Taiwan-based PlayNitride was established in June 2014 to research and develop Nitride related materials and applications. The fabless company is now focusing on GaN based MicroLEDs - it is branding its technology as PixelLED displays.
PlayNitride has two main technologies - its mass transfer process and its SMAR.Tech pixel repair technology.
According to reports PlayNitride started to sample micro-LED at the end of 2017, with first displays expected on the market by 2019. The company says it can reach a pixel density of 1,500 PPI. In April 2017 it was reported that Samsung Display is set to acquire PlayNitride but this is not official yet.
In May 2018 PlayNitride demonstrated its first Micro-LED prototypes, as the company plans to setup a NT$500 million (US$17 million) production facility at Hsinchu Science Park.
The latest PlayNitride news:
PlayNitride raises $50 million, will start trial production of microLED chips by the end of August 2019
Digitimes reports that PlayNitride raised $50 million and is ready to start trial production of micro-LED chips by the end of August 2019. PlayNitride will increase its headcount by 100 employees.
PlayNitride told Digitimes that it achieved a yield rate of 99.9% in its LED transfer (pick-and-place) process. Using mass repair technologies, the company is certain it can achieve commercial viability of its process. The company's mass transfer speed is 10,000 chips per second. This means that for a Full-HD (1920x1080) display it will take just over 10 minutes to transfer the LED chips. A 4K display will take just over 40 minutes.
According to Taiwan's Economic News Daily, PlayNitride and RiTDisplay are in talks with Apple to supply microLED displays for Apple's next-generation Watch wearable.
These are just rumors at this stage, but END says that PlayNitride confirms it is in talks with US customers regarding a 3" full-color Micro-LED display. This interesting as this is not a display we are used to see in most mobile devices - wearables are usually limited to around 1.5" while smartphones today start at around 6".
PlayNitride demonstrated its latest Micro-LED displays at SID DisplayWeek 2019, and the following recently-published video shows the company's booth and prototypes:
So first up we have a 7.56" 720x480 (114 PPI) transparent MicroLED display, which looks very impressive. This is the same Micro-LED display that TianMa demonstrated at its own booth. Interestingly, under direct light from it seems that the display is made from tiles - but PlayNitride says that the squares are made from the stamping process, and the company is developing technology that will remove these marks.
TCL subsidiary China Star (CSoT) demonstrated a 3.3" 232x116 transparent Micro-LED prototype display. The display is built on an Oxide-TFT (IGZO) backplane - CSoT says that this is the first such display ever demonstrated. The transparency is around 45%.
CSoT says that it developed the display in collaboration with PlayNitride that provided the transfer technology for CSoT.
In May 2019 Taiwan-based PMOLED display maker RiT Display announced a strategic partnership and share swap with MicroLED developer PlayNitride. Digitimes now states that RiT expects to start shipping its first microLED smartwatch displays in 2020.
According to the new report, a US-based smartwatch brand will start a design process in Q3 2019 using a 1.25" micro-LED display that was co-developed by RiTDisplay and PlayNitride. RiT will start shipping samples in Q4 2019.
In November 2017 we reported 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 with an aim to develop production technologies for high-density Micro-LED displays.
Digitimes today reports that EOSRL has achieved a breakthrough in its mass transfer technology, and is now able to transfer 10,000 micro-LED chips from an sapphire-based epitaxial wafer onto a substrate within an hour. EOSRL demonstrated the process with PCB, Polyimide and glass substrates. Trial production runs will commence in Q4 2019.
Earlier this week China-based Tianma unveiled a new 7.56" 720x480 (114 PPI) transparent Micro-LED display prototype at SID, and the display won SID's people's choice award - the best new display technology.
Tianma today revealed that the Micro-LED prototype was co-developed with Taiwan's PlayNitride. In 2017 PlayNitride started to sample micro-LED panels and shipped samples to 10-20 potential customers. The company's chairman and CEO, Charles Li, said in June 2018 that 5-6 of these customers are continuing the developing of micro-LED modules based on these panels. Apparently TianMa is one of these customers.
Taiwan-based PMOLED display maker RiT Display announced a strategic partnership and share swap with MicroLED developer PlayNitride. RiTDisplay will have access to PlayNitride's technology and will be able to produce and sell micro-LED panels.
According to the Taipei times, RiTDisplay aims to produce small displays for wearable applications. The article says the display size will be around 3-inch, which actually sounds rather large for wearables.