ITRI Showcases Micro-LED Technology at Computex 2016

(Author: Judy Lin, Chief Editor, LEDinside)

Apple has been the main driver behind many new technology advancements, OLED technology has come under media center spotlight spurred by market rumors about upcoming OLED touchpad panels in the MacBook Pro, and curved screen smartphones. Contending display technology micro-LED has somewhat faded into the background.

It has not been completely forgotten, though. Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) showcased its latest advancements in micro-LEDs at Computex 2016 that runs from May 31-June 4, 2016 at Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition Hall 3.

A side-by-side comparison of OLED and micro-LED technology at the ITRI booth, immediately reveals a difference in the two display technologies brightness. The blue green OLED was fairly dim, and barely noticeable when seen afar. The green micro- LED next to it shone very bright, delivering much better resolution performance.

The research institute’s micro-LED technology is capable of delivering 12.8 um pixel pitch, and made into a display with a resolution of 960x540 pixels, active matrix, and brightness more than 1,500 nits (<1 mW).

For mono color LEDs, the institute’s micro-LEDs can be made into 10 um pixel with pitch of 12.8 um, but for full color the pixel size is about 50 um with pitch of 63 um.

Micro-LEDs developed by the institute use flip chip LED or vertical LED chip structure, but not much details were given about the transfer technology.

Green micro-LED technology displayed by ITRI. (All photos courtesy of LEDinside)

There is growing interest in the LED industry about the micron sized LEDs market potential, following Apple’s acquisition of micro-LED transfer specialist LuxVue in May 2014 for US $43 million. Micro-LEDs can be applied in virtual reality (VR) gear, augmented reality (AR) and wearable devices.

Acquiring micro-LED wafer transfer technology is essential for technology maturation.

Major micro-LED chip transfer technologies include vacuum, Van der Waals forces, , static electricity . Micro-LEDs low yield rates also presents many challenges.

Most industry insiders agree the first manufacturer that is able to develop mature micro-LED transfer, and improve yield rates will become the most influential player in the market sector. A race that ITRI aims to win and acquire key patents and transfer technology to manufacturers.

ITRI's introduction to its micro-LED technology.
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