18 January 2018
Plessey demos microLED-based AR and VR HUD concept at CES
© Semiconductor Today Magazine / Juno PublishiPicture: Disco’s DAL7440 KABRA laser saw.
Plessey Semiconductors Ltd of Plymouth, UK has demonstrated how its monolithic microLED technology can be used to deliver the next-generation of head-up displays (HUDs), enabling new augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) applications.
MicroLEDs are emerging as the only technology that can provide high luminance in a small format, says Plessey, with all leading manufacturers of wearable technologies currently pursuing providers that can deliver a suitable microLED solution. Plessey reckons that, with this demonstrator, it has confirmed its readiness to enable its partners to move into production of a monolithic display based on microLEDs using its proprietary gallium nitride on silicon (GaN-on-Si) approach.
“Monolithic microLED technology is the only viable solution that can enable products that are not only compact enough to be worn without restricting the overall experience for AR and VR applications and in HUDs, but also provide the size, weight, power and luminance needed,” said chief technology officer Dr Keith Strickland at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2018) in Las Vegas last week.
Produced in collaboration with Artemis Optical, the demonstrator combines Plessey’s monolithic display, based on an array of microLEDs integrated alongside an active-matrix backplane, with the patented film technology and a single-lens arrangement from Artemis. The combination of technologies removes ambient light in the wavelength matching the microLED display’s output, resulting in an HUD that delivers very high display brightness with low power consumption, in a format that is much smaller than existing HUD designs yet still offers significant cost savings, it is claimed.
During CES, Plessey and Artemis presented the demonstrator to leading companies developing VR and AR electronics. Headsets and eyewear outfitted for AR and VR applications are set for record sales of $1.2bn in the US market alone in 2018, according to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).