EFY: What kind of a platform and an environment does TI provide to the design engineers and budding design engineers in India?
KN: Well, we see most of the activity for individual design engineers will be in the area of new development that may be health care, optical networking or industrial application. So we have developed several developing kits with associated application notes, just as you would do in any other semiconductor tech product. We have been releasing those in the marketplace with a variety of platforms giving flexibility, and continue to drive the cost of those development platforms down. And to put it in perpective, when we first did it several years ago, we made the technology available to general designers, the development kit was over $10,000. I think the least expensive one we come out [with] now is a few hundred dollars, making it accessible to engineers and also to students.
EFY: Are these development boards and development kits easily available?
KN: They are. You can find them on the web. If you look at www.dlp.com, you can find the development kits there. If you go to www.ti.com/mems, then you can find the development kits there.
EFY: Can you share some examples of innovative applications that we can see in the near future, which will be driven by DLP?
KN: A few areas that we are working on now that are – we have some products out there. One product – I’ll give an example- is called the Vein Viewer that uses IR, and then you can see where the veins are, and then you use DLP to project an image back onto the arm or the hand, and then you can see where the veins are. It’s used for taking blood and especially people who have been in hospital for a while and they have constricted arteries or constricted veins, it is very difficult to find the artery to take blood. In this case, it’ll show exactly where it is. That’s kind of a novel technology. Probably more practically, we use it to take 3D images. You can use it for dental implants, or you can use it for any sort of a dental modelling.
If I point more creative ones, is that we use it for something we call Hyperspectral Optical Imaging – essentially taking a very large wavelength of light, putting in an object and then based upon the reflected light and the difference in the spectrum, you can tell what the density is of the item that it hit. So doctors now inside the United States are saying you can use it in surgical applications, to tell the difference between a bile duct and a vein and an artery, so that way they know in a surgery which one to cut and which one not to cut, you can also use it for wound therapy, you can use to take a look at the back of the retina to see what’s healthy and are you getting enough blood there. You can tell the difference between oxygenated tissue and unhealthy tissue. So these are the few things that we are working on that shows the flexibility of the technology.