We've seen plenty of tiny projector
concepts over the past couple of years, but some researchers at Cornell University are taking this idea to its logical extreme by building a whole display on a single chip. The crux of their idea is basing the device on carbon-fiber
, since silicon proves too brittle to handle the 60,000 times a second line-scanning frequency of a traditional video display. Carbon-fiber, on the other hand, can withstand all sorts of abuse and keep on scanning. The chip design has an tiny 400 x 500 micron mirror supported by two carbon-fiber hinges, an array of which -- one for each horizontal line -- would be all that's needed to scan lasers across a screen for a full-fledged video display. Supposedly all this can be squeezed into a form factor small enough to power a cellphone-based projector, and the carbon-fiber springs might even work as a way to harvest energy from user movement for powering small electronic devices. Sign us up for both, please.