Can't say we really expected to see Texas Instruments' DLP group here at Mobile World Congress, but it's hard to deny just how mobile these things are becoming. In fact, the company came to Barcelona to (re)unveil its thinnest, smallest optical engine to date: the nHD Pico. It's small enough to fit into just about anything -- phones, slates, tiny projectors and the rear of your cranium should you choose to embed it there. As for specs? It's sporting a 640 x 360 resolution, a contrast ratio greater than 1,000:1, a true RGB LED wide color gamut and reliance on a low-power Pico DPP2601 / 2607 ASIC / processor. TI was using a newly launched Acer device (the C20, if we're being precise) to showcase the chip, and on-site representatives noted that other outfits are developing new kit with this guy in mind. In related news, another gem was on display that hasn't quite made it to market yet. The palm-sized nugget you see above is a full-on pico projector, designed to be powered entirely via USB. There's no built-in battery in this one, and no one would confess as to which company (or companies) were gearing up to ship a branded version of it later this year. That said, it's most certainly on the way, and you can bet we'll be keeping an eye out for it. Peruse the gallery's below at your leisure, of course.

Texas Instruments USB-powered pico projector at MWC 2011

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Acer's nHD-based pico projector at MWC 2011

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Texas Instruments shows off minuscule nHD Pico projector chipset, USB-powered prototype