Seren Completes First Part Of £1m Funding Round


Investment to boost manufacturing of template technology for next generation microLED displays

Seren Photonics, the UK-based developer of semipolar and nonpolar GaN based products, has successfully completed the first tranche of a £1m investment round with funding from existing and new investors.

The funding round included £250k from the Development Bank of Wales along with matching investment from private investors.

The funds will be used to continue the manufacturing scale-up of its template technology along with the further development of green LED epitaxy structures. The evolution of product offering towards semipolar green LED epitaxy is driven by increasing demand for improved efficiency wavelength stable green LEDs for microLED display applications, where each pixel is represented by an individual red, green or blue microLED.

Whereas individual red and blue LED efficiencies are already in the 60 percent-70 percent range, green LEDs still remain at <20% wall plug efficiency. Poor efficiency results in increased power consumption and sometimes the need for additional green LED pixels which also acts to reduce overall screen resolution as well as increase cost.

The overall market for next generation displays using microLEDs is vast, with an estimated value of between $30B and $40B should micro-LEDs become the display technology of choice. Applications include large, high-resolution indoor displays, 4k and 8k TVs, AR/VR headsets, automotive HUDs, smartphones and wearables.

Commenting on the investment, Bedwyr Humphreys, Seren’s chief development officer explained: “Seren’s semipolar and nonpolar technology make InGaN/GaN based LEDs significantly more wavelength stable over a wide range of operating conditions, enable an order of magnitude higher switching speeds and also deliver the potential for improved efficiency through superior electron-hole recombination rates".

He added: “This is a truly versatile technology, having the potential for reducing droop in high brightness blue LEDs, enhancing the performance of longer wavelength GaN LEDs and enabling high speed LED-based communication systems such as visible light communication (VLC) as well as short range plastic optical fibre (POF) communication."

Commenting on the recent funding round Steve Smith, technology ventures director at the Development Bank of Wales said: “Seren Photonics continues to make excellent progress and we’re delighted to continue our support for this innovative technology and to help create a sustainable compound semiconductor ecosystem in Wales.

“The high level of interest for this technology in next-generation displays and high speed communication endorses the importance of semi-polar GaN in enabling leading edge LED performance".

Godfrey Ainsworth, Seren’s chairman said: “We are greatly encouraged by the continued support of our investors as well as the confidence placed in us by our new investors. They have seen that Seren is creating an exceptional opportunity in a global and rapidly growing market".

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