...At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which opens on Jan. 8, Intel is expected to disclose the development of a class of advanced semiconductors that technologists and analysts say will improve the quality of large-screen digital televisions and substantially lower their price, according to industry executives close to the company.
Intel's ability to integrate display, television receiver and computer electronics on a single piece of silicon is likely to open new markets for a class of products - including plasma, projection and L.C.D. TV's - that now sell for $3,000 to $10,000.
...He predicted that the low-cost display technology, which can be incorporated into the traditional rear-projection television sets, could lead to lightweight 50-inch screens only 7 inches thick for about $1,000, perhaps as early as the 2004 holiday season
...The technology Intel has been exploring is known as liquid crystal on silicon. It is one of a number of competing technologies, including a novel approach pioneered by Texas Instruments called digital light processors, or D.L.P.
The Texas Instruments approach involves a silicon chip that has hundreds of thousands of microscopic mirrors that can tilt to reflect light. So far, it has been limited to relatively expensive digital TV's.
By contrast, the technology used by Intel employs vast arrays of tiny electronic shutters that can alter the amount of reflected light, an approach that may allow companies to make big-screen TV sets using rear-projection technology that matches or exceeds the quality of flat-panel TV's at a much lower cost than plasma and conventional L.C.D.
Although Intel is not expected to enter the market for digital televisions for at least a year, Philips Electronics, the Dutch manufacturer, and several American start-up companies have already begun offering liquid crystal on silicon, or LCoS, components and televisions.