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April 12, 2011

SBG Labs Introduces Laser Despeckler for Laser Projectors

SUNNYVALE, CA — Apr. 12, 2011: SBG Labs announced its DigiLens®-Laser Despeckler Module for the ultra-portable projector display market. The new optical module greatly suppresses laser speckle from re, blue and green laser sources. Lasers are being considered for all categories of projection displays, particularly compact devices where lasers will open the door to ultra-low form factor designs by enabling diffractive and holographic optics.

However, lasers do bring an unwelcome guest to the party—speckle. Easily recognizable as a sparkly or granular structure around uniformly illuminated rough surfaces, speckle arises from the high spatial and temporal coherence of lasers. The resulting viewer distraction and loss of image sharpness is a major obstacle to commercialization of laser projectors.

SBG Labs founder and CTO Dr. Jonathan Waldern commented, “I believe we have made a breakthrough in understanding the phenomenon of speckle in laser displays and have used this insight to develop a radically new approach to speckle reduction based on our Switchable Bragg Grating (SBG) technology. The resulting despeckler is compact, cheap, silent, easily integrated and applicable to any type of laser display. As an added bonus, the SBG solution also provides the functions of beam combining, beam shaping and homogenization all integrated in a single module.”

Projection display developers have been eagerly anticipating lasers for many years. Extremely bright, reliable, efficient, compact and cost effective devices from such as Mitsubishi, Osram, Nichia, Novalux, SONY and Hitachi are expected to revolutionize a market that, for the past twenty years, has been dominated by lamp lit DLP designs. Life-like color images are only possible with lasers, which provide color gamut covering 90% of what the eye sees, surpassing by far LEDs and other incoherent sources.

IMAX has licensed laser projection technology from Eastman Kodak in order to provide digital solutions for its largest screens. The technology will facilitate a digital road map for IMAX’s largest film screens such as those in the range of 80 to 100 feet as well as dome theatres, for which there is not currently a solution.

Also, the need to alternate between 3D movie images at a rate of 24Hz, as well as the natural decay in brightness from a xenon projector lamp during its working lifetime, is adding to the brightness problem 3D theatre owners and equipment makers face. Conventional projectors can leave the audience experiencing just 25 per cent of the normal specified brightness, perhaps less. Replacing bulb-driven projectors with digital Laser illuminated systems enable 3D movies of much higher brightness and is the solution favored by many equipment makers.

About SBG Labs, Inc.
Located in Silicon Valley, CA, SBG Labs is the leading optical technology company that has developed a revolutionary electrically switchable holographic device called “Switchable Bragg Gratings,” hence the name SBG Labs. The electro-holographic optical technology merges breakthroughs in nano-material science and optical software processing by recording holographic optics into nano-composite electro-optical material, allowing this technology to be used in many everyday products and applications.

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