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Bookham launches modular multiplexer technology for LED projection systems

15 Jun 2006

California-based optical component developer says that digital micro mirror device projection manufacturers, in particular, should benefit from this compact optical module.

Bookham, Inc. San Jose, CA, has launched an innovative solution for LED multiplexing. The ZoroLight LED multiplexer module is designed to support next-generation rear-projection television and pocket projectors that use LED illumination instead of conventional UHP lamps.

The company has taken the step of mounting specially designed optical thin film filters required for multiplexing into a package that the company claims is more compact and optically efficient than other solutions.

ZoroLight multiplexes red, blue and green LED signals to enable Digital Light Processor projection devices and requires minimum alignment during light engine assembly by customers.

"LED-based projection systems are a growth market and one that Bookham is well-positioned to support," said Bruce Kuhlmann, Director of Global Sales, Thin Films, Bookham. "Bookham has built up extensive experience in combining multiple wavelengths of light efficiently.

"By using telecom thin film filter technology, and the unique production processes we have developed, we are able to bring theatre quality, high performance optics to the projection display market and package them in such a way that OEMs can use them seamlessly within their own offering."

Bookham has developed fully-automated thin film and assembly processes, which create higher quality optics than competitive systems. The patented Advanced Energetic Deposition automated thin film optical coating technology produces precision optical filters with ultra-low defect levels and higher light throughput, tighter wavelength control, high volume and low cost.

"We believe that our production processes are unique within the display industry," added Kuhlmann. "They enable greater consistency and reliability of supply - factors that have contributed to our leading position as a supplier to the telecom sector and growth in the display sector."

ZoroLight joins the range of ColorLoc thin film components that are designed for display optics. The portfolio includes color filter wheels, which offer optimized color management; all dielectric light pipes for low loss light homogenization; UV/IR blockers; anti-reflection coatings; front surface mirrors for micro-display engine beam-folding; dichroics for color separation and combining; and custom filters and assemblies for LED illumination.

• Bookham Technologies has received an "Excellent Supplier" award from Huawei, China's largest telecoms equipment vendor and the third largest telecom optical networking equipment manufacturer worldwide. The award is in recognition of the company's performance as a supplier in 2005.

The award recognizes in particular the quality and delivery performance achieved by Bookham with products manufactured in its major new assembly facility in Shenzhen, China, from which nearly all of the Bookham telecom products are now being shipped.

The company supplies Huawei with a range of high-end optical components and modules to Huawei, including 10 Gbit/s co-packaged laser-modulators, receivers, directly modulated lasers and optical pumps.

Bookham opened an advanced manufacturing facility in Shenzhen, in the same area as Huawei, in March 2004. Since then, transmit and receive optical assemblies, erbium-doped fiber amplifiers (EDFAs), mini gain block and metro amplifiers, and fiber and connector sub assemblies have been transferred and received customer approval. Bookham now employs over 950 people in its Shenzhen assembly facility.

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