Support & FAQ's
Are the drivers easy to install?
Yes, our drivers consist of a standard PCIe card and software, which
can be easily added to your computer.
Are you a small business?
At what wavelengths do your SLMs operate?
All of our devices are optimized for a
center wavelength between 400 nm - 1600
Can I get a price list?
All of our standard products require selections such as: liquid crystal
material, wavelength optimization, phase stroke, etc. Please call
or e-mail us to determine
which product will work best for your application and we'll gladly offer pricing
Do you accept credit cards?
Yes, we accept Visa, MasterCard,
Discover, and American Express.
Do you offer loaner devices?
While we do not offer loaner devices, our Sales department is happy
to help you determine the suitability of our product for your application before
you purchase. We have extensive documentation and references available to ensure
you will be able to make a well-informed purchase decision.
I would like to write my own software,
is this possible?
Yes. Our standard user interface is
written in Visual Studio C/C++. We offer an
SDK (Software Development Kit) that provides
C/C++ interfaces, dynamic link libraries
(DLL's) and example programs.
Do you support LabVIEW?
Yes, we offer a LabVIEW development kit.
The kit includes interface VI's to our
DLL's, as well as a simple example that can
be used as a starting place.
Do you support MATLAB?
Yes, we offer a MATLAB SDK with examples
to get you started.
Do you offer transmissive or reflective SLMs?
Our devices are built on a silicon backplane making them reflective
Do you offer university discounts?
Universities are one of our primary markets for SLMs; therefore, we do not extend
discounts. Discounts for our products are only available if more than one
unit is purchased.
How can I find a local sales representative in my area?
Check our Representation page or
call us toll free at 1.866.466.0506
How do I know if I need a FLC or NLC device?
It depends on the type of modulation you require the SLM to perform. As a general
rule, FLC performs amplitude modulation; NLC performs phase modulation.
How fast can I transfer data to the SLM?
The standard "new image" data rate is 2Gbits/second or an
image rate of 1015Hz from on-board memory. Data is transferred to the SLM at
the rate of 12Gbits/second or an image transfer rate of 6.1 KHz. Much of this
bandwidth is used to provide DC balancing information to the SLM and to drive
the liquid crystal response properly.
How quickly can new frames of memory be loaded from an external computer
into the on-board memory?
This depends on the process. If you are loading the images individually
through the PCI bus on the computer to the SLM, then the speed is about 70 Hz.
But, if you can preload all of the images to the driver board memory , and from
there to the SLM, then the response time us much faster - up to 1015 Hz. The
driver board has the ability to store 1024 preloaded images.
I've heard your devices need to be DC balanced. What does this mean?
DC balancing is a technique used to improve the lifetime of liquid
crystal devices. All liquid crystal devices have the property that, over time,
an unbalanced (non-DC) electrical signal will destroy the device. To avoid this,
all liquid crystal devices are driven with a signal that provides an equal but
opposite negative signal for every positive signal. The BNS drive electronics
automatically DC-balance the SLMs to prevent unintentional damage. This is controlled
at the hardware level and cannot be modified either intentionally or unintentionally
through software commands.
What computer operating systems do you support?
Windows XP and
What does zero-order diffraction efficiency mean?
Because our SLMs are a pixellated device, there will be some diffractive
scatter. Depending on the optical design of your system, some of the scattered
light may not be useable. For example, higher orders may be scattered out of
the field of view of the optical system. For planning purposes you can use the
What is the response time of the SLM?
A FLC SLM will have a response time of no more than 428 microseconds.
A NLC SLM response time will vary considerably depending on the wavelength and
total phase stroke. A typical NLC SLM designed for a 2 pi phase stroke in the
green wavelenth region will have a response time of no more than 15 milliseconds.
Longer wavelengths and longer phase strokes will result in longer response times.
What is the threshold for power damage on your SLMs?
An unenclosed SLM can handle about 3.25W/cm2 (continuous power) without
active cooling. Peak power is much higher at 3.5 MWatts/cm2.
What is your standard delivery time?
Our standard deliveries are ranging from
6 - 8 weeks.
What is your standard warranty?
One year with extended warranties available. Please ask your sales representative
for more information.
Will you be at a show in my area?
Please see the News & Events section of our website at http://www.bouldernonlinear.com/news.htm