Texas Instruments has announced plans for a 4K option for its next generation digital projectors. US exhbitor Cinemark has already committed to using the technology when it is ready.

TI’s DLP platform move to 4K is expected sometime in 2010. The 4K technology has four times the pixels of current 2K models - making it ideal for very large screens, including those more than 70 feet.

Alan Stock, CEO of 2,700-screen Cinemark, said TI’s DLP platform will be “our exclusive platform of choice for 4K deployments.”

TI has DLP technology licenses with manufacturering partners Barco, christie Digital and NEC. The Cinemark deal, for instance, is for Barco projectors.

Christie added today that its new Solaria series projectors, based on TI DLP, will have five new products launching in the first half of 2010 — all available at 2K and “4K-ready” and two premium 4K projectors for screens up to 100 feet, available in the second half of 2010.

Until this announcement, Sony had been alone in offering 4K digital projection - to exhibitors AMC and Regal.

TI will continue to market 2K projectors as well, and the next-generation 2K platform should be ready by the end of 2009.

The wider Cinemark-Barco deal will also cover Latin America, for a total of 4,600 screens.

“We are thrilled in delivering the world’s first Barco DLP Cinema 4K solution to Cinemark” said Wim Buyens, VP business development for Barco Digital Cinema. Cinemark’s best-in-class solution will be based upon the marriage of proven DLP digital micro-mirror chipsets, in conjunction with Barco’s modular projector design, lighting up the biggest screens in the industry as large as 100 feet.”