Taiwan's PlayNitride demonstrates two Micro-LED prototypes at SID 2018. The first one is a small 0.89" 64x64 (105 PPI) panel with a brightness of 800 nits. All of the LED chips in this display were transferred in three shots (one shot per color). The pixel size in this display is 0.243 mm.

The second display is a larger panel - 3.12" 256x256 (116 PPI). Due to the larger number of LEDs (total of 786K LEDs) PlayNitride had to use 24 shots to transfer all three colored chips. The pixel size in this larger display is 0.219 mm.

In April 2018 Taiwan's Ministry of Science and Technology approved PlayNitride's application to setup a NT$500 million (US$17 million) production facility at Hsinchu Science Park. PlayNitride aims to produce micro LEDs, display modules and panels at its new facility at Hsinchu.



PlayNitride microLED prototype (SID-2018)

According to reports, Apple is in preliminary talks with PlayNitride towards a possible Micro-LED technology cooperation.

Earlier this year it was reported that PlayNitride started sampling micro-LED panels, shipping these to 10-20 potential customers. PlayNitride says that it achieved mass transfer and placement yield rates of over 99% in its lab.

In PlayNitride's R&D setup, it takes about 10 seconds to transfer and place 200,000 LEDs - which means that a 5" panel will take only 10 minutes to produce. However the cost for a single smartphone panel could reach about $300 - much higher than the cost of even the highest-end flexible OLED. Possible applications where Micro-LED displays could succeed commercially at this stage include smartwatches, VR / AR, automotive and transparent displays.

In April 2017 it was rumored that Samsung Display is set to acquire PlayNitride for around $150 million. The deal is not final, but in January 2018 it was reported that the two companies are at the final stage of their talk. Meanwhile Samsung signed a long-term agreement to co-develop Micro-LED technologies with San'an Optoelectronics, China's largest LED producer.

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