Plessey Introduces How Micro LED Technology Speeds up Developments of AR and other Smart Wearables

Plessey, the UK-based semiconductor technology provider, has successfully developed GaN-on-Si monolithic Micro LED. According to the company, the innovative development will support next generation applications such as AR headsets, head-up displays (HUD) and other smart wearables to enter the mass market.

Given their high contrast, high speed, wide viewing angle, high brightness and more efficient and longer-lasting operation, Micro LEDs are perfect for display applications on wearables such as smart watches, HUDs and AR headsets.

(Image: Plessey)

However, up until now, manufacturing Micro LEDs has not been easy due to their tiny size. Using today’s pick-and-place technology, individual Micro LEDs have to be placed on a pitch of less than 50 microns. The equipment used for this is new, expensive and still has productivity issues and as demand grows for higher pixel density, pick-and-place may no longer be viable at all.

Plessey has continued its development of LEDs made from gallium nitride on a substrate of silicon (GaN-on-Si), instead of the usual sapphire. The GaN-on-Si enables the creation of monolithic Micro LEDs which include multiple emitters on a single chip. This approach brings several key advantages, including smaller pixel pitches of as little as 8 microns, the ability to make larger LED emitters, and better contrast, thanks to GaN-on-Si’s surface-emitting properties. The technique can easily be scaled to 200mm wafers and larger, improving cost and yield.

The advancement circumvents the shortcomings of traditional pick-and-place manufacturing and gives Micro LEDs the potential to meet the demanding requirements of emerging AR and display applications. Moreover, the monolithic approach allows Micro LEDs to be built on a CMOS silicon backplane, so standard CMOS circuitry is easily integrated for high-tech applications.

Plessey has the only monolithic Micro LED solution currently available and is now licensing the technology to partners to create custom displays and light sources for a wide range of consumer electronics applications and more.

Dr. Keith Strickland, Plessey’s co-CEO and CTO, will present the company’s proprietary approach of GaN-on-Si Micro LED and introduce how the technology can better optimize AR or MR display applications. Sign up now to secure the opportunity for the first hand updates of the industry!

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