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.
In July 2019 PlayNitride raised $50 million to start trial production of microLED displays. The company later said it seeks to raise over $100 million more as it will require large funds to initiate mass production.
PlayNitride is considering several production models - from constructing its own production lines, through a joint-venture with strategic partners to the licensing of its technology. The main goal of the company is to start production as soon as possible. The company hopes mass production can begin by the end of 2020 - targeting the wearables, automotive and large-size TV markets, and is working with more than 10 potential customers.
For the wearables market, the company has a strategic partnership with RiTDisplay and according to reports the two companies are in talks with Apple to supply future wearable displays. At SID DisplayWeek 2019 PlayNitride demonstrated a high-brightness, high-resolution passive-matrix wearable micro-LED display.
PlayNitride is working with both TianMa and CSoT towards automotive transparent micro-LED displays. At Displayweek Tianma demonstrated a 7.56" 720x480 (114 PPI) transparent Micro-LED prototype, which was developed together with PlayNitride on Tianma's LTPS backplanes. PlayNitride demonstrated the same display at its own booth. At the same event, CSoT showed a 3.3" transparent micro-LED prototype, also developed with PlayNitride.
In the large-size TV market, PlayNitride is reportedly supplying Samsung with the micro-LED chips and technologies used in Samsung's "consumer-level" micro-LED TVs.