jumps as I upgrade from one projector to the next. I took interest in the 15k native number for DLP because the Ruby with it's 15k dynamic was the first projector I saw where the lack of CR wasn't the overriding problem with the image. The Qualia I believe was 2k or 3k and that still came up short in some scenes. Sim2 does 6k - 10k with lamp modulation. DPI hits 5.5k and calls that "ultra high contrast". Barco is 2k, with their version of high contrast being 2.5k (without after market mods). I'm not a fan of DI, so tend to discount the original Lumis with 30k via DI. Based on what's available today, have you seen any high brightness projectors that didn't leave something to be desired when it came to low light scenes? Or is 15k native DLP the PJ that everyone with large screens is waiting for?

As an aside, does anyone know why the DI in the original Lumis wasn't migrated to Sim2's other projectors? Has lamp modulation replaced mechanical DI for them?

 

 

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post #13 of 13 Old 08-21-2012, 05:51 AM
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Originally Posted by rabident View Post

As an aside, does anyone know why the DI in the original Lumis wasn't migrated to Sim2's other projectors? Has lamp modulation replaced mechanical DI for them?

That is an interesting question, it seems that the previous generation (HT3000E, HT380 etc.) used UNIshape without DI but is not mentioned in the tech specs of any of their current line. I could be wrong but I think the dynamic iris in the Nero is the same, or similar to, the Lumis DI. Perhaps they felt that was the superior tech and determined it was distinguishing factor for their premium offerings.

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