4 January 2018
Lumens begins producing both small- and large-sized micro-LED samples
South Korean mid-sized LED maker Lumens Co Ltd has begun to produce both small- and large-sized micro-LED display prototypes, to be showcased at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas (9-12 January), according to LEDinside (a division of TrendForce).
Lumens claims that it has been granted technologies facilitating the mass production of micro-LEDs, as it publicly announces its entry into the micro-LED market. It now has micro-LED product lines and is currently producing samples. As well as being a long-term partner of Samsung (supplying LED backlight modules for the displays in its TVs), Lumens will target the automotive head-up display (HUD) and digital signage display markets.
President Jung Tae-hong said during an interview with the Korea Herald that Lumens planned is launching the world’s first high-definition automotive head-up display using micro-LED technology.
As a transparent display used to present information in front of drivers (so that they can be aware of both road conditions and statuses of their vehicles), a head-up display can be either integrated into a vehicle’s windshield or made as a small independent plastic plate (a combiner).
Lumens plans to manufacture two types of micro-LED products — a 0.57-inch mini display and a large (over 100-inch) digital signage display. They both consist of micro-LEDs, even if they are used differently. The 0.57-inch mini display adopts chips of 8μm in size, while the large signage display consists of chips that are 300μm long and 100μm wide.
Lumens is first unveiling the combiner type of HUD for the automotive after-market, and expanding into the windshield or built-in type in cars in 2-3 years, says Jung.
He added that Lumens is now in talks with both Korean and overseas automakers to provide the windshield type of HUD and that its products could be seen in some vehicles within three years, which may create a turnaround for the firm.
The 0.57-inch display uses 921,600 micro-LED chips, and Lumens notes that how to process such a large amount of chips is very crucial. It says that it has developed technologies that can take selected chips from the wafers and transfer them all at a time.
The firm is also partnering with the Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials (KIMM), which invented the roll-to-plate transfer technology for micro-LED production. Lumens was licensed to use the transfer technology to move thick micro-LEDs (100μm in thickness) to target substrates.
LEDinside says that Lumens’ micro-LED technology is expected to be used for a major manufacturer’s digital signage displays, possibly in 2018, according to a source in the industry.