In September 2019, Plessey launched Data-Vµ™, directly driven displays for specialist applications that require symbolic content and critical live data. The display provides OEMs and product developers with a solution to retrofit current products or develop new concept designs, around a compact, flexible and highly efficient microLED display.
The Data-Vµ™ chip uses Plessey’s proprietary GaN-on-Si technology, optimized for high efficiency, to make displays consisting of pre-defined shapes that can be individually addressed and controlled. It is designed for a wide range of information display applications encompassing luminance values suitable for direct view through to projection.
The display is a cost-effective solution as it was designed to be a scalable platform with reference designs for various use cases and with Plessey’s 24/7 Devon-based fabrication facility, development time is significantly reduced.
The microLED segments are driven directly from an external source, current or voltage, allowing flexibility for the customer. No intelligent backplane is required, therefore cutting out a more complex bonding process, as required by our AR-Vµ™ active-matrix display technology offering.
The segments have a capability down to 10-micron, allowing for ultra-fine, ultra-high-resolution detail, targeting applications including Optical instruments, driving assistance, and industrial/ enterprise. More specifically, due to the small form factor of the display, it can be easily integrated into smart glasses and head-mounted displays from swimming/ski/scuba-diving goggles to cycling glasses, range finders and motorcycle helmets.
Data-Vµ displays can achieve a much higher brightness than OLED and can offer exceptionally sharp contrast even during bright daylight. The symbolic content is fully customisable using monochrome or colourised segments using either native colours or colour conversion techniques, depending on the size of the segment. Plessey’s 0.30” diagonal native Green segmented display emits up to two million nits, consuming only 250mW to power the display.
Each segment on the display emits its own light, removing the need for a backlight or external illumination. For AR applications, the display will typically only consume a few milliwatts of power, allowing a longer battery life for un-tethered consumer electronics.
In January 2020, Plessey then launched the Data-Vµ™ development kit at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The development kit is a starter package designed to be a fast, easy and scalable platform allowing display technology enthusiasts and system engineers to explore, evaluate and interact with a small-form-factor microLED direct-drive display to retrofit current products or enhance new designs.
The base kit includes:
• 5.12 x 3.84mm Active area Green Display
• On-board driver with ATMega328 µcontroller
• Open source firmware & supported library for development
• Rechargeable (USB), 3000mAh battery
• Plug & play Bluetooth module
• Available protocols: I2C/UART/SPI/USB
• Technical documentation on USB stick included
Accessories are also available to order, including Red, Blue or coloured displays on a range of FR4 and semi-rigid boards, in a lateral/normal orientation to suit both directly viewed and projection-based applications.
MicroLEDs are being identified as the only viable solution for the next generation of AR/MR wearable devices, HUDs and other consumer electronics. MicroLEDs enable compact displays which enhance the user’s experience, for both entertainment and informative content.
Being the first brand new display technology to be commercialised in more than a decade, demand for microLEDs is accelerating. With research consultancy Yole Développement forecasting the market could reach up to 330 million units by 2025.
Plessey’s GaN-on-silicon is recognised as the only technology platform capable of addressing all the challenges involved with manufacturing microLED displays in high volumes cost-effectively.