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Plessey announces AR smart glasses partnership


Plessey and Compound Photonics US to co-develop smallest 1920x1080 pixel GaN-on-Silicon microLED microdisplay solution for AR and MR smart glasses

Compound Photonics US (CP), a provider of compact high-resolution microdisplay solutions for Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) applications, and Plessey Semiconductors, a UK developer of microLED technologies, have announced a partnership to develop and introduce the World’s smallest 1080p (1920x1080 pixel) GaN-on-Silicon microLED based microdisplay solution suitable for integration into AR and MR smart glasses.

Under this partnership, Plessey will bond CP’s high speed digital low-latency backplane silicon wafer with Plessey’s proprietary GaN on Silicon monolithic microLED array wafer. In turn, CP will use its experience in microdisplay assembly, test, and packaging to create display modules from the bonded wafers in combination with CP’s NOVA high-performance display driver architecture to deliver a complete solution compatible with the industry standard MIPI display pipeline.

“CP is the best partner for Plessey because of its deep and extensive decade-long experience with developing fully realised microdisplay based projection solutions,” commented Mike Lee, president of Plessey Semiconductors. “Moreover, CP’s flexible high-performance end to end digital architecture and edge display driver IP are key enablers for delivering microLED displays with improved brightness at smaller pixel sizes, higher frame rates, extended greyscale bit depth, and low power consumption to best serve next generation emissive display based AR/MR smart glasses and Heads-Up/Head-mounted displays (HUD/HMDs) applications.”

Yiwan Wong, Compound Photonics’ CEO, added: “Plessey’s monolithic GaN on Silicon IP, fabrication technology, and bonding process are well optimised for very small high brightness pixels that match perfectly with CP’s industry 3.015 micron pixel pitch backplane design to deliver compact high resolution microdisplays.

"Through this partnership, Plessey and CP now lead the industry in addressing the full breadth of current, emerging, and future requirements for AR/MR smart glasses and HUD/HMDs that span the range from CP’s existing production ready LCoS (Liquid Crystal on Silicon) reflective displays, to emerging microLED emissive display technology, and ultimately to achieving true holographic 3D display via CP’s LCoS phase display solutions in the future. For the first time, we can provide customers in AR/MR space with an extensible software configurable platform based on CP’s efficient drive architecture that can operate with a wide range of display types to support various application requirements."

Initial samples of a 0.26 inch diagonal, full HD 1080p resolution microLED display integrated with display driver IC to accept industry standard MIPI input are expected to be available by mid-year 2020.

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