At the heart of InView cameras, is a Spatial Light Modulator (SLM). A SLM is defined as an object that imposes some form of spatially varying modulation on a beam of light. In the case of InView cameras, the SLM that we employ is a Texas Instruments DLP (Digital Light Processing), also sometimes referred to as a DMD (Digital Light Modulator). We had early experience with the DLP by using a Texas Instruments DLP Discovery 4100 kit that we purchased from a TI-authorized design house.
The Discovery kit was a great starter technology for InView. The discovery kit was employed in our earliest camera prototypes. As InView’s camera designs progressed, we found that we needed to evolve beyond the capabilities of the Discovery kit. Namely, we needed an ability to efficiently load random patterns into the DLP at the full DLP mirror flip rate without using prohibitive amounts of high-speed memory ICs.
And so to support our internal development activities, we developed the capability to make the DLP a PCI Express peripheral, making the DLP addressable over a high-speed PCI Express, generation two, by-eight bus. This capability has allowed InView to load mirror patterns into the DLP, without buffering, as fast as the patterns are generated by a high-speed desktop PC. The DPL in effect looks like it resides on a card inside the PC. And while we are not using PCI Express in our production cameras, it has been a very effective development tool for InView.
As part of the camera development, we have also developed a compact optical system, including all the lens and prisms needed to easily place an image onto the DLP and to concentrate the modulated image to a point where a detector can be used.
Some of our research partners from outside the company liked the capability that we had developed, and asked that we offer a SLM system for sale. InView has done that, creating the InView223 SLM system that includes optics, a DLP and a PCI Express input port.
DLP and Discovery 4100 are trademarks of Texas Instruments.