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.
PlayNitride started to sample micro-LED at the end of 2017, and in May 2018 PlayNitride demonstrated its first Micro-LED prototypes. PlayNitride has a pilot production facility at Hsinchu Science Park.
In July 2019 PlayNitride raised $50 million to start trial production of microLED displays. In September 2019 PlayNitride announced it seeks to raise over $100 million more as it will require large funds to initiate mass production by 2020.
The latest PlayNitride news:
PlayNitride says that in order to meet mass production goals, microLED chip prices will have to be reduced drastically. The company aims to reduce the production cost of microLED chips by 95% within five years.
PlayNitride's CEO, Charles Li, says that the main challenge right now is to reduce the cost and size of microLED chips. In addition microLED makers will have to integrate the entire supply chain - from LED wafer production and process to transfer technology, backplane production and display module fabrication. Good technologies are available for all these steps, but integration is now key.
AU Optronics and PlayNitride announced that the two companies have developed a 9.4" 228 PPI flexible microLED display. The new display is driven by an LTPS backplane and the two companies say it delivers a large color gamut, is weather resistance and it is suitable for automotive applications.
AUO and PlayNitride has been collaborating on microLED display technologies for many years. In early 2019, AUO announce it plans to accelerate its development of Micro-LED products. The company previous prototype was a 12.1" 1920x720 (169 PPI) panel. In September 2019 AUO's president said that he expects Micro-LED displays to enter the market within 1-2 years, starting with large-area signage and small-sized VR displays.
Digitimes reports that Samsung Electronics has partnered with Taiwan-based Epistar to supply the Korean display maker with micro-LED chips, as it aims to release its first microLED TVs in H2 2020.
According to Digitimes, Epistar will work together with PlayNitride to supply the microLEDs. Epistar is an investor in PlayNitride. Digitimes says that PlayNitride is currently producing over 1,000 6" microLED wafers per month, and is aiming to increase its production capacity to 10,000 monthly wafer this year.
Taiwan's Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) demonstrated a 16.7" microLED display "module" that was produced by directly mass transferring micro-LED chips onto a PCB backplane.
ITRI developed its own mass transfer tech, and uses microLEDs provided by PlayNitride, PCB backplanes provided by Unimicron and drivers and assembly by Macroblock. The 16.7" display is made by tiling 15 modules 6x10 cm each (45,000 LEDs). The microLEDs are <100um in pitch.
In May 2019 PMOLED display maker RiTDisplay announced a strategic partnership and share swap with MicroLED developer PlayNitride, and RiT later said it aims to release its first product to the market in 2020.
RiT announced today that its revenues for the year (to date) were $47.1 million USD - a decrease of 32.4% compared to last year. The company's CEO says that its PMOLED sales has been affected by e-cigarette bans in the US, and the company is now shifting its focus to develop micro LED displays (and also mini-LED ones).
In January 2019 Aixtron and PlayNitride signed a joint-collaboration agreement to accelerate Micro-LED development and PlayNitride ordered an AIX G5+ C MOCVD system. Aixtron announced that the AIX G5+ C system is now fully qualified for production - and Playnitride placed a follow-up order for a second such system.
Aixtron says that the G5+ C is an advanced advanced production tool that offers market leading wavelength uniformity to meet the tightened Micro LED market specifications in a batch reactor high-throughput environment. The system allows for the lowest defect and particle level in the industry due to an effective in-situ cleaning technology and the cassette-to-cassette handler which is essential for high yields. The G5+ C MOCVD was also recently ordered by Plessey for its own GaN-on-Silicon Micro-LED development and production.
Taiwan-based PMOLED display maker RiTDisplay announced that it plans to launch its first MicroLED displays in 2020. RiTDisplay aims to mass produce wearable displays and hopes for receive meaningful revenues already in 2020.
In May 2019 RiTDisplay announced a strategic partnership and share swap with MicroLED developer PlayNitride. In June 2019 it was reported that a US-based smartwatch brand will start a design process in Q3 2019 using a micro-LED display that was co-developed by RiTDisplay and PlayNitride. RiT was reportedly to start shipping samples in Q4 2019.
Switzerland-based deposition equipment maker Evatec has secured a 2nd order for automated thin-film production tools from microLED developer PlayNitride. The equipment will enable PlayNitride's microLED production ramp-up.
Evatec says that PlayNitride first ordered its cassette-to-cassete production tool in 2017.