Osram Joins Micro LED Project to Develop Transparent Automotive Display Applications

Osram Opto Semiconductors announced that it joined a project, SmartVIZ, which aims to explore the principles of high-resolution visualization solutions using Micro LEDs. Focusing on automotive interior applications, the Micro LED project expects to present initial demonstration by October 2021.

The purpose of the SmartVIZ project is to provide research basis for future transparent, high-resolution, direct-emitting visualization solutions with Micro LED technologies. Osram will partner with ASM AMICRA and Fraunhofer IISB to carry out researches focusing on light source, component integration and assembly.

ASM AMICRA is an expert player in the field of production automation, especially in the high-tech area of photonic applications. The company brings its in-depth knowledge of micro assembly of photonic components to the project. The Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Systems and Device Technology IISB specializes in power electronics and technologies for producing semiconductor devices. IISB will design and manufacture transparent electronic circuits for their final installation in micro-pixel visualization components.


(Image: Osram)

The envisioned work packages will develop solutions for designing efficient Micro LED light sources, handling them on sub-component level and assembly. Red, green and blue Micro LED structures will perform as efficient high-luminance image pixels. Implementation of such concepts and applications requires in-depth studies of the underlying physical principles that are in-part entirely different than today’s macro LED chips.

The project will also conduct research addressing the component integration of Micro LEDs using a novel approach for transparent and flexible image encoders. Transparent substrates based on indium gallium zinc oxide thin-film transistors (IGZO TFTs) will be the researchers’ focus for controlling the individual pixels. This approach allows for quasi-transparent surfaces, which can be filled with content only if the Micro LEDs are switched to active. Employing such an active matrix backplane for the driver electronics allows image rendering with Micro LEDs to produce visualization scenarios with ultra-high resolution.

Another work package will target processing concepts to enable rapid transfer of large quantities of Micro LED chips from a source wafer to the backplane driver electronics via automated parallel assembly. Key requirement here is a positioning accuracy of around 1.5 µm. Researching accurate transfer methods for such small chips (edge length smaller than 40 µm) will require entirely new technological approaches, which will be addressed within the project.

Hubert Halbritter, SmartVIZ project leader at Osram Opto Semiconductors, described his company’s role, “as a project partner with in-depth experience in micro-pixel imaging components that will research efficient, high-luminance pixels. Along with our partners, we aim to gain technology leadership in one of the key future technology markets.”

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