Texas Instruments announces first near infrared DLP device and DLP NIRscan evaluation module for spectroscopy

Texas Instruments DLP4500NIR DLP NIRscan EVM DLPC350

New products can enable programmable, portable NIR spectrometers that can significantly reduce system costs

Texas Instruments announced the first DLP® device optimized for use with near infrared (NIR) light, and corresponding evaluation module (EVM). Together, the DLP4500NIR and the DLP NIRscan™ EVM represent the expansion of TI's award-winning MEMS technology into the worlds of transmittance and reflective spectroscopy and other markets. With DLP technology, spectrometers for use in the food, pharmaceutical, oil and gas, and emerging industries will be able to deliver lab-quality performance out in the field and on the manufacturing line.

Texas Instruments - DLP4500NIR, AM3358

DLP4500NIR (left) and AM3358 Sitara Processor.

DLP4500NIR device

The approximately one million digitally programmable micromirrors at the heart of DLP technology set the new DLP4500NIR device apart from other components and solutions currently available for NIR spectroscopy. When paired with a single element detector, the DLP4500NIR allows engineers to replace expensive linear detector arrays to create high-performance spectrometer designs, while reducing the typical bill of materials. Optimized for use with 700- to 2500-nm light, the DLP4500NIR can be programmed to select and attenuate multiple wavelengths at speeds up to 4 kHz. The DLP technology architecture also enables improved signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) greater than 30,000:1 over a set measurement period for faster, more accurate results compared to spectrometers using traditional solutions.

Each of the micromirrors on the DLP4500NIR can be controlled to produce set patterns, with users able to further refine spectral resolution and wavelength ranges, adjust integration time, and equalize light throughput. As a result, users can employ adaptive scanning techniques to optimize material analysis on the fly for a broader range of substances using a single system.

DLP technology

The size of the DLP4500NIR allows for small product form factors, giving designers flexibility to create systems for use in the field or factory. Beyond spectroscopy, the DLP4500NIR can also be used in other applications, including single-pixel cameras, laser marking and microscopy.

Micromirror Landed Positions and Light Paths

Micromirror Landed Positions and Light Paths.

DLP NIRscan evaluation module

The DLP NIRscan EVM represents a new option for engineers looking to create a truly portable, multi-function spectrometer at a lower cost. Offered as the first spectroscopy development platform based on DLP technology, DLP NIRscan includes numerous interfaces for design versatility. Featuring a DLP4500NIR device paired to a DLPC350 digital controller, DLP NIRscan also uses a single-element extended InGaAs detector matched with a transmission sampling module and a halogen lamp.

DLP NIRscan Evaluation Module

DLP® NIRscan™ Evaluation Module.

For processing power, DLP NIRscan features TI's SitaraTM AM3358 ARM® Cortex®-A8 Processor (AM3358), and a 24-bit, 30-kSPS delta-sigma analog-to-digital converter (ADC) (ADS1255). The built-in Ethernet port and two USB ports offer both wired and wireless (Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth®, connectors sold separately) connectivity options for interfacing with a computer.

The pre-loaded Linux operating system and integrated web server, based on the BeagleBone Black architecture, allow for setting up without any special downloads – designers can simply connect the DLP NIRscan to a computer over USB and open up a web browser. The web-driven interface enables remote connectivity for deployed systems through different devices, including smartphones or tablets. Users can also access support and tools from the BeagleBoard.org open source community.

Availability

The DLP4500NIR device with the DLPC350 controller is available now. The DLP NIRscan, built by Keynote Photonics, is available for purchase with a suggested retail price of US $8,499. The complete collection of available DLP chipsets and development platforms was also been on display at Pittcon in Chicago, March, 2014.

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