WaveOptics partners with JBD to incorporate microLEDs in its Leopard AR dev kit

Diffrative waveguides for AR developer WaveOptics (owned by Snap) announced a strategic supply partnership with Jade Bird Display (JBD) for MicroLED microdisplays. JBD will supply its 0.13-inch VGA microdisplays to WaveOptics, to be incorporated into the company's Leopard development kit.

WaveOptics Leopard reference AR kit

The Leopard AR reference kit has a form-factor similar to traditional consumer eyewear available, with a single projector (right-side only), providing a monochrome (green) image. The Leopard uses WaveOptics’ ‘Katana’ waveguide platform, its thinnest and lightest waveguide at 1.15 mm thick and 7 grams. The light engine, called Loki, is designed by WaveOptics with the JBD microLEDs and weighs 6 grams and has a volume of 760 mm3.

Seoul Viosys developed new microLED technologies, aims to release 30um chips in H2 2021

Korea-based LED developer Seoul Viosys announced two microLED related breakthroughes developed together with researchers from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB).

EL of red microLED, 1um blue and green microLED under microscope (Seoul-Viosys, August 2021)

First of all, the researcher succeeded in developing blue and green micro LEDs with 1 μm diameter. Second, they have managed to overcome challenges of decreased EQE in red microLEDs at 70um. The EQE of the 70um red microLEDs have been increased by 150% compared to the company's previous designs.

Porotech to supply JBD with red InGaN epiwafers for microLED displays

Porous-GaN material platform developer Porotech announced a partnership with Jade Bird Display (JBD). Under the agreement, Porotech provide JBD with its porous gallium nitride (GaN) technology.

Porotech red microLED device photo

Porotech says its native red InGaN LED epiwafer is not commercial. JBD now plans to use Porotech's porous GaN templates to manufacture InGaN-based red micro-LED displays for use in applications such as VR/AR headsets, AR smart sports goggles and head-up displays.

Buying a microLED TV in 2021

Many believe that MicroLED technology will emerge as the next-generation display technology, and one of the first markets for such displays is the TV market. Several companies already offer microLED TVs - which you can already buy today. Assuming you have the money and a large enough room, that is.

Sony Crystal LED residential demo photo

As is often the case with new technologies, especially in the display industry, the first few years are marked with extremely high prices and limited selection. MicroLED TVs are no exception - as of 2021, they target the very high-end premium market, with very large TVs and prices starting at around $100,000.

But let's assume you really want to buy a microLED TV and can afford it. What are your options today?

Samsung to install a virtual MicroLED Wall studio at CJ ENM's new Seoul location

Samsung electronics announced a new partnership with CJ ENM, to install a large microLED The Wall display at CJ ENM's studio which will enable a 'virtual production studio'.

Samsung The Wall microLED display at CJ ENM studio

The main display in the new studio will be a 20-meter diameter oval-shaped The Wall microLED displays, with a height of seven meters. The idea is that this will create a "seemingly endless backdrop to capture content."

An overview of the latest microLED TV market news

It is quite challenging to produce microLED TVs, and while display companies all over the world are investing billions into R&D, and are developing new process and production technologies, we're still quite far from the emergence of mass production of microLED displays.

Konka APHAEA microLED TV launch

As we discussed earlier this month, it happens that even though the industry is still at an early stage, microLEDs are finding early market niches, mostly in AR/VR microdisplays and large-format TVs. Indeed the microLED TV market is promising and companies such as Sony, Samsung, LG, Konka and others already offer large-area tiled microLED TVs for the premium-consumer market. Here are some of the latest microLED TV updates that we published in recent months:

Samsung aims to ramp up microLED TV production, to develop lower-cost TFT backplanes

According to a new report from Korea, Samsung plans to build a new TV production line in Vietnam, that will be dedicate to microLED TV production. The new plant will begin production in 2022, and will be used to produce its upcoming smaller 77-inch and 88-inch TVs. Samsung is also expanding its facility in Vietnam which is currently used to produce the 110-inch microLED TVs.

Samsung 2021 MicroLED TV photo

Samsung aims to reduce the production costs of its MicroLED TVs, and has launched a project that will develop a TFT backplane for its future TVs (to replace the currently used PCBs). The company hopes that this will enable it to reduce the production costs of its microLED TVs to the level of its 8K QLEDs. This sounds a bit optimistic, at least for TVs in sizes such as 77-inch or 88-inch.

Q&A with the CEO of MicroLED driver and backplane developer SAPIEN

SAPIEN Semiconductors, based in Korea, is a fabless design company that provides innovative PWM CMOS backplane and µ-driver ICs for Micro-LED displays. The company utilizes its own patented technologies to achieve lower power consumption, lower leakage, better repairability and improved testability.

In the following interview, we discuss the company’s technology and business with its CEO, Myunghee Lee.

Q: Hello Mr. Lee, thank you for your time. Can you give us a short introduction to SAPIEN and your microLED technologies?

SAPIEN specializes in developing CMOS Backplane SoCs (System-on-Chip) for Micro-LED display applications. SAPIEN was founded in 2017 by industry veterans who have over 230 years of combined design experience in Display Driver ICs (DDI).

Samsung unveils a new microLED The Wall display, with upgraded performance, smaller LEDs and a thinner profile

Samsung Electronics announced a new microLED The Wall IWA display module, that offers upgraded performance and a thinner profile compared to its current displays. It has installed the first such display at its Suwon office, a 1,000-inch display (8K resolution).

Samsung Electronics building in Suwon, with a microLED The Wall installation (2021-07)

Samsung says that the new module uses LED chips that are 40% smaller compared to current models (for which the chip size is around 100 um so the new ones are likely to be around 60 um). The new TVs support a refresh rate of 120Hz, 8K resolution, a brightness of 1,600 nits and a new enhanced AI processor.

Kopin to co-develop a 2K full-color MicroLED microdisplay with a Japanese CE maker

US-based Microdisplay developer Kopin announced an agreement with a leading Japanese consumer electronics maker to develop 2K x 2K full-color microLED microdisplays.

Under the agreement, Kopin will develop and supply its proprietary backplane silicon wafers and its new partner will develop bonding and color conversion processes. The two companies expect to demonstrate a 1-inch microdisplay prototype within 24-months. Kopin says that this development program is customer funded.