Form 9.B Project Summary

Chron: 972457

Proposal Number: 25.02-2191

Project Title: Compact, Highly Integrated Optical Correlators for High-Speed Image Processing

Technical Abstract (Limit 200 words) NASA, industry, and DOD agencies require

high-speed image processing technologies for machine vision, autonomous vehicles, and searching large graphical databases (such as satellite images). Although electronic processors have made great strides in performance they are still inadequate for many demanding applications because they are either too slow, too large, too expense, or consume too much electrical power.

Due to advances in spatial light modulator (SLM) technology and electronic imaging, it is now becoming feasible to perform key, computationally intensive image processing operations using light instead of electronics. Using an optical correlator, speed improvements of two to four orders of magnitude can be achieved. A difficulty with optical correlators has been that they are typically large, fragile, and expensive. Displaytech's innovation is a very high-level of integration (and small size) in the construction of optical correlators achieved by combining liquid-crystal-on-VLSI SLMs and diffractive optics. The mechanical and manufacturing simplifications inherent in this approach should substantially reduce the cost of building these systems and improve their ruggedness.

Potential Commercial Applications (Limit 200 words)

A large fraction of the customers who buy our SLMs are buying them to build correlators. Commercial markets include fingerprint recognition, machine vision, automated QC inspection for manufacturing, graphical data base searching, and real time image processing for automated manufacturing processes. A significant barrier to the commercialization of optical correlator technology is their high manufacturing cost due to the use of separate components. This proposal presents a solution to this problem which should significantly reduce the cost of manufacturing correlators and make them no more difficult to use than any other computer peripheral. Instead of selling only individual SLMs to our customers, we could instead sell them complete electro-optic correlator modules which will be smaller and cheaper than what anyone could build using separate SLMs.

Name and Address of Principal Investigator (Name,

Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)

Dr. Mike O'Callaghan

Displaytech, Inc.

2602 Clover Basin Drive

Longmont , CO 80503-7603

Name and Address of Offeror (Firm Name, Mail Address,


Dr. Mark Handschy

Displaytech, Inc.

2602 Clover Basin Drive

Longmont , CO 80503-7603