Epistar Corp, based in Taiwan and established in 1996, is one of the world's largest LED producers. The company specializes in high-brightness LED devices for general lighting and consumer electronics.
Epistar is developing Micro LED chips but has yet to announce any products or market intentions. Some reports suggest the Epistar is likely to first produce 100-micron LEDs (in 2017) to be used in large displays. This will be followed by smaller LEDs for smaller displays.
In October 2018 Epistar established a wholly-owned subsidiary called Yenrich Technology that develops applications for mini LED and micro LED technologies.
In 2020 Epistar announced a merger with fellow Taiwanese LED maker Lextar.
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The latest Epistar MicroLED news:
We're happy to interview Yenrich, as part of our series of interviews with MicroLED Industry Association members. Yenrich, spun-off from Epistar and now part of the Ennostar group, develops mini-LED and micro-LED packaging. The company is focused on direct-view displays, both miniLED based and microLED based.
Hello! Can you introduce your company and technology?
Yenrich, a member of Ennostar, focuses on the development of Mini/Micro LED technology and products for fine pitch displays and provides customers with integrated solutions of front-end chips and back-end system applications.
Q: Can you say why you joined the microLED association and what it is you hope to achieve?
1. Learn the latest Mini/Micro LED technology and information from the MIA and get more correct product roadmap in this field
2. Understand the needs of Micro LED for AR/VR and automotive applications and technology
Digitimes reports that PlayNitride is starting to sample microLED panels for 5 or 6 potential automotive customers. The customers are interested in flexible and transparent panels, and they have engaged PlayNitride in custom R&D projects to develop the required displays.
PlayNitride's CEO, Charles Li, noted that the company expects its customers to launch several concept car models in early 2024, equipped with the new microLED displays.
According to Ennostar, the company intends to invest around $122 million USD in its Epistar subsidiary, with an aim to setup a production capacity of 150mm microLED epitaxial wafers. The investment will be performed in several stages.
Ennostar also updates that Epistar has completed its mini LED chip production capacity, but the demand for such chips is lower than expected, and so the company's mini LED production utilization is not at 100%.
The MicroLED Industry Association (MIA) successfully concluded its kickoff meeting on August 2nd. The work plan for the coming quarter was announced, and the association members were updated on work processes, collaboration activities and plans for the future.
The MIA is happy to announce that there are already over 15 members in the microLED association. In addition to its pre-launch founding members, the MIA welcomes the new members that joined since the official announcement on July 13. These companies include 3D Micromac, ASM Pacific Technology group, ClassOne Technology, Radiant Vision Systems and the Ennostar group (Epistar, Lextar, Yenrich and Unikorn).
PlayNitride is planning for an IPO, and if all goes according to plan, the company will issue new shares and will start trading at the newly launched Taiwan Stock Exchange Innovation Board in Q3 2022.
PlayNitride's CEO recently participated in an investor conference, during which he said that the company aims to be break-even (on a monthly basis) by the end of 2023, and to turn a profit in 2024.
Lextar unveiled a 10.6" transparent MicroLED display, branded as "iMicro display", as you can see in the video. We do not have more information on this new display yet.
During a recent investor conferences, Ennostar's CEO said that Epistar will gradually upgrade its miniLED production line in Taiwan to produce microLED chips. The plan is to reach a yearly capacity of over 400,000 6" microLED wafers. In the long term the company will focus its microLED production in Taiwan, while its Chinese factories will produce miniLEDs.
In 2020 China-based LED display maker Leyard Opto-Electronic launched its first microLED display modules, that can be used to create seamless large-area microLED displays. Now we hear that Chinese conglomerate CHN Energy Investment has installed the world's largest microLED display using Leyard's displays.
This display, produced and installed by Leyard, is 216 sqm in size, and has close to 250 million pixels - or over 7 times 8K resolution. The display was installed at CHN Energy's new Command and Control center.
In 2020 Taiwan's LED developers Epistar and Lextar announced plans to establish a joint holding company, effectively merging the two companies. Last week the company, called Ennostar Incorporation was formally launched.
Ennostar will focus on rapid development of mini-LED and micro-LED technologies and displays. The company has three main areas, divided between its daughter companies: Epistar will focus on LED epitaxy and chip, Lextar will focus on packaging and module, and Unikorn Semiconductor Corp. (under Epistar) will develop advanced compound semiconductor foundry.
Digitimes reports that Epistar's chairman, Lee Biing-jye says that he estimates that the first volume application for microLED displays is going to be in the smartwatch industry - but that will still take 3-4 years to actually materialize. Volume adoption in the TV market will take at least 4-5 years.
Epistar is developing microLED epitaxy and chip technology (in collaboration with AUO) and still has challenges to overcome, mainly in the mass transfer area. The company expects to achieve reliable production capabilities within 2-3 years. Epistar needs also to improve the yield rates for microLED epitaxy and reduce costs for mass transfer processes.