Samsung may be pushing its micro-LED display technology as a modular solution to creating TVs of variable sizes and resolutions but other micro LED manufacturers are also pursuing a different approach.
VueReal, a startup company that develops Micro LED based microdisplays, has a micro printing technology called Continuous Pixelation which results in high density displays, high production yields and a simple design.
Founder and CEO, Reza Chaji recently explained some of the company’s technology and business goals in an interview with MicroLED-Info and also spoke of his dislike of TVs that are constructed from tiles or modules.
Firstly, Chaji explained the company’s solutions to some of the technical barriers that the industry still faces. Among them is the time consuming and delicate process whereby the micro LEDs themselves are transferred to the substrate. VueReal’s solution is a bespoke cartridge design that releases the LEDs selectively into the substrate, thus removing the need to actually pick LEDs for each transfer.
Crucially, this means that one tool can make different display sizes and different resolutions and can print different types of devices. According to Chaji, In full operation mode, the process is capable of printing over 1,000,000,000 LEDs at once, thus populating motherglass larger than Gen 4.5 (730mm by 920mm) in less than 10 minutes. This could then open up the way for micro LED displays in the sorts of sizes consumers would expect TVs to come in rather than relying on tiles or modules which have to be assembled and wall mounted.
Chaji went on to explain another important step that the company has addressed which is the ability to inspect and extract the individual LED information at wafer and cartridge level. “This allows us to eliminate the defected LEDs before getting transferred to the display, increasing yield. We have been achieving 100% yield in our latest results repeatedly,” he explained.
The company has created its own micro LED display which features a 30,000 PPI and 100K nits brightness for small form factor, high PPI applications but also intends to continue to develop the micro-printer platform (high performance micro devices, inspection instruments, and micro printer) and offer the tools for sale to partners, as well as offering the cartridges for printing displays.
The company is looking to provide micro LED solutions for the automotive industry, smartphones and the larger display sectors such as TVs. Commenting further, Chaji sees a solution to print a TV display on a large piece of glass as ‘essential’ and that the company is seeing 'lots of traction' in this area.
“Even for TV, tile solution has lots of limitations. I won’t have a TV at my house that I can see the tile no matter what.”
Related: What is Micro LED?
AVForums was at CES this year and saw Samsung’s consumer range of Micro LED TVs first hand. Previous years had seen the TVs that were on display kept some distance from the viewing position but this year it was possible to get within 3 feet of the display. Initial impressions were that it was very difficult to see the lines between the tiles but due to the type of content chosen to show off the microLED TVs, it was impossible to say definitively if the joins were invisible.
Samsung’s modular approach may lead to economies of scale with regards to manufacturing and allow customisation in enterprise and business scenarios where professional installation is part of the contract agreement. However, the consumer sector could be harder to convince that purchasing a selection of tiles to install at home is the way to go. Generally speaking, taking a TV out of the box, plugging it in and having it work is what the consumers tend to expect.
VueReal’s approach could therefore be the sort of manufacturing development that will speed up bringing micro LED TVs to the home.
What do readers think of this? Is it likely that Samsung will be working on something similar to create a more traditional single panel Micro LED TV for the home market? Or should they be looking at industry innovations from the likes of VueReal to speed its own development and manufacturing processes up?
Image Source: TheElec