Japanese consumer electronics and component maker Panasonic displayed and demonstrated their latest laser optical engine at the InterOpto 2011 Exhibition Laser/LED show held from 9/28/2011 to 9/30/2011 in Yokahama, Japan. The module uses red and blue laser diodes, plus a Second Harmonic Generation (SHG) green laser, to illuminate an LCOS imager, producing 50 lumens at SVGA (800×600) resolution. This new engine is at the heart of Fujitsu’s Mobile Projector Unit, which fits into the optical drive bay of selected LifeBook notebook computers. The engine’s laser power falls into IEC Class 1 and is approved under Japan’s strict laser regulations. Panasonic sources Red and Blue laser diodes from the Japanese component market, but uses an SHG green laser of their own design because they found that currently available diode based green lasers do not yet produce sufficient power for this application.
In advance of the availability of green laser diodes in production volumes, PMA’s projector market research reveals the use of SHG based green lasers to speed up the introduction of laser based pico projector products. This trend can expected to abate in late 2011, 2012 and beyond.