Optron’s membrane mirror light modulators are controlled by a fully programmable custom digital video interface unit, which is designed to enable the widest possible flexibility in user control of R&D systems in the testing phase in addition to reliable operation of established units.

Digital video MEMS interface unit, internal components

At its core is a Xilinx Spartan-6 LX45 FPGA, which incorporates video timing management and basic video test pattern generation. In addition, the FPGA has ample capacity to be programmed with a wide range of additional video processing logic, such as image rotation, inversion, multi-channel grayscale composition, and resolution rescaling. Current video processing modules in development are custom gamma/contrast curve correction and per-chip non-uniformity correction.

The system includes an external HDMI input which is available for user digital video streams. In addition, the control unit includes an ARM Cortex-A7 based Raspberry Pi single-board computer, which can act as a built-in video source running a user’s custom applications in GNU/Linux or Microsoft Windows/IoT. An HDMI output enables duplication of the input video to a standard video display for comparison with the MMLM.

High-resolution, video-speed analog control of the 20 V MEMS actuators is achieved with a bank of 16 parallel raster channels, incorporating 16-bit DACs and high-bandwidth analog amplifiers. Gain and voltage regulator settings are all programmable by a digital front panel and an on-board microcontroller, which affords the laboratory user the ultimate control over new devics under test.

The video MEMS control units are incorporated into our infrared scene projectors, and can be made available separately in conjunction with standalone HV VLSI MEMS drivers for custom applications. Interested parties are encouraged to contact us at techsales@optronsystems.com with questions and requirements.