4 August 2020
Compound Photonics unveils IntelliPix all-in-one micro-display technology platform
Compound Photonics US Corporation (CP, also known as CP Display) of Vancouver, WA, USA, a provider of compact high-resolution microdisplay technologies for augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) applications, has unveiled its IntelliPix Microdisplay Technology Platform for micro-LEDs featuring multiple video pipeline and system integration innovations addressing power optimization, latency and bandwidth use (all key barriers to the true AR experience needed for widespread consumer adoption).
CP claims that it is now the only player in the market to introduce a micro-LED-focused, constant-current (iDrive) technology platform with a MIPI interface that enables pixel-to-pixel uniformity in the emerging sub-5μm-pixel micro-LED display space for AR/MR near-eye applications.
“At its core, CP departs from the traditional full-bandwidth, raster-based pipeline dating back to the birth of NTSC toward a data flow optimized for real-time AR applications,” says co-CEO & chief technology officer Edmund Passon. Given that AR imagery, in general, does not fill the entire field of view, only transmitting active-pixel data results in the ability to drastically increase performance for those active pixels while reducing overall display sub-system power. “We have again revolutionized the drive architecture to manage images intelligently at the pixel level,” he adds. “IntelliPix also integrates its real-time video pipeline and programmable drive scheme with adjustable constant-current iDrive or voltage-driven (vDrive) options into a single-chip solution. The overall technology advancement in IntelliPix enables up to 100x faster modulation while consuming 4x to 12x less system power across the video pipeline versus CP’s previous platforms while unlocking the real potential for micro-LED and future phase-based holographic systems.”
Legacy video pipelines transport full frames/bandwidth to the display subsystem where every transition moves electrons, reducing battery life. OnDemand Pixels (the key component of IntelliPix) optimizes the drive of pixels based on both content and use environment. This proprietary feature provides significant power saving as the system modulates video parameters across the field of view, dependent on user activity. This active-pixel-based approach also enables the bursts of increased performance by making more bandwidth and higher refresh rates available for demanding content regions. Additionally, when combined with eye tracking, OnDemand Pixels opens the door to foveated rendering with attendant benefits for optimized processing on the SoC/AP.
IntelliPix’s 100x modulation speed increase takes full advantage of the faster response time of micro-LEDs, which can be applied to higher bit depth, refresh rates, or the ability to add multiple focal planes. For phase-based holographic systems, the 100x increase enables complex waveforms providing near-zero ripple. The platform also retains all key features of CP’s current NOVA display drive architecture to achieve low latency and on-the-fly frame-by-frame control to avoid image lag.
The IntelliPix single-chip design eliminates traditional distinctions between display pixel drive (backplane) and display driver IC (DDIC) functions to reduce the overall physical volume and power consumption. Combined with CP’s integration capabilities for micro-LED array bonding, device packaging & testing and optical engine designs, the IntelliPix platform opens up new possibilities for meeting or exceeding AR display size reduction demands.
Available for demo in early 2021, the IntelliPix Microdisplay Technology Platform is customizable for resolutions up to 2048 x 2048 and beyond at pixel pitches from ~1.5μm and upwards. CP is presently engaged with micro-LED technology partners and eco-system providers for initial early integration.
During Display Week 2020 (3-4 August), CP’s head of business & corporate development Mike Lee is presenting IntelliPix at the SID Business Conference and discussing with the display community about how the technology platform presents the opportunities for the industry to accelerate mainstream AR adoption.