DLP DMD chip size matter? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 27 Old 12-23-2009, 09:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey all!

I was just wondering what exactly the DMD chip size means?

For example, my Optoma 1080p features a 0.95" chip, while some others 1080p features 0.65" chip.

Does it means a smaller chip will have every mirror closer to each other, means less SDE and less light loss?

Or is bigger chip are better?

Is that the difference between Dark Chip 1/2/3/4 etc?

And I guess a same technology chip (let say DC2) with 720p will be smaller than a 1080p right?

Thanks!


P.S. What is the sticky warning with "Costco" post? Does it means I can't say that I bought my PJ at Costco for example? Or is it to prevent people posting "Hey look at this PJ at Costco for sale, is it good?" or just to prevent advertising?
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post #2 of 27 Old 12-23-2009, 08:48 PM
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The larger the DMD, the larger you can project an image before the diffraction limiting effects of the DMD become, er, limiting. Now to take advantage of this you need a commensurate lens and lighting system. For instance, I am using the large Sanyo PJ, see this thread for details: https://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...887&highlight=

This PJ is diffraction limited by its .95 DMD at 1/2 pixel. The lens is also limited by chromatic abberation at the same level. This PJ can literally project single pixels accurately. Try that with your typical PJ. Anyway, the .95 DMD is the correct size for 1080p, diffraction limited performance. Coupled to the right light engine and lens, its an awesome performer.

The Costco sticky is to prevent the endless pricing posts about what's on sale at Costco this week.
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post #3 of 27 Old 12-24-2009, 05:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok, so with my PJ installed at 12" from a 100" screen, I'm far from the limiting factor I guess then!

Makes sense, when watching closely, I can distinctly see every pixel, as the SDE too!
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post #4 of 27 Old 12-24-2009, 08:14 AM
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A small chip size needs a better lens than a larger chip size to produce the same quality image. All things being equal larger chip size is better.
See http://www.videovantage.com/?p=11 for a comparison of image sharpness between 0.65" and 0.95" chips.

The reason for smaller chip sizes is purely commercial they are cheaper to manufacture, you get more per wafer. Unfortunately quality lenses are expensive so the end result is cheaper projectors but with less sharp picture quality, at least if you look very closely at the screen.

The difference between darkchip versions used to be the design of the chip. Amongst the things they have improved are increasing the pixel fill factor with each generation of chip, and increasing the amount the chip tilts and speed it can tilt at. These improvements produce a higher off chip contrast ratio. They have also altered the chip driver technology which has reduced the amount of temporal/spatial dithering a projector needs to uses with a high speed colorwheel.

(1992)B2 Chip 50:1
(1995)HH Chip 250:1
(1997)SRV Chip 400:1
(2000)SRV+SMG 800:1
DarkChip1 >1500:1
(2003)DarkChip2 >2000:1
DarkChip3 >2300:1
New DarkChip4 upto 30% higher contrast than DarkChip3 depending on application
New DarkChip1 ?

Unfortunately they produced multiple versions of the same darkchip and now they have even started producing new chips and calling them DarkChip1 to distinguish them from higher premimum DarkChip4 chips. So it is difficult to tell what individual chip specs are.

DLP rear projection tvs use different versions of chips to front projectors, the chips used by rear projection tvs are cheaper and have one diamond shaped mirror per two image pixels, they rely on wobulation to produce 1080x1920 resolution, while front projector chips have square mirrors, one mirror per pixel, and do not use wobulation.
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post #5 of 27 Old 12-24-2009, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angel2167882 View Post

Ok, so with my PJ installed at 12" from a 100" screen, I'm far from the limiting factor I guess then!

Makes sense, when watching closely, I can distinctly see every pixel, as the SDE too!

The diffraction limit is built into the PJ, and is not a function of your screen size. The screen size gives you the magnification of the DMD, 105 in your case. The diffraction limit is dependent on the pixel size, about 10 microns in this case, and the focal length of the lens. You can look up this topic. Diffraction limiting is seldom discussed around here, but is a pretty hot topic on the microscope, telescope, and photography forums.
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post #6 of 27 Old 09-17-2019, 01:23 AM
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Hi!

I don't find nowhere, so a i ask : What size the DLP chip of Benq W1070? 0.65'' os 0.95''?
THX the answer!
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post #7 of 27 Old 09-17-2019, 01:49 AM
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wow! so 10yrs. ago the where using a 0.95" DMD chip? VS. 0.47" now.

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post #8 of 27 Old 09-17-2019, 02:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dovercat View Post

DarkChip3 >2300:1

AFAIK the FullHD 1080p DarkChip3 is still state-of-the-art in terms of native contrast / black levels.


IIRC, the large 4K XPR 0.66" DMD (used in first gen 4K DLP projectors and now has a 'comeback' with 3D support)
has a maximum native contrast of around 1,000:1 while the smaller 4K XPR 0.47" DMD only yields a native contrast of around 500:1.


Supposedly the decrease in size plus the XPR pixel shifting has deteriorating effects concerning achievable native contrast.


