Understanding the Functions and Importance of DMDs in Smart Projectors

By XGIMI Tech - 2022-12

Introduction to DMD Chips

If you are familiar with DLP projectors, you must have encountered DMD chips. They are an integral part of digital projectors based on DLP projection technology and consist of microscopic mirrors reflecting light. DMD chips power video projection in DLP projectors. When you turn on your DLP projector to watch your favorite movies or TV shows, its DMD chip is responsible for the image produced.

There are three main types of DMD chips popularly used in DLP projectors. According to their dimensions, they are 0.23" DMD chips, 0.33" DMD chips, and 0.47" DMD chips. Based on the arrangement, 0.47" DMD chips are small, 0.33" chips are smaller, and 0.23" chips are the smallest. The difference in size also translates to a higher number of mirrors. 0.47" chips have the most mirrors, followed by 0.33" chips and 0.23" chips.

In this article, we will learn about DMD chips, their relationship with DLP projectors, the types of DMD chips, and their differences. We will also explore XGIMI smart projectors for your viewing pleasure.

What Are DMD Chips and Why Are They Important for Projectors?

DMD stands for Digital Micromirror Device, and is the core component behind image creation and projection in many modern projectors. A DMD chip has millions of tiny mirrors, only visible with the aid of a microscope. Each mirror is an independent part of the whole and can be controlled to reflect the light from the projector's lamp or block it.

The mirrors open and shut rapidly, and the movements produce the different pixels on the screen when the light hit the DMD chip. DMD chips enable video projection and image generation in Digital Light Processing (DLP) projectors. The DMD chip controls the projector's light output, allowing it to generate high-resolution visuals with excellent contrast and high color accuracy.

Parameter0.23" DMD Chips 0.33" DMD Chips 0.47" DMD Chips
Micromirror Array Size
/Number of Pixels
960 x 5401280 x 7201920 x 1080
Maximum Resolution 1080p1080p4K
Requires Micromirror Dithering to
Display in 1080p Resolution? 
YesYesNo
Chip SizeSmallestSmallestSmallest
Number of MicromirrorsHighHigherHighest

What Are The Advantages of DMD Chips?

There are several advantages to using DMD chips in projectors, including the following:

High Resolution: DMD chips can produce high-resolution images due to the rapid on-and-off movement of the micromirrors reflecting or blocking light from the projector's lamp. High-res displays are usually clear, crisp, and well-detailed.

High Refresh Rates: Due to their internal makeup and the independent nature of each micromirror, DMD chips have high refresh rates, allowing them to produce smooth, flicker-free images with minimal image breaking.

Good Contrast and Color Accuracy: Due to their make-up, DMD chips can deliver images with good contrast and high color accuracy for lifelike and vibrant projections of your favorite video content.

Compact Size: One of the greatest advantages of DMD chips lies in their size. They are particularly small and lightweight, making them ideal for compact and portable projectors. Their small size explains why most DLP projectors are more portable and compact than projectors with other types of projection technology.

Durability: DMD chips are generally durable and last long. You can use them for several years without ever needing replacements.

Using DMD chips in smart projectors paves the way for projectors to display high-resolution images with good contrast and high color accuracy. Hence, DMD chips are a popular choice for many projector manufacturers today.

DMD chips are a popular choice for many projector manufacturers today.

What Are The Differences Between 0.23”, 0.33”, and 0.47 DMD chips?

● 0.23" DMD Chip

The 0.23" DMD chip is the smallest of the three DMD chips. It has a micromirror array size of 960x540, meaning that it has a native resolution of 480p and can project 960x540 pixels. 0.23" chips can also produce high refresh rates of up to 60Hz, and are suitable for DLP projectors that seek to balance image quality with compact size and weight.

DLP projectors with 0.23" DMD chips have a native resolution of 480p but they can achieve 1080p resolution using high-speed micromirror dithering.

● 0.33" DMD Chip

A 0.33" DMD chip is larger and has more mirrors than a 0.23" DMD chip, which means that it can produce higher-resolution images. It has a micromirror array size of 1280x720, with a native resolution of 720p. Like DLP projectors that use 0.23" chips, projectors with 0.33" DMD chips can also achieve 1080p displays using rapid micromirror dithering.

0.33" chips are suitable for projectors that have a compact build. Although larger than 0 23" chips, they are still relatively small. 0.33" chips can also support high refresh rates, color accuracy, and good contrast.

● 0.47" DMD Chip

A 0.47" DMD chip is the largest of the three DMD chips; hence, it has more mirrors. Having more mirrors than its counterparts means that 0.47" DMD chips can produce images in higher resolutions than their peers. They have a micromirror array size of 1920x1080, meaning 1080p is their native resolution.

