Texas Instruments, Inc. announced at the Mobile World Congress trade show that it had chips for what it calls “pico projectors” ready for production. These chips can be integrated into a mobile device to project images onto a surface. This technology aims to overcome the nuances of the small display screens that cellular phones currently have. Texas Instruments revealed prototypes of the technology a year ago. At that time, Texas Instruments was expecting the convergence between televisions and cellular phones to progress rapidly over the next few years. Texas Instruments feels that that time is now.


The projector, which measures about 1.5 inches in length, contains three lasers, a DLP chip and a power supply. This projector can beam DVD-quality video onto a screen or a wall, thereby allowing it to be used as a video player and (in the case of cellular phones with built-in TV receivers) as projection TVs.


Greg Delagi, Head of Texas Instruments’s Mobile Chip Division, expects the pico projector technology to be used by everybody from executives who want to deliver presentations without having to use a laptop computer to mobile gaming enthusiasts and consumers looking for a way to share family photographs.

Texas Instruments also unveiled another chip, this one designed to power the next generation of cellular phones. The OMAP3440 will let consumers record high-definition video on their cellular phones. According to Delagi, this chip will be available for handset makers for testing in the second quarter of 2008, and could possibly be released in commercial products about a year from now.

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