Liquid Crystal Over Silicon
LCOS is a kind of panel that was being developed by Intel for HDTV sets and videoprojectors.
It uses a liquid crystal layer on top a high-reflexive surface. Light is projected on the liquid crystal, which allows it to pass through or not, reflecting on the reflexive surface or not. Below this reflexive surface there is silicon that controls the panel.
The main advantage of this technology is its cost, lower that other competing technologies (especially because it is based on silicon, technology that Intel masters). Another advantage is the capability of displaying resolutions from 1920 x 1080 and beyond with quality. If higher resolution panels need to be created the size of the panel doesn’t need to be increased.
Another difference from LCOS to competing technologies is that LCOS panels have two buffers. While one image is being shown, the TV is already sending the next one set to the display. With that, LCOS refresh rate is far higher than the refresh rate achieved using other technologies, which provides a higher brightness and better image quality.
Three panels are necessary, one for each video basic color (red, green and blue).
This news was published on 10/26/2004:
Intel decided to cancel the development of its HDTV technology, LCOS. The goal of this project was to reduce the cost of HDTV sets and the company had already closed some deals with some Chinese manufacturers. After postponing the release of this technology to the beginning of 2005, Intel decided to drop the development of LCOS.
The reason, accordingly to Intel’s spokesman, was the high research and development costs and the estimate of a low return of investment. Intel’s decision should benefit companies that are betting on LCOS technology like JVC and Sony, and competing technologies, like Digital Light Processor, from Texas Instruments.