This new white paper focuses on microdisplay technologies aimed for “near to eye” display applications such as electronic viewfinders, AR/VR headsets, head-mounted displays, and sights.
Microdisplays are different from direct-view displays like those found in TVs, monitors, or phones. First, the size of microdisplays is smaller than 1.3 inches in diagonal. Second, microdisplays have a much higher pixel density ranging from 1700 to 4000 pixels per inch (ppi), with a pixel size less than 15 microns. Third, microdisplays need magnifying optics between the microdisplay and the eye. The high pixel density together with magnifying optics is important for creating more lifelike, large images to the eye.
Even the best direct-view liquid crystal displays (LCDs) can’t match the pixel density of microdisplays. For example, the new Meta Quest Pro VR headset uses dual 2.48” LCDs with 1800 x 1920 resolution per eye and 1200 ppi.
The fabrication of microdisplays is also fundamentally different from direct-view displays. Microdisplays are fabricated on a silicon substrate (the backplane) with different display technologies possible on top (the frontplane). The backplane of a direct-view display is fabricated on glass – often very large glass substrates – with lower performing electronics on the backplane, and the LCD or organic light emitting diode (OLED) materials available for the frontplane.
The outline of the white paper is shown below.