Kopin has developed a new backplane and frontplane architecture for OLED-on-Silicon microdisplays which can be used for AR/VR/MR applications. This new architecture brings together a number of innovations into one platform and offers a number of “firsts” in this display category. This includes:
- First duo-stack OLED with wide color gamut performance
- 10-bit processing for HDR-capable images
- 2.6K x2.6K resolution form factor optimized for AR/VR/MR
- High brightness, contrast and efficiency at the same time
- Integration of the display driver electronics onto the silicon backplane
Because all of this integration is more than what you would expect in a typical microdisplay panel, they have coined a new term for this class of integrated display module: Display on Chip (DoC).
Kopin could have implemented one or two of these improvements so doing them all at once was risky. In fact, what they did was take a holostic approach to developing a “wearable monitor” that tried to optimize the headset for the smallest form factor, lowest power and lowest cost. The gamble seems to be paying off as they have working samples and plan to rapidly move the second generation design. That’s very encouraging, Check out their full release below.
Chris Chinnock, Insight Media
Kopin Announces Breakthrough in ColorMax™ Technology for Unparalleled Color Performance in Duo-Stack OLED Microdisplays
1.3” 2.6K x 2.6K OLED Display Exhibits Color Purity > 115% sRGB with 10-bits Color Control
WESTBOROUGH, Mass. – June 30, 2020 – Kopin Corporation (NASDAQ: KOPN), a leading developer and provider of transmissive and reflective active matrix liquid crystal and organic light emitting diode (OLED) microdisplays, today announced its latest Lightning® 2.6K x 2.6K OLED display (2560 x 2560 resolution) has now achieved breakthrough color fidelity (> 115% sRGB). This fidelity number is believed to be the world’s highest achieved on duo-stack OLED microdisplays and equal to that on the best single-stack OLED microdisplays. This OLED display is aimed at high-performance virtual reality/augmented reality/mixed reality (VR/AR/MR) headsets.
For VR/AR/MR applications, high brightness and color fidelity are critical. One method to achieve higher brightness is using a duo-stack OLED structure. A duo-stack OLED is two OLED structures on top of each other and connected in a series so that carriers (electrons-holes) pass through the duo-stack OLED and generate photons twice, instead of once like in the conventional single-stack OLED structure currently used in OLED microdisplays. Furthermore, the duo stack provides more flexibility in the OLED stack design for optimum efficiency and color than the single stack, which can result in much higher efficiency (> 4x), higher brightness, lower power consumption and longer lifetime. However, previous designs with the duo-stack OLED structure introduced color mixing among subpixels, resulting in unacceptable color performance. Kopin’s patent-pending innovation incorporates a specially configured anode structure in the Si backplane to suppress the color mixing.
This ColorMaxTM technology, believed to be applicable to all OLED microdisplays using duo-stack OLED structures, is first integrated into Kopin’s 2.6K x 2.6K OLED display which has an active image size of 1.3” in diagonal. The display integrates high-speed D-PHY/C-PHY MIPI interface and Display Stream Compression (DSC) circuits to handle compressed video of up to 3:1 ratio. The 2.6K x 2.6K OLED display also has 10-bit color control, the world’s first in OLED microdisplays to the best of Kopin’s knowledge. The 10-bit color control, together with the measured high color fidelity, outstanding efficiency (> 6 candela/ampere), high brightness level (> 1000 nits) and high contrast ratio (> 10,000: 1), now enables the much-desired studio-quality, high dynamic range (HDR) capable VR experience. The excellent results were obtained in close collaboration with our OLED foundry partner, Lakeside Optoelectronic Technology Co., Ltd. Further improvements in the brightness (> 2000 nits) and color fidelity are expected through optimization of OLED deposition conditions. By incorporating a structure to enhance the output coupling efficiency, the brightness of the OLED microdisplay could be increased to > 5000 nits within a couple of years.
“In addition to the exciting development on color performance in duo-stack OLEDs, we have demonstrated the video operation of our first generation 2.6K x 2.6K OLED display with MIPI input signals and test samples, which are available to select customers,” said Dr. Boryeu Tsaur, General Manager of Kopin’s OLED Display business unit. “The design of our backplane was very complex requiring integration of many different functional blocks including digital memory. The Si backplane is in reality a complex high-performance integrated circuit, basically like having an OLED Display Driver IC (DDIC) or System on Chip incorporated into the Si backplane. Our 2.6K x 2.6K display on our ColorMax Si backplane is not only a display but is a display on chip (DoCTM). The whole wearable monitor is now a single 1.3” chip. We plan to enhance our backplane design further to reach 120-Hz frame rate operation with global shutter while reducing power consumption even further in our second generation 2.6K x 2.6K DoC. We expect to have the second generation 2.6K x 2.6K DoC ready by the end of this year and commercially available to select partners in 2021.”