Optoma has also an entry level of HDR capable front projectors but with only Full HD resolution. I assume these are also using the less expensive 0.47" DMD rather than the 0.65" DarkChip3, so native contrast should be accordingly.


Unless I'm mistaken one 1080p DLP projector that is still available and uses DC3 is the Vivitek H1188 (and a rather good one, I should add) and probably a few BenQ models.
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post #9 of 27 Old 09-17-2019, 03:52 AM
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I found it earlier (but don't know where), the chip in the W1070 is a 0.62 '' DarkChip DMD. Is this true?
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post #10 of 27 Old 09-17-2019, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank714 View Post
AFAIK the FullHD 1080p DarkChip3 is still state-of-the-art in terms of native contrast / black levels.


IIRC, the large 4K XPR 0.66" DMD (used in first gen 4K DLP projectors and now has a 'comeback' with 3D support)
has a maximum native contrast of around 1,000:1 while the smaller 4K XPR 0.47" DMD only yields a native contrast of around 500:1.


Supposedly the decrease in size plus the XPR pixel shifting has deteriorating effects concerning achievable native contrast.


Optoma has also an entry level of HDR capable front projectors but with only Full HD resolution. I assume these are also using the less expensive 0.47" DMD rather than the 0.65" DarkChip3, so native contrast should be accordingly.


Unless I'm mistaken one 1080p DLP projector that is still available and uses DC3 is the Vivitek H1188 (and a rather good one, I should add) and probably a few BenQ models.


The pixel shift is a big culprit. BenQ was able to improve native contrast on the .47 XPR DMD (HT3550 / HT5550) by upgrading the lens and actuator to lessen internal reflections. According to them the native performance difference between the .47 and .67 is not all that great with the exception that the .47 sees twice as many shifts. This makes sense considering the actual pitch and tilt of the micro mirrors on the .47 and .67 are identical.

The BenQ HT2050A, HT3050, HT2150ST all use the DC3 .65 as well as the Optoma HD27HDR and the Viewsonic that replaced the 7827... can’t remember the model name now. I think there are more...
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post #11 of 27 Old 09-17-2019, 10:09 AM
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wow resurrecting a 10 year old post nice..!

I still have a number of projectors that use the .95 and the .65 DMD's. yeas ago I swapped in a DC4 .95 DMD into the Planar/Runco projector. it still works great to this day. I keep a few .65 and .95 spares in case any of the DMD's have an issue.

They changed the materials on the newer style DMD's, these must have been pretty expensive to make with the classic ceramic and gold design. apparently some folks harvest old DMD's for $$ gold.



I'd like to see TI create a .95 native UHD DMD for the consumer market.
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post #12 of 27 Old 09-17-2019, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by zombie10k View Post
wow resurrecting a 10 year old post nice..!

I still have a number of projectors that use the .95 and the .65 DMD's. yeas ago I swapped in a DC4 .95 DMD into the Planar/Runco projector. it still works great to this day. I keep a few .65 and .95 spares in case any of the DMD's have an issue.

They changed the materials on the newer style DMD's, these must have been pretty expensive to make with the classic ceramic and gold design. apparently some folks harvest old DMD's for $$ gold.



I'd like to see TI create a .95 native UHD DMD for the consumer market.


There is a .95” native 4K DMD. But I believe it has the same 5.4 μm pitch and ±17 degree tilt as the smaller .47 and .67 DMDs. These are all part of TI’s new “TRP” pixel architecture. I’m sure the .95” would have better contrast simply owing to NOT having to utilize an actuator (to shift pixels) as well as the corresponding increase in lens size and quality that would accompany such a large imaging chip. In either case— a projector utilizing this chip would likely be really expensive.

I keep coming back to my local IMAX theater. They have one of the IMAX digital projectors which utilizes two 4K light engines that overlap on the same screen. The tech being employed in this monster is DLP but the image has far greater contrast than any DLP I’ve seen for home or commercial use. Clearly there is a way to squeeze more contrast performance from DLP but the question becomes: is there anyway to do that affordably enough or efficiently enough to make sense for the consumer market.

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post #13 of 27 Old 09-17-2019, 12:15 PM
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0.47" vs 0.66" DMD contrast

Does the chip size effect contrast as well? the 0.47" XPR models seem to have less contrast than the 0.66" models, but that could just be light source / color wheel implementation...
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post #14 of 27 Old 09-17-2019, 12:56 PM
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Does the chip size effect contrast as well? the 0.47" XPR models seem to have less contrast than the 0.66" models, but that could just be light source / color wheel implementation...
Yes the smaller chips have lower contrast than larger chips.

This seems to be because of the light spraying off the edge of the mirrors. 2 million mirrors across .47" vs. .65" and you still have the same edges to deal with between all those mirrors. It creates an issue of scattering light vs. reflected light. With the .47, there is less light reflected and more light scattered compared to the larger chip which has more light being reflected off the mirror, and less being scattered.

