More details are starting to emerge about STRATACACHE’s intentions for that microLED production facility the company is spinning up in Eugene, Oregon.
The new factory, reports microled-info, will be a complete microLED production line, from epiwafer (on 300 mm silicon wafers), through transfer process and to final module assembly. The company plans to produce a wide range of displays, from tablet-sized panels to large-area displays. Some of these displays will be flexible and transparent as the company sees a market demand for such technologies. The yearly capacity of the E4 is expected to start at a 1 million square meters per year.
The facility is touted by STRATACACHE as being just the first of what could be multiple production facilities, supplying finished display products but also component-level products for other manufacturers in disparate industries like automotive (think digital dashboards).
STRATACACHE acquired a mothballed 1.5 million square foot factory, formerly used by Hynix Semiconductor to produce memory chips, last March. The E4 facility, reports microled-info, contains over 120,000 square feet of Class-1 clean room space, and over 400,000 square feet of Class-1 to Class-1000 clean rooms. The company plans to kick start microLED epiwafer production by October 2021, based on 300 mm wafers using a GaN-on-Silicon process.
I have chatted with STRATACACHE CEO/owner Chris Riegel quite a bit about plans. This plays to his mindset of running a full stack of vertical products and services he can control, and not be at the mercy of Asian suppliers. But it also owes to how he sees an opportunity to produce large format displays at a fraction of the cost of some existing manufacturing methods (especially OLED and LCD).
Hynix spent $1.5 billion to build and equip the factory, which opened in 1998. It closed permanently a decade later, a victim of a downturn in the memory chip market. Riegel picked it up at auction for $6.3 million, though he needs to put millions more in to spin up production for an entirely different kind of end-product.