Micro Mesa and HKC Team Up to Develop μLEDs
March 06, 2017
Taiwanese start-up Mikro Mesa and LCD Panel Maker HKC have agreed to collaborate on the development of micro-LED technology through a jointly funded development lab to be built in Chongqing, China. The lab, which is expected to be completed by the end of this year is expected to be producing micro-LED displays by 2018. Mikro Mesa and others have been working toward reducing the size of LEDs to match the resolution of both high pixel density displays, but have found issues such as light leakage (between LED pixels), high power consumption and heat generation have increased the need for further development of the technology. By reducing the size of each LED, the power consumption and leakage can be reduced, and 50μm x 50μm LEDs can be potentially used for large displays that do not need the high resolution expected in TVs. Moving the technology to the consumer display space however, would entail reducing LED sizes, which is the direction of the joint development project. Mikro Mesa has developed a 3μm x3μm LED that is said (by the company) to have no leakage, and will continue to be upgraded for use in consumer devices. A variety of other companies are pursuing the same goals, with Apple having purchased LuxVue in 2014, Facebook purchasing InfiniLED and development projects at both panel producers and LED chip suppliers. As reported here the issues with micro-LED technology go a bit further, as the devices are so small that once manufactured, each LED has to be placed on a display substrate and connected, which is no simple task when working with chips in the 5μm size range at pixel densities of 40/inch for a 55” Full HD display or 80/inch for a 55” 4K TV display (+/-0.5μm placement tolerances are necessary). Manufacturing bottlenecks can make the large-scale production of such displays problematical, and specialized methods of chip manufacturing and placement techniques are needed to make the technology competitive.