“We have always had the grand vision that VR/AR/MR headsets should have an excellent experience and yet they should also be like regular eyeglasses so that more users would be willing to wear them for much longer periods of time,” said Dr. John C.C. Fan, President and CEO of Kopin Corporation. “Kopin therefore has pursued a holistic and ambitious approach to achieve this goal, which requires multiple breakthroughs. The glasses need a super high resolution and a great color wearable monitor integrated with all the necessary system electronics. It also needs a thin, compact Pancake® optics to pair with the wearable monitor to provide studio-like immersive color video images. Now, with our new breakthrough ColorMax Si wafers, we believe we have all the necessary building blocks. We are combining all our platform technologies — ColorMax, DoC and Pancake — and collaborating with Panasonic Corporation for a compact VR headset incorporating our second generation 2.6K x 2.6K OLED DoC. Our disruptive dream of VR eyeglass is now almost at hand.”
Kopin, Lightning and Pancake are registered trademarks and ColorMax and DoC are trademarks of Kopin Corporation.
Kopin Corporation is a leading developer and provider of innovative display and optical technologies sold as critical components and subassemblies for military, industrial and consumer products. Kopin’s technology portfolio includes ultra-small Active Matrix Liquid Crystal displays (AMLCD), Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCOS) displays and Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) displays, a variety of optics, and low-power ASICs. For more information, please visit Kopin’s website at www.kopin.com.
About Panasonic Corporation
Panasonic Corporation with headquarter in Osaka, Japan is a worldwide leader in the development of diverse electronics technologies and solutions for customers in the consumer electronics, housing, automotive, and B2B businesses. To learn more about Panasonic: https://www.panasonic.com/global.
About Lakeside Optoelectronic Technology Co., Ltd.
Lakeside photoelectric technology (Jiangsu) Co., Ltd. is an OLED technology developer and OLED microdisplay manufacturer having a factory in Changzhou, China. For more information, please visit Lakeside’s website at www.hupanoled.com.
Statements in this press release may be considered “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), which are subject to the safe harbor created by such sections. Words such as “expects,” “believes,” “can,” “will,” “estimates,” and variations of such words and similar expressions, and the negatives thereof, are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. We caution readers not to place undue reliance on any such “forward-looking statements,” which speak only as of the date made, and advise readers that these forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks, uncertainties, estimates, and assumptions by us that are difficult to predict. These forward-looking statements may include statements with respect to: our belief that fidelity number (> 110% sRGB) is the world’s highest achieved on duo-stack OLED microdisplays and equal to that on the best single-stack OLED microdisplays; our belief that the ColorMaxTM technology is applicable to all OLED microdisplays using duo-stack OLED structures; our belief that our 2.6K x 2.6K OLED display is the first OLED microdisplay with 10-bit color control; our expectation for further improvements in the brightness (> 2000 nits) and color fidelity through optimization of OLED deposition conditions; our belief that the brightness of the OLED microdisplay can be increased to > 5000 nits within a couple of years; our plan to enhance our backplane design further to reach 120-Hz frame rate operation with global shutter while reducing power consumption even further in our second generation 2.6K x 2.6K DoC; our expectation to have the second generation 2.6K x 2.6K DoC ready by the end of this year and commercially available to select partners in 2021.; our belief that our new breakthrough ColorMax technology provides all the necessary building blocks to create VR/AR/MR headsets that are like regular eyeglasses; our collaboration with Panasonic Corporation to incorporate our second generation 2.6K x 2.6K OLED displays into a compact VR headset; and our belief that our disruptive dream of VR eyeglass is now almost at hand. Various factors, some of which are beyond our control, could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, such forward-looking statements. All such forward-looking statements, whether written or oral, and whether made by us or on our behalf, are expressly qualified by these cautionary statements and any other cautionary statements that may accompany the forward-looking statements. In addition, we disclaim any obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this press release, except as may otherwise be required by the federal securities laws. These forward-looking statements are only predictions, subject to risks and uncertainties, and actual results could differ materially from those discussed. Important factors that could affect performance and cause results to differ materially from management’s expectations are described in Part I, Item 1A. Risk Factors; Part II, Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations; and other parts of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 28, 2019, or as updated from time to time in the Company’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings.