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Micro LED to be first adopted by smartwatches, says Epistar chairman

Smartwatches will be the first major applications for micro LED with volume adoption likely to take place 3-4 years from now, according to Epistar chairman Lee Biing-jye.

There are smartwatch vendors showing interest in adopting micro LED displays, Lee said, adding a smartwatch screen resolution of about 300 x 300 is equivalent to 300,000 micro LED chips, which can be mass transferred in one go.

It may take 4-5 years before micro LED sees volume adoption by TVs, Lee said

Epistar has been developing micro LED epitaxy and chip technology with AU Optronics (AUO) supplying glass substrates.

Epistar has overcome many micro LED technological difficulties, such as mass transfer, and expects to achieve reliable production capability in 2-3 years, and introduce end-market applications in 3-4 years, Lee noted.

Epistar now focuses on improving yield rates for micro LED epitaxy and reducing cost for mass transfer, Lee said.

Micro LEDs sized 20-50 microns are too small for PCB substrates that support minimum sizes of 50-100 microns, and therefore glass substrates are used, Lee indicated, adding that glass substrates needs complicated processing and many tests. Epistar is using glass substrates for mini LEDs, Lee noted.