21 May 2021
Nanosys acquires micro-LED firm glō
Silicon Valley-based Nanosys Inc, which develops and supplies heavy-metal-free quantum dot light-emitting materials and technology for the display industry, has acquired glō, which commercializes micro-LEDs products through OEM and manufacturing partners. Nanosys says that the transaction expands its capabilities and technology offerings, accelerating its development and progress toward the widespread adoption of micro-LED and nano-LED display technology.
Founded in 2003 by professor Lars Samuelson at the Nanometer Structure Consortium of Sweden’s Lund University, glō AB established an R&D and product development pilot line in Sunnyvale in 2010. glō has developed highly efficient xGaN micro-LEDs based on unique methods and processes, including proprietary defect-free gallium nitride (GaN) nanowire technology.
Founded in 2001 and operating what is said to be the largest quantum dot nanomaterials fab, Nanosys says that consumer electronics brands have shipped more than 35 million devices from tablets to monitors and TVs based on its proprietary quantum dot technology. But the firm says that the acquisition of glō fills a key role in its technology roadmap, which spans all technologies from mini-LED to OLED and micro-LED to nano-LED. Prior to the acquisition, glō had invested over $200m in its technology, which funded development of micro-LED epitaxy, device and transfer technology. With its patented room-temperature wafer transfer technology, millions of RGB micro-LEDs can be transferred with high yields, bonded to active backplanes made out of silicon, glass or flexible substrate materials.
The acquisition positions Nanosys with a unique and broad technology portfolio to address all future display applications, comments Eric Virey of market analyst firm Yole Développement. “Micro-LED is one of the greatest potential display technologies but there is one problem: cost. To deliver on this potential, micro-LED pixels must be ultra-small, bright and cost effective. The market currently lacks a cost-effective micro-LED solution with ultra-small and bright pixels. Bringing micro-LED together with quantum dot is an exciting opportunity to unlock the growth potential in this market,” he reckons.
“Nanosys created a vibrant, growing marketplace for our proprietary quantum dot technology over the past two decades,” says the firm’s president & CEO Jason Hartlove. “Combining the best quantum dot and micro-LED technologies allows Nanosys to unlock the disruptive potential of micro-LED by lowering production cost and maximizing performance. Together, we can create the smallest, brightest, lowest-cost pixels that will enable micro-LED to penetrate the mainstream TV market and open the doors for new applications in augmented reality (AR), automotive and beyond,” he reckons.