10 March 2021
CP partners with GF to manufacture first monolithic micro-display for real-time AR
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 – and GlobalFoundries (GF) of Santa Clara, CA, USA (the world’s leading specialty foundry, with operations in Singapore, Germany and the USA) have announced a strategic partnership to manufacture IntelliPix, CP’s micro-display technology platform.
IntelliPix is said to enable a truly real-time holographic consumer AR experience by enabling smaller and lighter AR glasses that last longer on a single charge. IntelliPix provides a real-time video pipeline, coupled with a fully integrated digital backplane and driver for pixels as small as 2.5µm, for the first time in a single-chip solution. CP’s proprietary IntelliPix technology is realized on GF’s 22FDX specialty semiconductor platform.
Through the partnership, CP and GF are kicking off the development of a series of custom solutions on GF’s 22FDX platform to enable IntelliPix’s flexible architecture that provides a software-defined and scalable feature set. The overall advancement in IntelliPix supports up to 100 times faster modulation while consuming 4-12 times less system power across the video pipeline compared with CP’s previous platforms, while unlocking the real potential for amplitude liquid crystal on silicon (LCoS), emerging micro-LED and future phase-based holographic systems.
By intelligently focusing only on changing pixels, IntelliPix is directed to pixels that are active, while conserving power in inactive pixel regions, resulting in high image quality and brightness, while significantly lowering the overall display subsystem power (OnDemand Pixels). By leveraging the high-performance, ultra-low-power and broad feature integration capability of GF’s 22FDX platform, CP is able to deliver IntelliPix’s smart pixel digital backplane integrated with its proprietary real-time video pipeline at high frame rates and low latency all in one single chip with no compromises in display area, cost or power consumption to meet the critical requirements for widespread consumer AR.
“GF is an ideal partner for IntelliPix, our next-generation monolithic display,” comments CP’s VP of engineering Ian Kyles. “Their industry-leading 22FDX platform offers the low-power benefits, density and interconnect features that enable our latest set of innovations, and their willingness to customize additional features for our display simplifies our manufacturing flow.”
To date, GF’s 22FDX solutions have realized $4.5bn in design wins, with more than 350 million chips shipped to customers around the world.
“The breakthrough design of IntelliPix, which only activates the pixels that need refreshing, is a natural match with our 22FDX platform, which is unrivaled in the industry as an ultralow-power solution with excellent memory density and integration capabilities to support a range of future-forward applications,” reckons Mike Hogan, senior VP & general manager of Automotive, Industrial and Multi-market at GF.
For emerging micro-LED pixel technology, IntelliPix-iDrive can be configured with a constant-current pixel drive optimized to deliver pixel-to-pixel uniformity supported with a software-defined drive scheme and a MIPI interface. IntelliPix also provides an IntelliPix-vDrive configuration as a voltage/charge driven pixel optimized for driving LC-based pixels for both amplitude and phase/holographic light modulation. The OneChip physical design of IntelliPix eliminates traditional distinctions between display pixel drive (backplane) and display driver IC (DDIC) functions to reduce the overall physical volume and power consumption while enabling cutting-edge features. The partnership between CP and GF enables a customized Intellipix architecture based on a vDrive or iDrive modulated backplane/display configured to customer specifications.
The IntelliPix micro-display technology platform is customizable for resolutions up to 2048 x 2048 and beyond. The first commercial products featuring CP’s IntelliPix should be on the market in 2023.
During the SPIE ARVRMR event (28-31 March), CP is presenting IntelliPix at the Industry Talk session and discussing how the technology platform presents the opportunities for the industry to accelerate mainstream AR adoption.