CBrite Looks for LTPS/IGZO Alternative (IC8)

Boo Nilsson is from CBrite which develops new backplane technologies. The company is based in Santa Barbara and has offices in Taiwan and China. The company has technology that is competitive with IGZO and also in some cases with LTPS as it has better performance. The company has been running for ten years so far. The company started by developing Electronic Shelf Labels, but then moved to developing technology for high performance backplanes.

The company came out of stealth mode in 2010 and signed a development agreement with a TV maker and has since signed several more for notebooks.

CBrite has just closed Series E $20 million in funding and is “close to break even”, said Nilsson.

LTPS is pervasive even in lower smartphones, but not in tablets and notebooks because it is too expensive. IGZO was hopeful, with better performance than a-si but not much more expensive. However, CBrite claims LTPS performance at a-si price.

A-si has reached its effective performance limit and LTPS is too expensive, Nilsson said. So a new technology is needed to enable high aperture ratios and good economics for notebooks and tablets.

You can’t find a 240Hz UltraHD LCD and UltraHD OLEDs are 60Hz and this is a limit of the backplanes. Much lower refresh rates (down to 1Hz) are good for some phone applications such as reading, but LTPS can’t do it because of high leakage.CBrite transistors

CBrite has transistors that look like others from a manufacturing point of view, with a five mask process, but there is a lot of detail in materials and control that CBrite has developed. Controlling the oxygen in the transistor is critical to getting the high mobility.

Implementing the CBrite process in an amorphous fab takes a lot of small detail changes (more than CBrite originally thought). Nilsson was then in very high speed mode on details, but we did hear him say that you need mobility of 50 for high frame rate UltraHD

The process can be run at low temperature, so it could be used for flexible display manufacture.

There are applications in X-Ray which uses a sensor that is like a “display backwards”. That could be an interesting application for CBrite.