Austria-based ams OSRAM is a multinational photonics application developer, focusing on sensors, LEDs and light-based treatment solutions.
ams OSRAM is at the forefront of microLED epiwafer production. In 2021, the company announced that it will expand its LED production plant in Kulim, Malaysia, with an investment of around $850 million, with plans to produce mini-LED and micro-LED chips on 8-inch wafers. ams OSRAM plans to enter microLED mass production in 2024. The company uses Aixtron's systems for LED production.
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Apple started developing microLED displays for wearable devices years ago, first aiming to launch the first product in 2023. The project was delayed several times, as the cost of production for microLED displays was too high for Apple, to the point where it was suggested Apple's goal is to launch the first microLED watch in 2027.
One of Apple's main microLED partners is ams-Osram, that is building a $850 Million 8-inch microLED epiwafer factory in Malaysia. Yesterday ams-Osram announced that its "cornerstone project" (it did not name Apple specifically) got unexpectedly cancelled. This triggered ams-Osram to re-assess its microLED strategy. As a first estimate ams-Osram believes it will have impairment charges of $650-$900 million and it will also likely to cancel or delay some of its investments in Malaysia (which may actually improve the company's cashflow in the next two years).
ams Osram is progressing with its microLED production fab project in Kulim, Malaysia, and the company has now signed a sale-and-lease agreement with three local Malaysian funds, with a total sum of 2 billion RM (or about $420 million USD).
ams Osram will sell its Kulim facility (The building itself) to Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB), the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Retirement Fund (KWAP), and will lease it back for at least 10 years. The deal is expected to be formally signed by December 2023.
We're happy to interview DELO, as part of our series of interviews with MicroLED Industry Association members. DELO is a leading maker of high-tech adhesives and other multifunctional materials as well as corresponding dispensing and curing equipment.
DELO's hightech materials come to play for numerous of semiconductor, automotive and consumer electronics applications
Can you introduce your company and technology?
Dr. Tim Cloppenborg, senior project manager: DELO is a leading manufacturer of high-tech adhesives and other multifunctional materials as well as adhesive dispensing and curing technology. Our products are mainly used in the automotive, consumer electronics, and semiconductor industries. They can be found in almost every mobile phone and in most cars worldwide, for example in cameras, loudspeakers, electric motors, or sensors. DELO's headquarters are in Windach, Germany, near Munich, with subsidiaries in China, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, and USA, as well as representative offices and distributors in numerous other countries. We employ a workforce of 1,000 staff and achieved a turnover of almost €205 million in the last fiscal year. Our customers include Bosch, Huawei, Mercedes-Benz, Osram, Siemens, and Sony. As an innovative company, we always work ahead of the curve and pursue upcoming trends proactively. Regarding microLED applications, we are excited to provide adhesive research and expertise to our tech partners for the development of next generation displays, which will set a new standard for communication and visualization.
The German federal government and the Free State of Bavaria are looking into supporting ams-OSRAM in its aim to increase its optoelectronic components R&D investment at the company's Regensburg facilities. ams-OSRAM asked for subsidies of more than 300 million Euro, which will create 400 new high-tech jobs.
ams-OSRAM will use the funds to increase its R&D efforts, build new clean rooms, labs and pilot lines. The funds will include support for several projects, including UV-C LEDs for disinfection, NIR emitters for LiDAR applications, new components to support industry 4.0 applications - and microLED display technologies. The company has already started to build a 8” wafer pilot production line for microLEDs in Regensburg.
Apple's microLED projects and goals have been reported and rumored many times in the past, and now the respected Nikkei Asia newspaper posted an interesting article with new details of Apple's microLED plans. Some parts of this plan were already published by other reporters, note.
According to the new report, Apple is aiming to get more involved in display manufacturing, to increase its control over its supply chain, and reduce its reliance on Samsung Display specifically. Apple has decided, therefore, to handle the LED transfer (pick-and-place) process by itself, at its R&D facilities in Longtan, Taoyuan, Taiwan.
In 2021, ams Osram announced that it will expand its LED production plant in Kulim, Malaysia, with an investment of around $850 million. Osram plans to produce mini-LED and micro-LED chips on 8-inch wafers in Kulim.
ams Osram already said it regards microLED as one of its key initiatives, and in a recent conference call the company's CEO emphasized that that microLED is one of the areas in which the company has clear advantages and is a market leader - and it will direct more efforts on microLEDs. The company is on track, it was revealed, to start microLED production in Kulim in 2024.
ams Osram announced that it will expand its LED production plant in Kulim, Malaysia, with an investment of around $850 million.
The new fab will produce LED chips and microLED chips, on 8-inch wafers. ams Osram regards microLED as one of its key initiatives, but also sees the market a few years away.
In a recent conference call, Alexander Everke, the CEO at LED and sensor developer ams Osram, remarked that microLED is one of the company's key initiatives.
The microLED market, according to Everke, is "clearly a few years away", but the company plans to invest in the technology to make sure it stays ahead of the curve, as it wants to position itselff as the clear microLED leader.
Kyocera and OSRAM have jointly designed a new hybrid current and PWM driving technology for microLED displays. The two companies says that this new driving scheme can be used to avoid using lower pixel currents through microLED chips, which reduces the deviation of the luminance and the color shift at lower grayscale levels.
Kyocera has presented a 3.9" full-color microLED display on an LTPS backplane that showed excellent performances that proves the validity of the new driving technology.