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Texas Instruments Fellow Larry J. Hornbeck, PhD, Wins the Oscar®

Academy Award® of Merit (Oscar® statuette) presented to DLP® chip inventor for his contribution, converting a 100-year-old industry to digital cinema technology

Feb 9, 2015

DALLAS, Feb. 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Larry J. Hornbeck, PhD, the inventor of the digital micromirror device (DMD) or DLP® chip, the technology that led to the design and development of DLP Cinema® display technology from Texas Instruments (TI) (NASDAQ: TXN), has been awarded an Academy Award® of Merit (Oscar® statuette) for his contribution to revolutionizing how motion pictures are created, distributed and viewed. The industry's conversion from 35-mm motion picture film to digital cinema is nearly complete worldwide, with DLP Cinema technology now powering more than eight out of 10 digital movie theatre screens.

Dr. Larry Hornbeck during the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Scientific and Technical Achievement Awards on February 7, 2015, in Beverly Hills, California.

DLP Cinema technology gives viewers consistent brightness and color-accurate images compared to 35-mm motion picture film. The technology not only makes it easier for studios to package and distribute movies, but also enables audiences to experience the true vision of the creators of the content.

As a result of Hornbeck's invention, for more than two decades, award-winning TI DLP® product innovations have solved some of the world's most complex display and light-control issues in the personal electronics, industrial and automotive markets with powerful, flexible, programmable optical chipsets based on DLP technology.

Development of the DLP chip began in TI's Central Research Laboratories in 1977 when Hornbeck first created "deformable mirrors" to manipulate light in an analog fashion. But the analog technology consistently fell short of expectations. It was not until 1987 that he invented the DMD, the breakthrough technology that would become known as the DLP chip. During the mid-1990s, TI established the DLP Cinema team, chartered to develop a digital projector that could match the quality of 35-mm motion picture film.

After years of testing and perfecting, the resulting technology made its public debut in 1999, when "Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace" was released as the first full-length motion picture shown with DLP Cinema technology. Over the subsequent 15 years, the cinema industry has nearly completed the conversion from film projectors to digital cinema projectors. Today, digital projectors powered by DLP Cinema technology are installed in more than 118,000 theatre screens around the globe, according to TI.

"It's wonderful to be recognized by the Academy. Following the initial inventions that defined the core technology, I was fortunate to work with a team of brilliant Texas Instruments engineers to turn the first DMD into a disruptive innovation," said Hornbeck, who has 34 U.S. patents for his groundbreaking work in DMD technology. "Clearly, the early and continuing development of innovative digital cinema technologies by the DLP Cinema team created a definitive advancement in the motion picture industry beyond anyone's wildest dreams."

In addition to Hornbeck's recognition, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS®) recognized several past and present TI employees, who received a Scientific and Engineering Award or Technical Achievement Award for their contributions to DLP Cinema technology. The Academy's 87th Scientific and Technical Awards Ceremony was held Feb. 7, 2015. Visit the official Oscars website for highlights of the awards ceremony.

Visit the TI DLP products website for full details about the latest DLP technology.

About Texas Instruments DLP Products

Since 1996, award-winning TI DLP technology has powered the world's top display devices to deliver high-resolution images rich with color, contrast, clarity and brightness for a wide range of applications, including industrial, automotive, medical and consumer markets. DLP technology is being used in movie theatres (DLP Cinema® products) and large-scale, professional venues and conference rooms, classrooms and home theaters. With mobile devices enabled by DLP® Pico technology, users have the ability to display images from the palm of their hand. Every DLP chipset features an array of microscopic mirrors that switch on and off up to 10,000 times per second. To learn more, please visit www.ti.com/dlp or follow TI DLP technology on Twitter at @TI_DLP.

About Texas Instruments

Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) is a global semiconductor design and manufacturing company that develops analog ICs and embedded processors. By employing the world's brightest minds, TI creates innovations that shape the future of technology. TI is helping more than 100,000 customers transform the future, today. Learn more at www.ti.com.


DLP and DLP Cinema are registered trademarks and DLP Pico, IntelliBright and TI E2E are trademarks of Texas Instruments. All registered trademarks and other trademarks belong to their respective owners.

Dr. Larry Hornbeck during the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Scientific and Technical Achievement Awards on February 7, 2015, in Beverly Hills, California.


Reiner Doetzkies (left), and Steven Krycho (right) during the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Scientific and Technical Achievement Awards on February 7, 2015, in Beverly Hills, California.


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SOURCE Texas Instruments