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PlayNitride partners with EOSRL for microLED

PlayNitride, a Taiwan-based developer of microLED technology, has signed a 4-year cooperation pact with Electronic and Optoelectronic System Research Laboratories (EOSRL) for developing AR, MR and automotive display applications, according to company CEO Charles Li.

As many partners and clients have made significant progresses in developing microLED products, microLED is likely to take off in 2021, Li said. Although cost for such application is still very high, microLED product prices are expected to gradually drop to generally acceptable levels, Li noted.

PlayNitride has raised US$50 million in funding for setting up a second microLED production line to be completed in the second or third quarter of 2021, Li indicated.

Based on physical properties, microLED is better than OLED in display performance, said Wu Chih-i, general director of EOSRL, which is part of government-sponsored Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI). Through cooperation with LED driver IC design house Macroblock and PCB maker Unimicron Technology, EOSRL has succeeded in mass transfer of micro LED chips onto PCBs (used as backplane) at its trial production line, Wu noted.

EOSRL's trial production line can reduce uncertainty and risks occurring in R&D of micro LED products, Wu indicated, adding that the cooperation with PlayNitride aims to commercialize microLED in wearables, AR/MR devices and automotive displays in four years.

Samsung Electronics plans to launch microLED TVs for sale at US$150,000 in 2021, Wu said, adding technological improvements and production cost reductions could lower micro LED TVs to NT$150,000 (US$5,200) over the next five years.

With PlayNitride being a major supply partner, TFT-LCD panel maker AU Optronics (AUO), which holds an about 5% stake in PlayNitride, has showcased a 9.4-inch and a12.1-inch in-car microLED central information displays as well as a 12.1-inch dashboard, according to AUO president and COO Frank Ko.