Thursday, May 28, 2015

Is Lenovo's Smart Cast Phone using the PicoP engine?

Update: 6/5/15: Here's a composite of the bTendo chip shown with the Lenovo engine so the similarities are easier to see.



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Update: 5/30/15. It's not Microvision in the Lenovo prototype - it's STMicro and BTendo.


The board shown by STMicro in 2014 has a PCB that's an *exact* match for the PCB in the Lenovo video. The MVIS/Sony board is shown below, also with a quarter, for a rough scale.


And here are the two, superimposed:



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It sure looks similar. Some of the details are different, but what it looks like is that someone took the elements of the Sony/Microvision PicoP engine and miniaturized things even further, to fit inside the case of a phone.

The PCB adjacent to the optical module has a very similar (but not identical) layout to the one inside the module in the Celluon projectors.

One interesting similarity between the modules is the number of leads that connect to the lasers on the Sony/Microvision board (10), and the seemingly identical number that appear in a connector at roughly the same place in this animated mock up of the Lenovo engine.


Click image for larger version

More suggestive evidence here:


It appears that Microvision was pitching a very similar use-case concept two years ago at CES. The Lenovo Smart Cast looks like it is a refinement of that concept.

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