One of the key debates within the OLED industry is the best way to improve current efficiency as measured in candelas per ampere (Cd/A). Some say the direct patterning of red, green and blue materials is the way to go while others favor stacking 2 or more white emitting layers coupled with a color filter. This is particularly important for OLED-based microdisplays as high brightness with good efficiency will be needed for augmented and mixed reality applications. DisplayWeek is now featuring papers on exactly this topic.
As Kopin explains in their press release below, they have now demonstrated high brightness of 7K nits, 14 Cd/A and 100% sRGB color gamut coverage. As with many display technologies, one can often optimize 2-of-3 or 3-of-4 parameters, but it can be difficult to optimize all simultaneously. The above results on a 720p microdisplay suggest very good progress on all three of these key aspects.
Kopin is not presenting a paper as the developments announced below were achieved after the paper submission deadline, but the news is quite exciting, nonetheless. Analysts and technology media are encouraged to contact the company to get some additional details on the results and how these compare with other approaches.
Chris Chinnock, Insight Media
Kopin OLED Microdisplay Exhibits Breakthrough 7000 Nits Brightness with Good Color Fidelity
Duo-stack OLED Structure Achieves Very High Current Efficiency (14 Candela per Ampere)
WESTBOROUGH, Mass. – August 4, 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® 720p OLED display (1280 x 720 resolution) on silicon has exhibited very high brightness of 7000 nits (candela per square meter) with good color (nearly 100% sRGB) and high contrast (> 4,000: 1). This display combines a duo-stack OLED structure to achieve super high brightness and Kopin’s ColorMaxTM technology for high color fidelity.
A duo-stack OLED is two OLED structures on top of each other and connected in series so that carriers (electrons-holes) pass through the duo-stack OLED and generate photons twice, instead of once like in a conventional single-stack OLED structure currently used in OLED microdisplays. It would be natural to think that a duo-stack OLED can have a Current Efficiency increase of up to 2 times a single-stack OLED. However, a duo-stack structure provides a lot more flexibility in the OLED stack design and OLED materials selection than a single-stack structure, which can result in much higher Current Efficiency (> 5 times in our current estimate), much higher brightness, lower power consumption and longer lifetime.
A major challenge in the duo-stack OLED structure, especially for small pixels, had been serious color mixing among subpixels, resulting in unacceptable color performance. Kopin’s patent-pending ColorMax technology incorporates a specially configured anode structure in the Si backplane to suppress the inherent color mixing among tiny sub-pixels of high-resolution microdisplays. The ColorMax technology, first integrated into Kopin’s 2.6K x 2.6K OLED display, has now been applied to its 0.49-inch-diagonal 720p display with red, green, and blue stripe color sub-pixels of 2.8 µm × 8.4 µm size.
Kopin’s color display is made with a duo-stack white OLED structure and color filters. Kopin has been working with its partner, Lakeside Optoelectronic Technology Co., Ltd., to optimize the duo-stack OLED structure to output color spectrum to match the bandpass of the color filters for high color fidelity, coupled with very high Current Efficiency and low operating voltage. These 720p displays fabricated from multiple wafers exhibited average Current Efficiency of about 12 candela per ampere (cd/A), with the maximum value about 14 cd/A. These values are much higher than the best publicly available values of the alternative approaches. Kopin’s best 720p display exhibited 7,000 nits with a contrast ratio of >4000: 1. The contrast ratio of the display at 5000 nits is higher than 100,000:1. The power consumption of the display, including the backplane power, is about 500 mW when displaying a full white image at 7000 nits. The 720p display’s color fidelity is about 100% sRGB.
“We are extremely excited that our OLED microdisplay has achieved the very high brightness with good color fidelity by using the duo-stack OLED structure and ColorMax technology. This is truly a shocking achievement,” said Dr. John C.C. Fan, President and CEO of Kopin Corporation. “This breakthrough high Current Efficiency is very important for low power consumption and longer lifetime for OLED microdisplays. We now expect the
Current Efficiency could be optimized even further which means that our present value of 7,000 nits may be increased further. In addition, the duo-stack OLED structure and ColorMax technology are manufacturable as we have obtained such great results from multiple production ColorMax wafers in Lakeside’s OLED production line. We believe by incorporating another innovative structure on our microdisplay such as a microlens array to enhance the output coupling efficiency, the brightness can be significantly increased further, opening many applications for the OLED microdisplays, especially for the AR/VR wearables.”
Kopin, Lightning and ColorMax 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 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: We now expect the Current Efficiency could be optimized even further which means that our present value of 7,000 nits may be further increased; and our belief that by incorporating another innovative structure on our microdisplay such as a microlens array to enhance the output coupling efficiency, the brightness of our OLED microdisplays could be significantly increased further, opening many applications for the OLED microdisplays, especially for the AR/VR wearables. 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.