Finnish Researchers Developing New Laser Light Source for Mobile Projectors

Epicrystal-0312In a recent issue we introduced you to the Samsung Galaxy Beam, an Android smartphone with a built-in projector.

Now VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, EpiCrystals Oy and Aalto University believe they have a “better laser light source” for projectors that will be integrated into mobile phones and expect mobile phones equipped with this laser light source can be within consumer reach in a few years’ time.

They will develop a small, energy-efficient and luminous three-color (RGB) light source with low manufacturing costs in a project combining their Finnish know-how.

VTT says they are moving from design to building prototypes, with the goal to prove by next summer that large quantities of the new laser light sources can be manufactured quickly and economically.

“We are developing an entirely new technology that is currently not in use anywhere else in the world. At the moment, there are stand-alone projectors on the market that can be connected to electronic appliances and early stage integrated projectors, but their quality and price are not competitive enough. Large electronics manufacturers are extremely interested in integrated projectors, and market research shows that demand for these micro projectors will increase strongly in the coming years. Soon, around 2 billion mobile phones per year will be sold in the world, and if even a couple of per cent of those contain a projector, we are talking about tens of millions of copies, and the hundred million mark is not far either,” says vice president of business development Tomi Jouhti of EpiCrystals Oy.

EpiCrystals wants to be the technology and market leader in laser light sources for micro projectors by 2015. That’s an ambitious goal that will take them on a collision path with giants such as Texas Instruments.

EpiCrystals’ laser modules will be mass-produced in Asia, but R&D will remain in Finland. The VTT, EpiCrystals and Aalto University project has received funding from the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (Tekes), among others.

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