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The Micledi technology enables RGB epitaxial materials reconstituted on 300mm CMOS wafers, co-integrated with advanced node CMOS backplane ASICs via wafer-to-wafer (W2W) hybrid bonding. Pixel-level Fresnel lens beam shaping provides high-efficiency waveguide integration of the microLED displays into smart glasses using industry-standard tooling and process steps available for volume manufacturing at CMOS foundries.

The lower cost of 300mm CMOS wafer production will drive adoption in augmented reality (AR) smart glasses says the spin out of the imec R&D lab. The company used imec’s extensive experience in 3D integration technologies and had access to the world-class 300mm CMOS pilot-line infrastructure for the microLED development and prototyping.

The proprietary approach enables a self-contained monolithic 1W microLED display module with integrated ASIC with PWM display driving and full chromaticity correction designed in a sub-40nm CMOS process node. The RGB array has a 3.0um pixel pitch and up to 10,000,000nit luminance, with a pixel-level beam shaping for waveguide integration.

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The demand for microdisplays in AR headsets is projected to double every year to more than $1.8bn in 2025 and more than $4.9bn in 2027 says Yole Development as AR and VR systems becom mainstream.

“AR headsets today can be found in industrial and medical niche markets. We intend to change that by enabling AR glasses that are stylish, compact, lightweight, with long battery life, and images that look just like reality,” said Sean Lord, CEO of Micledi.

“Our 300mm manufacturing flow is the technology needed to overcome the challenges with first- and second-generation AR glasses and is necessary to achieve the features consumers will require for the ultimate visually immersive AR experience,” he said.

The company will be showing its first demonstration units at the CES 2022 exhibition in Las Vegas next month. “It is only fitting that CES is the venue to showcase our remarkable achievement,” said Lord. “CES is where advanced technologies take center stage for all the world to see and AR is one area that is in rapid adoption with leaders from FAANG companies and a plethora of smaller innovators.”

The company plans to sample the microLEDs to customers beginning in Q1 2022.

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