16 November 2020
Compound Photonics opens Micro-LED Innovation Acceleration Center in Arizona
Compound Photonics US Corp (CP Display) of Vancouver, WA, USA – a provider of compact high-resolution micro-display technologies for augmented- and mixed-reality (AR/MR) applications – has opened its Micro-LED Innovation Acceleration Center (MiAC) in Chandler, Arizona, said to be the first fabrication plant dedicated to accelerating the time-to-market of sub-5µm-pixel monolithically integrated micro-LED displays to meet the rising demand for mass-market AR/MR and smart wearable devices.
“Arizona’s advanced manufacturing industry continues to grow rapidly thanks to investments from innovators like Compound Photonics,” commented Arizona Commerce Authority’s president & CEO Sandra Watson.
“Micro-display has been a critical component that determines form factor, size, power consumption and optical performance of mainstream AR glasses,” notes CP’s co-CEO Richard Jackson. “CP has been in the forefront of delivering a cutting edge of sub-3µm-pixel display drive technology & platform with a track record of bringing production-worthy products to market,” he adds. “By aligning with our partners’ expertise, equipment and resources at MiAC, together we will accelerate micro-LED process advancement to be ready to scale for commercialization.”
With over $20m investment since 2018, MiAC will facilitate collaboration between CP and its industry partners in a single high-tech workspace. The approximately 15,000ft2, Class 100 cleanroom provides direct access to specialized fabrication and metrology equipment to facilitate advanced process development for micro-LED assembly, bonding, integration and pilot production. Equipped with optical and electro-mechanical labs, the facility also enables prototyping for complete optical systems. MiAC is strategically located close to major global semiconductor manufacturers and universities with access to optics and process engineering talent.
MiAC provides the infrastructure to showcase CP’s proprietary, small-pixel, epi-substrate-agnostic micro-LED integration. The process scheme is to monolithically integrate GaN-based micro-LED array epiwafers with CMOS backplane array wafers incorporating CP’s recently unveiled Intellipix drive technology platform. By leveraging CP’s experience in making 3µm-pixel high-performance micro-display and its strategic partners’ new generation of manufacturing solutions – ranging from chemical-mechanical polishing/planarization (CMP), hybrid wafer bonding, metrology and packaging – the collaboration at MiAC aims to accelerate the integration of emerging fine-pixel-pitch micro-LED arrays into compact micro-display modules. This multi-disciplinary approach is intended to streamlines innovation and development cycle time to rapidly yield operable micro-display modules with the required performance for AR/MR near-eye applications.
CP’s new Chandler-based MiAC is ready now, and more strategic partners should join the workspace. The first samples of CP’s 0.26”-diagonal 1080p-resolution backplane configured as a spatial color RGB micro-LED display integrated with display driver IC to accept industry-standard MIPI input are expected to be introduced at MiAC by summer 2021. A grand opening ceremony will be held on 14 January, with CP’s executives and strategic partners as well as local business leaders providing keynote addresses.
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