Epson Unveils 4K Imager

Seiko Epson Corporation (Suwa City, Japan) has revealed that they have developed the world’s first 4K-compatible high-temperature polysilicon (HTPS) imager for 3LCD projectors. Measuring 1.64 inches diagonally, the new panel supports displays with resolutions up to 4096 × 2160 pixels.

Texas Instruments has announced it is in development of a 4K DLP panel, but JVC and Sony already have commercial 4K LCOS panels used in Digital Cinema and other professional applications. Epson has now joined this club. This panel has the resolution of four FHD imagers. Notice in the photo of the panel that there are four connectors to drive this panel - one for each FHD part of the image.

Epson will manufacture the panel, which could be used in an Epson-branded projector or in a projector manufactured by other companies. Sanyo, NEC, Sharp, Hitachi and Panasonic for example, might be good candidates. Epson will use its latest D7 process technology to manufacture the panel. It will also incorporate its C2FINE technology, which is a vertically aligned LCD mode which offers high contrast. New driving methods for the 4K panel also needed to be developed. The panel uses pixels that have a 9-micron pixel pitch - not the smallest that Epson has made, but very close.

We also suspect that Epson’s TFT group is talking to potential projector customers about a 3D version of the 4K projector. The easiest way to do this would be a dual-engine approach that would allow the use of passive polarized glasses, but it would require a polarization preserving screen. That should be okay for Digital Cinema where the current DLP solutions require a similar screen, but it may be less desirable in other commercial applications. Therefore, a shutter glass solution is going to have to be found for 3LCD, we suspect.

By Chris Chinnock, Display Daily