DLP projectors that use 0.47" DMD chips can project in true 1080p resolution without micromirror dithering, which produces an image of higher quality than projectors with 0.23" or 0.33" chips when they project in faux 1080p resolution. Also, 0.47" DMD chips are relatively small, so they can still be used in portable projectors.

Which DMD Chip is Ideal for Your Projector Needs?

From the information above, 0.47" DMD chips are most suitable for smart projectors. They have a wider micromirror array size. They have more mirrors than 0.23" and 0.33" chips, which translates into higher resolutions. With native 1080p resolution support, they can deliver crisp, smooth, and flicker-free images perfect for movies, gaming, sports, and other video content that thrive on high-resolution displays.

XGIMI Smart Projectors For Your Viewing Satisfaction

XGIMI Horizon Pro (4K Home Projector)

XGIMI HORIZON Pro uses a 0.47" DMD chip, giving you 4K resolution and 2200 ANSI lumens, giving you bright, crystal-clear displays. The 4K projector can produce a max 200" screen and has image enhancement features like MEMC for eliminating image blurs, HDR10 for high contrast ratios and true-to-life visuals, and the X-VUE Image Engine for lifelike and mesmerizing colors.

Key HORIZON Pro specs:
● Chromecast Built-in/Bluetooth/WiFi
● Android TV™
● Intelligent Screen Adaption (ISA) Technology
● Dual Built-in 8W Harman Kardon Speakers

XGIMI HORIZON Pro - with ELSA AWARD for BEST BUY PROJECTOR
XGIMI HORIZON Pro - Highly Recommended By Projector Reviews
XGIMI HORIZON Pro - true 4K projector - front
XGIMI HORIZON Pro - true 4K projector - side
XGIMI HORIZON Pro - true 4K projector - back
XGIMI HORIZON Pro - true 4K projector - top
XGIMI HORIZON Pro - with ELSA AWARD for BEST BUY PROJECTOR
HORIZON Pro
XGIMI HORIZON Pro - Highly Recommended By Projector Reviews
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XGIMI Halo+ (1080p Outdoor Projector)

XGIMI Halo+ is a portable projector that does not sacrifice quality for size. The outdoor projector comes with a 0.33" DMD chip, offering 1080p resolution and 900 ANSI lumens for beaming-bright and crisp visuals. Halo+ also has a built-in battery that provides up to 2.5 hours of video when fully charged

Key Halo+ specs:
● Max 200" Screen
● Intelligent Screen Adaption (ISA) Technology 
● Dual 5W Built-in Harman Kardon Speakers
● Chromecast Built-in/Bluetooth/WiFi

Halo+
Halo+ - 1080p FHD Portable Projector - side
Halo+ - 1080p FHD Portable Mini Projector - Fully Portable Design
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Halo+
Halo+
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Halo+ - 1080p FHD Portable Mini Projector - Fully Portable Design
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Enjoy Camping Entertainment with the Halo+ 1080p FHD Mini Portable Projector

XGIMI AURA (4K UST Laser Projector)

XGIMI AURA is a powerful laser projector that offers ultra-short throw projection, giving you a 120" display only 11.7" from the screen. The laser projector has a 0.47" DMD chip and supports native 4K resolution with 2400 ANSI lumens, ensuring you enjoy your favorite content in sharp and bright visuals. AURA also supports MEMC with high refresh rates for mitigating image blurs and HDR10 for increased color depth.

Key AURA specifications:
● X-VUE 2.0 Image Engine
● Harman Kardon Sound
● Chromecast built-in/Bluetooth/WiFi
● Android TV™

AURA - 4K UST Projector- with ELSA AWARD for BEST PRODUCT
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AURA - 4K UST Laser Projector - lateral side
AURA - 4K UST Projector- with ELSA AWARD for BEST PRODUCT
AURA
AURA - 4K UST Laser Projector - front
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AURA - 4K UST Laser Projector - top
AURA - 4K UST Laser Projector - back
AURA - 4K UST Laser Projector - lateral side

Understanding DMD Will Help You Choose a Suitable DLP Projector

DMD chips are integral to video projection in DLP projectors and are tiny devices housing millions of micromirrors. 0.23", 0.33", and 0.47" DMD chips are the three main types in use, and they differ on several parameters like the number of pixels, size, number of mirrors, and native resolution. When choosing a DLP projector, models with 0.47" DMD chips are better-positioned than others with 0.23" or 0.33" chips.

0.47" DMD chips are the most suitable for modern DLP projectors. They are the largest, and their size translates to supporting higher native resolutions than the rest of the pack. XGIMI smart projectors AURA, HORIZON Pro, and Halo+ offer 1080p/4K resolution, Harman Kardon sound, and other great features that make them great choices for the average projector user.

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