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Microvision Demonstrates Breakthrough 7.6 Million Pixel Microdisplay

Multi-zone scanning technique unlocks potential for brighter, higher resolution displays with wider field of views

BOTHELL, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 18, 2004-- Microvision, Inc. (Nasdaq:MVIS - News), a leader in light scanning technologies, today announced a new, scalable, architecture for its microdisplays in which a single scanner is used to direct multiple beams simultaneously into separate zones of an image. The new architecture has the potential to deliver a bright, high resolution, image over a very wide field of view creating an immersive "big-screen" effect that is highly desirable for applications such as personal theatre and gaming. Because the display utilizes conventional "surface emitting" LEDs as light sources, it holds the promise of achieving very low cost relative to display resolution and brightness.

The engineering prototype uses a few tens of LEDs to write approximately 7.6 million red, green, and blue spots that integrate to form a single high-fidelity image. In the current prototype, the company uses an existing scanner and drive electronics to deliver all 7.6 million pixels into a 1.4 million-pixel frame, to create increased brightness and enhanced image quality. The array architecture can alternatively be configured to provide increased spatial resolution. The resulting color fields are overlapped in a series of zones using a third generation MEMS scanner that no longer requires the bulk and cost of a vacuum package. The display delivers an image with a full 30-degree horizontal field of view and has the potential to be significantly brighter than earlier microdisplay prototypes with narrower field of views.

"This is a major milestone in the development of color microdisplays for consumer products," said Steve Willey, President of Microvision. "With our earlier single channel architecture, we are approaching a practical limit in field of view of around 25 degrees. Now we have the flexibility of increasing display performance by adding inexpensive LEDs and writing multiple zones. This architecture gives us the potential to achieve much wider fields of view and higher resolution necessary for the higher performance imaging and consumer products we are targeting.

"The architecture evolved from our earlier work with multi-line image writing that used conventional laser sources. It's very scalable and allows us to take advantage of the benefits of declining costs of memory, processing power and most significantly, inexpensive and increasingly bright LEDs. Patent applications that cover many of the basic elements of this approach are among the most recent additions to Microvision's IP portfolio, which now numbers 102 US patents, plus over 90 pending U.S. patents and more than 300 invention disclosures. We believe the new architecture has tremendous market potential, particularly for those microdisplay applications that flat panel suppliers find difficult to address."
Holy Paradigm Shift, Batman! I've written a lot about the astonishing power of the company's intellectual property. The minds behind these rapid breakthroughs are deserving of all the praise and recognition they can get. When you consider the company's microdisplay R&D budget is not enormous, it makes you appreciate the quality and capability of Microvision's engineering team all the more. That's the thing about progress -- it's unstoppable and inexorable -- and when it's powered by the brightest engineering team in the world, it can be very fast, too.

Congratulations MVIS!


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