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"Packaging Challenges in Micro-Optical Electromechanical Systems Components: the DMD™ as a Case Study" -- Dr. Richard Gale, Texas Tech University

Co-sponsored by the SCV Chapter of the Lasers and Electro Optics Society (LEOS)

November 10, 2004
  • Seated dinner served at 6:30 ($25 if reserved before November 6; $30 after & at door; vegetarian available)
  • Presentation (no cost) at 7:30.

    Ramada Inn

  • 1217 Wildwood Ave (Fwy 101 frontage road, between Lawrence Expressway and Great America Parkway), Sunnyvale, (800) 888-3899 -- see map.


  • For dinner and/or meeting: by email to Allen Earman
  • Please reserve for "presentation-only", even if not attending the dinner.

    Micromirror Device It is commonly held that packaging for MEMS components can run to 60-80% of unit cost. This is due to a number of factors including "hard-to-handle" and "hard-to-hold" problems as well as generally low volumes. When optical performance is added to the mix cost, complexity, and reliability all move in unfavorable directions. The digital micromirror device (DMD™) made by Texas Instruments has become a successful product in spite of these challenges. An optical quality window must be incorporated into the package to allow light modulation. Since the display is an image of the face of the device, the package must be cosmetically pleasing as well as optically functional. In digital cinema applications as much as 80 Watts in the visible spectrum impacts the device and parts of the package so that thermal management is also critical. High definition video bandwidth at ever-increasing bit depths places extreme demands on impedance control and/or pin count. Finally, the mechanical contact which makes possible acceptable pixel uniformity requires surface chemistry control on the monolayer or nanometer scale. Some of these special requirements and attempts at their solutions are discussed in this presentation.

    Speaker Biography Richard Gale
    Prof. Richard Gale is in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at Texas Tech University. He held the position of Distinguished Member, Technical Staff, and was responsible for coordinating the work of the New Applications Research and Development Group in the Technology Development section of Digital Imaging at Texas Instrument Incorporated until retirement in April, 2001. Dr. Gale holds the A.B. degree in Physics from the University of California at Berkeley (1976), and M.S. and Ph. D. degrees from Lehigh University (1979 and 1984, respectively). Dr. Gale joined the Central Research Laboratories at Texas Instruments in 1984 to apply his graduate work on electron traps in silicon dioxide to charged-coupled device imagers for space-borne applications. He moved from CCD's to more general photonics interests in 1985, in time to make several key contributions in the developing MEMS spatial light modulators at TI. He was a member of the team taking the Digital Micromirror Device (DMD™) from research into a corporate venture projects activity in 1991 after successfully managing parts of the initial customer interactions in projection displays. He contributed to the development of Corporate Venturing at Texas Instruments, and managed the demonstration/validation activity in the early stages of Digital Imaging at TI.

    After successfully promoting the technology internally and externally through a period of explosive growth, he took a position in Production Engineering for the development of first generation portable projectors. His final position included responsibility for novel approaches and new technologies utilizing and enabling Digital Light Processing (tm) insertion points, providing strategic direction in understanding competitive assessment and intelligence, and coordinating the DLP™ Products Coop programs and technical publication management. Dr. Gale is an author of more than a dozen technical publications, and holds patents in MEMS design, processing, packaging, control circuits, and system utilization concepts.

    Dr. Gale is currently pursuing new career directions that will build on and expand his experience in microelectromechanical systems, novel data analysis techniques, information creation and distribution systems, and communications technologies. He accepted a tenured Professorship in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX, that began 1 June, 2002.

    Avocational interests include observational astronomy, home theater design, and digital photography.

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