Efficient, High Quality, Silicon Microdisplays

Efficient, High Quality, Silicon Microdisplays

Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCoS) spatial light modulators (SLMs) researched and developed within ERPE and the School of Physics. This team has developed high performance Ferroelectric Liquid Crystal on Silicon (FLCoS) SLMs with industrial companies such as Forth Dimension Displays (ForthDD). Further, we spun-out the company MicroEmissive Displays. The important underpinning research contributions are:

  • Achieving colour with pulsed RGB LED illumination

    The fast switching capability of digital CMOS drivers from Red, Green and Blue LEDs [1] to create the illusion of full colour images, without using colour filters. "Every ForthDD product continues to use pulsed RGB LED illumination, based upon the original ERPE research." CEO.

  • Improving image quality through improved manufacturing techniques

    The improvements in surface planarity and pixel fill factor [2], were critical to FLCoS microdisplays achieving the image quality expected by customers. The CMOS foundry continues to maximize image quality by relying upon ERPE Scottish Microelectronics Centre research.

  • Infrastructure for the design and characterisation of the technology

    The development of design and manufacture techniques for FLCoS microdisplays has assisted their productisation. "GarField Matrics have made many successful technical advances in the design of FLCoS microdisplays, using the ERPE SPICE models [3], to improve FLCoS backplane design. Thus new products have benefited directly from the ERPE research." Managing Director.

ForthDD has secured in excess of $33M investment in design and manufacture of single chip micro-displays for training and simulation, HD video camera viewfinders, medical imaging and virtual-reality and head-mounted displays. The architecture and pixel drivers of every ForthDD product have been based upon designs, first pioneered by ERPE researchers. In 2011 ForthDD became a division of Kopin Corporation (http://www.kopin.com/press-releases/80-year.2011_80-id.150995321.html) whose products address markets such as electronic viewfinders for professional cinematography cameras plus commercial and military flight simulators (97% of military flight simulators based on head-mounted displays use their microdisplays).

[1] Vass, D.G., Hossack, W., Rankin, I.D., Underwood, I., et. al., "A High Resolution Full Colour Head Mounted Ferroelectric Liquid Crystal-Over-Silicon Display", Ferroelectrics, Vol. 213, Issue 1-4, pp. 603-12, 1998. DOI:10.1080/00150199808016486

[2] Lee, Y., Parkes, W., Bodammer G. and Underwood, I., "Characterisation Of Inter-Metal Dielectric Deposition Processes On CMOS Backplanes For Liquid Crystal On Silicon Microdisplays", IEE Proceedings Optoelectronics, Vol. 151, No. 1, 2004. DOI:10.1049/ip-opt:20040137

[3] Smith, S., Walton, A.J., Underwood, I., Miremont, C., Vass, D.G., Hossack, W.J., et. al., "SPICE Modeling Of Ferroelectric Liquid Crystal On Silicon Microdisplays", in IEEE International Conference on Microelectronic Test Structures, pp. 148-152, 2003 DOI:10.1109/ICMTS.2003.1197438

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Monday, 16 December, 2013 - 12:56