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Foxconn’s Porotech Alliance Enhances AR Micro-LED Technology

Augmented reality is the focus of Foxconn’s acquisition of Porotech

Establishing a supply chain for GaN-based micro-LED displays is the goal of the strategic cooperation.

Porotech, a spin-out from Cambridge University that uses porous gallium nitride (GaN) semiconductors to create micro-LED displays, has partnered strategically with Foxconn, a major player in contract manufacturing.

Often referred to as Hon Hai Technology Group, Foxconn is well-known for producing a plethora of consumer electronics and communications products as well as for its close partnership with Apple, under which it manufactures iPhones.

The agreement with Porotech aims to expedite the sale of micro-LED panels for augmented reality (AR) applications and to establish the first comprehensive, end-to-end, and continuous supply network for wearables and smart device uses globally.

Although micro-LED-based displays would have several benefits, such as very high performance and the potential for bezel-free designs, commercial uses have so far been restricted to very big TVs that are priced for the luxury goods market.

Although Yole Intelligence, an analyst firm, has previously suggested that micro-LED display technology is the only display technology with the right amalgamation of efficiency, value, luminosity, and size to be successfully implemented into AR devices. Usage with alternative semiconductor component types are currently hindered by the expensive nature of fabricating micro-LED displays.

Foxconn stated at the Porotech partnership approach that despite the fact that the micro-LED gadget for AR instances has enormous promise, it is also highly tough. Optoelectronics, quantum physics, semiconductor wafer fabrication, hybrid bonding, IC design, and optics are among the many fields involved.Integration across these disparate sectors is challenging, and development has been sluggish. No one organisation has had such a broad range of skills in the past.Through this collaboration, they want to drive the AR application into a new age and accelerate micro-LED technology development and productisation. At the mass production stage, Foxconn’s expertise in supply chain management is anticipated to be beneficial.

Yole claims that one of the challenges facing the commercialisation of micro-LEDs is the production of red, green, and blue emitters on the same LED epiwafer at the necessary small LED die size, which is just a few microns.

Porotech’s technology may be useful in this situation. Although GaN-based materials have been utilised for a long time to create blue and ultraviolet emitters, full-color microdisplays may be produced using a single material system because the porous form on silicon can be designed to emit at a considerably broader range of wavelengths, including red and green.

The company secured $20 million in a series A investment of venture capital back in February 2022. Tongtong Zhu, the CEO and co-founder, said at the time that the financing will assist hasten the development of the company’s PoroGaN products for use in AR/VR glasses.

In reaction to the latest breakthrough, he said that the organisation’s association with Foxconn represents an important milestone for AR and micro-LED microdisplays. This collaborative relationship is a potent illustration of their shared dedication to innovation and superior performance.

The creation of micro-LED microdisplays will proceed more quickly thanks to the cooperation with Porotech, declared Bob Chen, general manager of Foxconn’s semiconductor business unit. According to him, the company are getting closer to seizing the enormous potential that augmented reality has for the global community. He also emphasised that the team are eager to work with Porotech to combine several innovations from various industries.

Porotech has been nominated for a Photonics Prism Award in the AR/VR/MR category. The company’s DynamicPixelTuning microdisplay technology will be presented at the next SPIE AR/VR/MR conference in San Francisco.

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