MSFT optics and MEMS discussion

Osram enables projections with the smartphone

Osram enables projections with the smartphone

Laser technology from Osram transforms smartphones into beamers

31.01.2019 | Trade Press
In addition to playing smartphone videos on a flat surface, RGB laser projection can be used, for example, for large-scale projection of holiday memories.
Green lasers for projector applications need to have not only outstanding beam characteristics but also a high optical performance in order to deliver sharp and bright images. Although a projector also needs red and blue lasers, green is the crucial color in RGB solutions – and also the color that poses the greatest challenges in production. PLT3 520D continues Osram’s success story with green lasers. At 140 mW it achieves an unprecedented high pulse output for direct green laser diodes. [Editor's Note: The Sharp Laser Diodes product family document indicates a 130mW power rating for their green laser diode. Be interesting to see how much improvement in brightness we can harness from the extra 10 mW in green laser power available from Osram.] In addition, the efficiency of the laser has been increased to a typical value of 8%. Thanks to these improvements, it is now possible to turn a smartphone into a small cinema projector. The small display of the device can be enlarged several times over.
Up to now, RGB laser projections for smartphones, based on a red, green and blue laser, often had brightness problems. The reason was the often insufficient brightness of the green laser. Green light has a special importance in RGB applications because the human eye is most sensitive in the green spectral range. The brighter the green laser shines on a surface, the brighter and stronger the projected image appears to the viewer. With its PLT3 520D now offering 140 mW at 300 mA in pulsed mode (50% duty cycle), Osram has achieved unprecedented performance for a green single-mode laser. So far, the limit for these components was 80 mW. A further advantage of the diode is its compact and space-saving TO38 metal housing with a diameter of only 3.8 mm. The laser diode with a wavelength of 520 nm has been specially developed for laser projection applications that use a MEMS scanner as the image encoder.

With 140 mW at 300 mA in pulsed mode the single-mode laser diode has achieved unprecedented performance for a green laser.
“Thanks to OSRAM’s long tradition and expertise in the laser sector, we have succeeded in driving forward developments in this key technology,” explained Pedro Muñoz, Marketing Manager at Osram Opto Semiconductors. “Based on our quality promise, users can be confident that this technology will open up additional functions on smartphones in the medium term.”


  1. Is this not what we have been working on for the last twenty something years? Am I missing something? I realize there is a hierarchy to a build but to me this has MVIS written all over it at the lowest level of that build. Would you concur?

    1. The availability of affordable, high performance green laser diodes will allow for MVIS tech to spread like wildfire.

      This statement in the press release is unequivocal and points to requiring MVIS as the key enabler: "The laser diode with a wavelength of 520 nm has been specially developed for laser projection applications that use a MEMS scanner as the image encoder."

      As I mentioned in my last audio blog, these lasers don't function as laser projectors UNLESS they are paired with a MEMS scanner and drive electronics such as that provided by MVIS.

      SHARP declared in October they have 520nm, 130 mW green laser diode in 3.8mm package size via this document (p24):

      Now there is a secondary green laser diode source at the same wavelength with 8% more output, which will translate into a brighter projection display.

      I'd expect SHARP to follow suit with further performance improvements to their green laser product leading to a virtuous cycle or "arms race" in green laser diode performance among multiple providers.


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