The proposed ASIC driver is specifically designed to drive the stacked DMs that NASA has been qualified in ground. It will provide a reliable, low power, monolithic DM driver that can be used by an exoplanet-imaging coronagraph. Thus it will be found valuable in applications on those missions, such as WFIRST and ATLAST, where coronagraphic instruments are required.
The first beneficiaries of the ASIC driver are the DM manufacturers. With a vertically integrated ASIC driver, the fabrication of a DM will be dramatically simplified since thousands of wiring will no longer be required. Thus, the yield and reliability will be greatly improved. Furthermore, with a simplified architecture, DMs with tens of thousands of actuators will become possible at affordable prices, which could attract more AO applications such as retinal imaging, fidelity microscopy imaging and laser drilling.