Samsung said to launch a 150-inch Micro-LED TV at CES 2018

According to reports from Korea, Samsung is developing large-area micro-LED TVs, and the company is set to reveal its first Micro-LED TV as soon as CES 2018 (January 2018).

Samsung UN85S9, framed 85'' LCD TV

Samsung's first TV, according to the report, will be a huge 150-inch set, which will be marketed for home use. Samsung is looking for a new premium TV technology as Samsung's QLED TVs failed to keep up with LGD's OLED TVs, and has seen its premium TV market share fall from 57% in 2015 to 20% in 2016 (LG, meanwhile, managed to increase its market share from 17.5% in 2015 to 43% in 2016).

AUO: Micro-LED will take a long time to commercialize

Digitimes posted an interesting article, stating that AU Optronics is set to adopt mini-LEDs in its LCD display backlighting units in 2018 (mostly for higher-cost applications such as gaming notebooks and professional displays). The company, however, still sees many challenges towards the commercialization of micro-LED displays.

AUO's chairman and CEO, Paul Peng, estimates that Micro-LED will still be in the development stage in 2018-2019, and while we will starting seeing many prototypes and even product samples, real commercial displays will take longer to appear. Peng says that Micro-LEDs, with their higher cost, will initially be adopted for AR and VR devices which will enable to pay a premium for the advantages over OLEDs (resolution and efficiency, probably).

Solar-Tectic announces new backplane technology suitable for Micro-LED displays

US-based Solar-Tectic has launched a new low-temperature backplane technology that could replace LTPS in future high-end mobile displays and bridge the performance gap between IGZO and LTPS.

The main target application for this new backplane are OLED displays, but the company says that its new technology could also be used in micro-LED displays. Solar-Tectic process, called LT1CS (Low temperature single crystal silicon) is a silicon based technology that creates highly oriented c-axis aligned or "textured" silicon crystals. Solar-Tectic says that the performance of LT1CS backplanes will be higher than IGZO performance.

Apple reportedly downsized its Micro-LED R&D team in Taiwan

Apple acquired Micro-LED developer LuxVue in May 2014 and has not updated on the technology since, but several reports suggested that Apple has an R&D Micro-LED team in Taiwan and some analysts estimated that Apple actually aims to start low-volume Micro-LED production by the end of 2017 with mass production of smart watch displays beginning as soon as 2018.

A new report from Taiwan, however, says that Apple decided to downsize its R&D team in Taiwan. According to the report, a possible explanation is that Apple decided to move its Micro-LED R&D focus to the USA. The same report also says that Apple is collaborating with TSMC to develop applications based on silicon-based backplanes - which could relate to Micro-LEDs.

Taiwan's ITRI to build a pilot line for micro-LED VR displays by Q3 2018

Earlier this month we reported that Taiwan's Electronic and Optoelectronic System Research Laboratories (EOSRL, part of ITRI) has launched a project that aims to develop Micro-LED displays for large-area signage indoor displays.

LG VR headset prototype (March 2017)

LGD VR prototype, March 2017

According to a new report from Taiwan, EOSRL's new line, which will begin operation in Q3 2018, will be also used to produce small displays for VR applications. EOSRL reveals that the pilot line is already able to handle 2500 (50x50) chips per transfer, and by the time it is ready it will be able to handle 100,000 chips (100x100).

Taiwan's EOSRL aims to start large-area Micro-LED display production by the end of 2018

Digitimes reports that Taiwan's Electronic and Optoelectronic System Research Laboratories (EOSRL, part of ITRI) has launched a project that brings together PlayNitride, LED driver IC designer Macroblock and PCB maker Unimicron. The project aims to develop high-density Micro-LED displays.

PlayNitride MicroLED array

EOSRL plans to demonstrate first large-size signage display prototypes in H1 2018 with trial production to begin by the end of 2018.

A Google patent reveals a Micro-LED based AR device

Google was granted a new patent that describes a micro-LED based AR glasses device. This is a patent from March 2016 that was now granted.

Google Micro-LED AR patent figure

According to the patent description, the Micro-LED active area is aligned to an array of collimating reflectors that reflect a display image back towards a user's eyes. The patent also describes a similar VR device (in which the displays are not see-through).

Veeco and ALLOS demonstrate 200mm GaN-on-Si wafers for micro-LED production

Veeco and ALLOS Semiconductors have completed their micro-LED strategic initiative and demonstrated 200mm GaN-on-Si wafers for blue and green micro-LED production. Veeco transferred ALLOS' proprietary epitaxy technology onto Veeco's Propel Single-Wafer MOCVD System to enable micro-LED production on existing silicon production lines.

ALLOS GaN-on-Si wafer photo

ALLOS says that it now has an MOCVD technology that is capable of high yielding GaN Epitaxy that meets all the requirements for processing micro-LED devices in 200 millimeter silicon production lines. Within one month the two companies managed to establish the ALLOS technology on Veeco's Propel systems and have achieved crack-free, meltback-free wafers with less than 30 micrometers bow, high crystal quality, superior thickness uniformity and wavelength uniformity of less than one nanometer.