When you start to get into the technical weeds on emerging display technology, you learn all kinds of mind-wobbling things – like R&D work to print super-premium microLED displays in kinda sorta the same way as commercial print shops do photos, documents and signs.
A company in Waterloo, Ontario (the Kitchener-Waterloo area south of Toronto is a big high-tech hub) has demonstrated a process that can print displays for everything from smartwatches to TVs at a resolution of 30,000 LED light pixels per inch. That’s well beyond what’s currently being done for microLED production, suggests Display Daily, which has a paywalled post about the company, VueReal.
The Ontario and Canadian governments have collectively put $10.5 million into the start-up, which has also raised some $33 million from other sources.
Notes Display Daily:
VueReal’s Micro-Solid printing technology offers several advantages in the MicroLED display manufacturing process. One of the key benefits is the improvement in yield and throughput. The technology employs a multi-cartridge transfer system that enables simultaneous printing of more than 100 cartridges at once. Coupled with the use of a single RGB cartridge to print red, green, and blue MicroLEDs, this approach can enhance throughput by over three times compared to traditional methods.
Another notable advantage of Micro-Solid printing technology is the significant reduction in repair costs. By integrating an inspection cartridge with existing transfer tools, the technology allows for the identification of defects, binning for performance, and protection of microLEDs during the printing process. This integration can lead to a tenfold decrease in repair costs, making the manufacturing of MicroLED displays more cost-effective.
The compatibility of VueReal’s technology with various MicroLED types, such as lateral, vertical, and flip chips, is also a crucial feature. Additionally, the technology is suitable for MicroLEDs smaller than five microns, enabling its use in a wide range of applications, including TVs, smartphones, watches, and automotive displays. This broad compatibility demonstrates the potential for VueReal’s Micro-Solid printing technology to transform the MicroLED display market.
In 2021, VueReal started sales of its Micro-Solid printing technology, targeting applications in smartphones, tablets, IT, automotive, and TV industries. The ability to use original mother glasses for these applications and the compatibility with sub-10 micron MicroLEDs make VueReal’s printing solution a potentially disruptive force in the display manufacturing industry.
There’s not a lot of manufacturing of microLED in North America, but STRATACACHE is in the latter stages of spinning up a plant for microLED displays in the Eugene, Oregon area.
The idea of printing LEDs addresses a big issue with microLED to date – the high cost of production and therefore the very high cost of commercial products for scaled jobs like video walls. Display tech experts have generally said the big moments for microLED adoption will come when costs are substantially lowered by technologies that can accurately mass transfer and place LEDs to substrates.
Until now, VueReal says, the mainstream production of MicroLED devices has been hindered by costs, scalability issues, and resource limitations. VueReal’s manufacturing platform solves these problems by removing the unnecessary complexity that can cause defects and yield loss. Instead, pre-screening capabilities are built into the manufacturing process to produce high yields of microLEDs products – and incredible throughput, meeting production volume demand, cost, and flexibility.
Dick Tracy Lives!
Perhaps VueReal is leading where others can follow. Wallpaper LED get’s closer and closer.
I wonder what display tech is used on the control screens of their production machine. /s