The agreement will see Porotech provide JBD with its porous gallium nitride (GaN) technology, a display technology that it claims heralds a new era of brighter, sharper, more vivid microdisplays, even for small devices. Micro-LED is being described as the next major leap forward for displays on products such as smartphones, smartwatches and VR/AR headsets - it is said to be especially useful in outdoor settings, where sunlight can often make existing displays difficult to see clearly.
While current micro-LED technologies deteriorate as the device size decreases, Porotech has created a new class of porous GaN semiconductor material that offers performance improvements that are suitable for mass production and can be customised for individual customers’ needs.
Last year, Porotech launched the world's first commercial native red indium gallium nitride (InGaN) LED epiwafer for micro-LED applications. JBD now plans to use Porotech's porous GaN templates to manufacture InGaN-based red micro-LED displays for use in applications such as VR/AR headsets, AR smart sports goggles and head-up displays.
"This partnership will enable both JBD and Porotech to meet the demands of micro-LED displays in the future," said Porotech CEO and co-founder Dr Tongtong Zhu. "Micro-LED displays using GaN-based material technology are widely seen as the only technology that can deliver displays bright and efficient enough to meet the requirements of VR and AR. Our proprietary technology is robust but also flexible enough to be tailored to the needs of different applications."
Earlier this year, Porotech raised £3m to fund the next stage of development of its unique micro-LED production technique. The funding round was led by Speedinvest, with participation from previous investors IQ Capital, Cambridge Enterprise, Martlet and Cambridge Angels.