American LCOS imager maker Syndiant and Japanese electronics manufacturer JVC Kenwood announced that they have formed a partnership to develop and produce LCOS based products. Under the agreement, Syndiant will provide LCOS wafers to JVC Kenwood and JVC Kenwood will enhance cost competitiveness through in-house mass production of Syndiant based LCOS modules for pico projectors. JVC Kenwood will also integrate these modules into HUD products and pico projectors.
JVC is no stranger to LCOS technology; their mainstream and high end projectors use an LCOS derived imaging technology called D-ILA (Digital Direct Drive Image Light Amplifier). In October 2012, Kenwood began limited shipments of an automotive navigation product featuring a projector based Head-Up Display. While technical details are scarce, it is believed that the HUD in one of two two versions utilizes an LCOS imager, likely from Syndiant, coupled with laser illumination. Syndiant is familiar with the design requirements of small laser illuminated optical engines; Syndiant LCOS imagers were used in the AAXA L1 and L1v2.
The agreement also calls for JVC Kenwood to subscribe to preferred shares issued by Syndiant.
PMA’s projector market research has recorded a decrease in shipments of LCOS based projectors over the past few years as the volume of DLP based projectors has gained. The Syndiant/JVC Kenwood alliance offers the opportunity for LCOS to regain lost ground.