The Aspectual Illumination System (AISYS) advantage

The Aspectual Illumination System (AISYS) advantage Canon's XEED Multimedia Projectors employ next-generation reflective liquid crystal panels, known as Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCOS).

AISYS Technical Paper

Unlike translucent panel devices that incorporate drive circuits between individual liquid crystal pixels, projectors that use reflective liquid crystal panels are capable of providing seamless images. This is possible because the drive circuitry in reflective-type projectors is positioned on the back of the liquid crystal panel and not between the pixels. Images produced from translucent panels can often contain the imprint of a lattice-like grid pattern, which is a shadow of the thousands of tiny drive circuits.

AISYS: the XEED technology platform

While LCOS reflective panels deliver seamless projected images that are highly detailed and also have excellent colour gradation, such projectors have often come with significant drawbacks for many consumers. Conventionally, LCOS projectors have been large and heavy, with contrast and brightness levels that are less than impressive. To this end, recognising these drawbacks as well as the benefits of LCOS, Canon developed a new and complementary optical system that is compact yet also provides high contrast.

This new optical system is a unique Canon advantage and is known as the Aspectual Illumination System (AISYS).

Brighter thinking

Conventional LCOS projectors are unable to achieve the combination of brightness and contrast that the new XEED range delivers with the benefit of AISYS. While the distance from a projector’s lamp to the LCOS panel may be reduced in an effort to boost brightness, the light source inevitably hits the Polarization Beam Splitter (PBS) at a much wider angle. As a result, light seepage and reduced contrast tend to occur.

One of the advantages of the Canon AISYS system is to resolve this problem of light seepage. By controlling light on both the horizontal and vertical planes, providing the unique combination of brightness and high contrast, there is no need to use a larger lamp: AISYS uses a barrel-shaped compressor lens to funnel the optimum amount of light towards the LCOS panel, which is positioned at a horizontally parallel angle.

Light controlled along the vertical axis is focused and angled to increase brightness, providing a compact illumination. At the same time, light from the horizontal plane is flattened to nearly parallel to enhance contrast.

AISYS maximizes the advantages of LCOS reflective LCD panels without compromising the XEED range’s compact, portable design: the SX6 and X600 are the brightest projectors (at 3500 lumens) currently available in the sub 5kg category.

AISYS: the second generation

AISYS was designed for the arrival of the XEED SX50. The second generation of AISYS, incorporated in the SX6, SX60 and X600, is an advanced version of the original system, delivering even brighter images, characterized by enhanced light uniformity.

Key features of the next generation of Canon’s unique AISYS technology include:

  1. The RGB colour separation and re-combination system, positioned sideways in the SX50, has been turned upright, resulting in even brighter illumination and output.
  2. A twin cylindrical lens array replaces the single cylindrical array of the original SX50. Providing a more uniform light source, projected images appear brighter, with uniformity improved.
  3. New prisms – Polarisation Beam Splitters (PBS) – are used. Constructed from materials that yield more efficient colour combination and higher contrast, the new PBSs require fewer components during manufacture. Using three PBSs within the optical array (one per LCOS panel), a new colour separation and recombination system optimizes the light from the lamp for the characteristics of the PBSs and LCOS panels.

A complete XEED range

Along with AISYS, all XEED projectors also benefit from the use of Canon precision optics and incorporate a high performance powered 1.7x optical zoom lens that uses lead-free glass with a unique optical coating, designed to eliminate the unwanted effects of ghosting and flare.

The Multimedia Projectors SX6 and SX60 provide SXGA+ (1400 x 1050 pixels) resolution; the entry-level XEED X600, realising 1024 x 768 pixel resolution, is the world’s first XGA LCOS projector.