Lumens aims to launch an automotive Micro-LED HUD by the end of 2017

Lumens logoThe Korean Herald posted an interesting interview with Jung Tae-hong, the president of Korea-based LED developer Lumens. Jung reveals that the company is developing an HD Micro-LED based automotive Heads-Up-Display (HUD), with lans to release its first such display by the end of 2017.

Lumens believes that Micro-LED displays are very suitable for HUDs as they can offer better usability under direct sunlight compared to LCD or OLED displays, and they can withstand high temperatures. In 2017 Lumens will launch a combiner-type HUD for the automotive aftermarket, and will introduce a built-in version within 2-3 years.

Samsung to accelerate its plans to develop Micro-LED based TVs

Samsung is reportedly starting to accelerate its effort to develop a Micro-LED based TV. The company is currently focused entirely on QD-LEDs for its premium TVs but is looking for alternative technologies as it fails to increase its market share in this segment.

PlayNitride MicroLED array

Samsung is said to be looking at several alternatives - one of which is to acquire Taiwan-based PlayNitride - a deal that was already reported in April 2017. Samsung aims to first use micro-LED technologies for its cinema LED screens, and then apply it to home-based TVs as well.

Digitimes: Micro-LEDs low aperture ratio makes them competitive for smart displays

Digitimes posted an interesting research note, in which they state that micro-LED displays may find it hard to compete with LCD and OLED displays as the market is approaching saturation.

Micro-LEDs have several advantages over other displays - high brightness, quick response time and the ability to create flexible and transparent displays (this is also true for OLEDs). However a major advantage for Micro LEDs is that the aperture ratio is only 10%, which means that there is a lot of empty space in a micro-LED display.

Taiwan's EOSRL to start producing 60-100 inch micro-LED displays in 2018

The Taiwan-based Electronic and Optoelectronic System Research Laboratories (EOSRL, part of Taiwan's ITRI) is developing 60-100 inch indoor micro-LED displays.

EOSRL is collaborating on this research with driver IC designer Macroblock. EOSRL is using LED chips that are 70-80 micrometers in size. EOSRL expects trial production to begin by Q4 2017, with mass production coming in 2018.

Mikro Mesa sees opportunities for large-area micro-LEDs with production line prices lower than at comparable LCD fabs

Taiwan-based Micro-LED developer Mikro Mesa's chariman, Chen Li-yi, estimates that it will be difficult for micro-LEDs to compete with OLED displays in the small/medium display market - but the opportunity for large area displays is more promising.

According to Chen, 55" micro-LED panels will be competitive in cost with LCDs, and if companies manage to achieve yields of over 80%, a 55-inch micro-LED will be cheaper by around 30% from an equivalent high-end LCD.

glō orders an MOCVD tool for Aixtron to deposit GaN nanowire-based Micro-LEDs

Swedish-American GaN nanowire based micro LEDs developer glō ordered an AIX G5+ MOCVD platform from Aixtron to support the company's strategic expansion. The tool will be delivered with a 8x150 mm configuration by the end of 2017.

Aixtron G5+ MOCVD handler photo

glō is commercializing micro-LED products based in its proprietary defect-free GaN nanowires technology. glō says that its technology enable the growth of mLEDs while maintaining the reliability of an inorganic material system.

PlayNitride aims to start trial production of Micro-LED displays by the end of 2017

PlayNitride's CEO, Charles Li, says that Micro-LED displays are not as challenging as originally expected, and the company now aims to start trial production of Micro-LED displays in the second half of 2017. The company has mass transfer and placement yield rates of over 99% in its lab.

PlayNitride MicroLED array

In PlayNitride's R&D setup, it takes about 10 seconds to transfer and place 200,000 LEDs - which means that a 5" panel will take only 10 minutes to produce. However the cost for a single smartphone panel could reach about $300 - much higher than the cost of even the highest-end flexible OLED. Possible applications where Micro-LED displays could succeed commercially at this stage include smartwatches, VR / AR, automotive and transparent displays.

Yano Research sees the Micro-LED market growing from $7 million in 2017 to $4.5 billion by 2025

Japan-based Yano Research Institute estimates that following Sony's launch of its CLEDIS display, the Micro-LED market will finally emerge this year. Yano sees the micro-LED market growing from $7 million in 2017 through $14 million in 2018 and $224 million by 2020.

The fast growth will continue, and the micro-LED market wil reach $4.5 billion by 2025 - that's a total growth of over 65,000% from 2017 to 2025.

Unimicron to start producing PCBs for Micro-LED displays by 2019

Unicmicron LogoTaiwan-based PCB developer Unimicron has started to develop specific PCBs for Micro-LED displays, with aims to start mass producing such PCBs in 2019. According to LEDsInside, Unimicron will start a small batch production in 2018.

Unimicron is collaborating with Epistar's and ITRI's micro-LED display alliance, hoping that this will speed up the commercialization of its technology. LedsInside also reports that other Taiwan-based PCB makers aim to also start developing specific solutions for Micro-LED displays.

Apple patents a bi-directional Micro-LED display

A few days ago Apple was awarded with 52 different patents, covering a wide range of technologies that include 3D glasses, in-air gesturing, fingerprint sensing and more.

One of these patents details a Micro-LED device that is able to both emit and sense light. We have seen similar solutions based on OLEDs - in that case the photo-diodes were placed between the OLED pixels, to create a micro-display that can sense light (possible applications are for example eye-tracking in a VR headset).