Apple, AUO and Epistar to establish a $334 million mini-LED and micro-LED production fab in Taiwan?

According to a report from Taiwan's Economic Daily news, a new mini-LED and micro-LED display factory is under planning in Taiwan's Hsinchu Science Park. The new fab is built by Apple (who will invest $334 million) in collaboration with AU Optronics and Epistar.

AUO 12.1'' Micro-LED display prototype (IFA 2018)

According to the report, the Science Park Administartion approved Apple, Auo and Epistar's plan on February 18. The new fab will act as an expansion of Apple's existing display center in Taiwan.

Sapphire nano-membranes enable higher-efficiency microLEDs

Researchers from Seoul National University (SNU) in collaboration with KAIST, SAIT and the Korea Photonics Institute developed a new method to deposit MicroLEDs on sapphire nano-membranes which enables chip singulation without an etching process. This method can enable higher efficiency MicroLED devices.

MicroLEDs grown on sapphire nano-membranes (SNU)

The researchers say that this method improves the internal quantum efficiency (IQE) of the microLEDs by 44% compared to standard GaN microLEDs produced on regular planar substrates. The microLEDs also featured a reduced dislocation density (by 59.6%). According to their tests, the microLEDs provided 3.3X the photoluminescence compared to regular microLEDs.

Compound Photonics says its microLED digital backplane is now available for microLED microdisplay developers

Compound Photonics (CP) announced that its high-performance digital backplane is available for microLED developers to integrate into complete microdisplay subsystems. CP re-engineered its existing LCoS backplane to drive microLED pixels. The backplane supports 0.26" FHD displays.

Plessey and Compound Photonics 0.26'' microLED display module photo

microLED developers can utilize this backplane and also use CP’s monolithic integrated display module that supports a direct MIPI input and 240Hz refresh rates, packaged into a compact subsystem.

AR MicroLED contact lens developer Mojo Vision raises $51 million

AR developer Mojo Vision, announced that it has raised $51 million in its B-1 round. The company has raised more than $159 million to date. The fund was led by New Enterprise Associates, and several strategic VCs participated, including Dolby Family Ventures and Motorola Solutions Venture Capital.

Mojo Vision microLED contact lenses generations image (January 2020)

Mojo Vision, still in an R&D stage, develops micro-LED powered AR contact lenses. In June 2019, AR developer Mojo Vision announced that it developed a 14k sub-pixel PPI Micro-LED microdisplay, to power its upcoming AR platform.

MicroLED Microdisplays - quick market snapshot

This article is an extract from The MicroLED Handbook, 2020 edition, and gives a short introduction to the current market status of MicroLED Microdisplays. The handbook was published in January 2020 - there has been some updates since then, for example Plessey's recent soft-acquisition by Facebook and MICLEDI's technology was revealed.

There are several companies that develop microLED microdisplays, and these are gearing up to begin mass production of displays soon. It is likely that microdisplays will be the first type of commercial displays enabled by microLED technology.