It may be an overall issue with DLP that because it doesn't block light, but reflects light, that it just can't reach the black levels of the transmissive technologies.

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Isn't it about time the Men in Black release a new piece of tech

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What if the back of the mirrors and the dmd chamber were lined with some kind of protostar ultra black!
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post #17 of 27 Old 09-17-2019, 04:21 PM
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What if the back of the mirrors and the dmd chamber were lined with some kind of protostar ultra black!
it would catch fire in minutes, it has been tried..

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it would catch fire in minutes, it has been tried..
Hah! I know im sorry it was a joke. gotta get that second panel. lasers and irises will have to do until something new comes along. Its a shame because despite lcos' good response(2.5ms btw?) theres still a big difference with dlp(0.25ms?)
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post #19 of 27 Old 09-17-2019, 08:13 PM
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Where it was tried https://www.avsforum.com/forum/24-di...l#post39371730 probable other places as well

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post #20 of 27 Old 09-18-2019, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post
This seems to be because of the light spraying off the edge of the mirrors. 2 million mirrors across .47" vs. .65" and you still have the same edges to deal with between all those mirrors. It creates an issue of scattering light vs. reflected light. With the .47, there is less light reflected and more light scattered compared to the larger chip which has more light being reflected off the mirror, and less being scattered.

I remember a technical discussion with somebody with close ties to TI many years ago and one of the issues was rather simply that on paper the micromirrors are ideally perfectly flat (for optimal on/off performance) but in reality are rather convex (i.e. curved).


I'd assume that as the mirrors get smaller, it becomes rather difficult to keep them flat. So I'd speculate that the larger the DMD chip (and its mirrors), the 'flatter' the micromirrors will be and the practical performance would be much better in the end.


So DLP DMD chip size probably does matter.
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post #21 of 27 Old 09-18-2019, 05:55 PM
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..and just saw that the 1080P XPR chip has gotten smaller @ 0.23" DMD size! 960x540 mirrors


http://www.ti.com/product/DLP230NP


Quote:
Ultra Compact 0.23-Inch (5.95-mm) Diagonal Micromirror Array
  • Displays 1920 × 1080 Pixels On the Screen
  • 5.4 µm Micromirror Pitch
  • 17° Micromirror Tilt (Relative to Flat Surface)
  • Side Illumination for Optimal Efficiency and Optical Engine Size
  • Polarization Independent Aluminum Micromirror Surface

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post #22 of 27 Old 09-20-2019, 07:33 AM
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it would catch fire in minutes, it has been tried..
The black velvet was a fail.




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IMO TI hit its sweet spot on cost/performance with the .65 1080p chip set. It allowed projector manufactures a platform that with using reasonably priced components to put out the best product at the best price drawing in the greatest number of people into the market. At the end you can buy an RGBRGB 1080p dark chip 3 projector that’s small and user friendly fits into a small room with a large immersive image and handles gaming lags for under 700 bucks. Something that put it into a very attractive price point for a huge number or people, and still does.

Then came 4k HDR a much easier resolution in some way for TV than projectors to meet especially DLP manufactures. TI was most likely battling on two fronts to keep up, the technology, and then building a product that could be fit into projectors and still have an affordable offering at the end. Hitting that sweet spot again seems like it was a taller order.

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post #24 of 27 Old 09-20-2019, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by wheelee View Post
..and just saw that the 1080P XPR chip has gotten smaller @ 0.23" DMD size! 960x540 mirrors


http://www.ti.com/product/DLP230NP


[/LIST]
If 4X shifting a native 1920x1080 chip is "true 4K" then 4X pixel shifting a native 960x540 chip is "true 1080p."

Encourage TI to lower the bar and they will gladly oblige.
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Originally Posted by airscapes View Post
Where it was tried https://www.avsforum.com/forum/24-di...l#post39371730 probable other places as well
As Darin said in that thread, if you go in the other direction and lower the light output then you can increase on/off contrast.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelee View Post
..and just saw that the 1080P XPR chip has gotten smaller @ 0.23" DMD size! 960x540 mirrors


http://www.ti.com/product/DLP230NP


[/LIST]

From the same data sheet:

"8.2 Typical Application
A common application when using DLPC3436 controller with DLP230NP (.23 1080p), a XC7Z020-1CLG484I4493 FPGA, and DLPA2000 PMIC/LED driver is for creating a Pico projector embedded in a handheld product. For example, a Pico projector may be embedded in a smart phone, a tablet, a camera, or camcorder. The FPGA in the Pico projector embedded module typically receives images from a host processor within the product."
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post #27 of 27 Old 09-21-2019, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave in Green View Post
If 4X shifting a native 1920x1080 chip is "true 4K" then 4X pixel shifting a native 960x540 chip is "true 1080p."



Encourage TI to lower the bar and they will gladly oblige.


That thing is going to be strictly for ultra portable applications where existing product is still soldiering on with 480p. We’re talking projectors in mobile phones and pice projectors that fit into the palm of your hand. I doubt we’ll ever see a HT product that features such a solution.
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