Multicolor OLED Microdisplay with Minimum Power Consumption

Within the project “Backplane”, funded by the Saxon State Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Transport, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP have succeeded in presenting a multicolor OLED microdisplay that consumes the least power compared to all available microdisplays.

The new all-rounder can be seen for the first time in the exhibition at the 4th OptecNet Annual Conference, November 24??–?25, 2021, in Hannover, Germany.

Research on OLED microdisplays has been going on at Fraunhofer FEP for many years. The scientists are working on increasingly sophisticated technologies that can meet the growing demands of the market.

Recently, the “Backplane” project funded by the SMWA (grant number: 100392259) has succeeded in presenting the first multicolor OLED microdisplay with the lowest power consumption compared to all available microdisplays.

The existing “ultra-low power microdisplay platform” of Fraunhofer FEP offered solely monochrome displays. While this is sufficient for simple information displays in wearables or data glasses, it is not suitable for many other areas of application. Especially the discernibility of the signal colors red and green is important here.

Fraunhofer FEP’s OLED microdisplays are based on the proven “OLED-on-silicon” technology. Philipp Wartenberg, Head of Department IC and System Design at Fraunhofer FEP, explains the new approach: “The unique architecture of Fraunhofer FEP’s ultra-low power OLED microdisplays enables extremely power-saving displays with very simple, compact and thus ergonomic systems. Now with a multi-color version (with two primary colors) in QVGA resolution (320 × 240 pixels), applications can be addressed beyond pure displays. The color subpixels of the new displays are only half as large as those of the single-color versions, with the same optical properties and higher circuit density, thus also higher data rates.”

Based on the OLED-on-silicon technology, which was brought to market maturity earlier, Fraunhofer FEP scientists are now able to support regional, national and international application partners even better with optimized and customized developments from CMOS backplane wafers and adapted microdisplay modules up to entire optical systems. Always the application and customer specific requirements are the main focus – either for the evaluation of feasibility or the upscaling of single technologies, microdisplay products and systems.

In collaboration with GLOBALFOUNDRIES Dresden, Module One LLC & Co. KG and digades GmbH, Fraunhofer FEP is currently researching a solution for low-power and high-resolution OLED microdisplays and quality cameras. The aim is to develop an ultra-low power microdisplay backplane architecture in a deep-submicron CMOS process in order to significantly reduce the previously predominant area required by memory components for static RAM (SRAM).

About the project “BACKPLANE”

Deep-submicron CMOS process technology for driving integrated microdisplays and optical sensor readout circuits

Funding reference 100392259

Duration: 31.12.2019 – 31.12.2021

Project partners:

  • GLOBALFOUNDRIES Dresden Module One LLC & Co. KG
  • digades GmbH
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP

The project partners like to thank the funding sponsor (SMWA) and the project agency Sächsische Aufbaubank (SAB) for their support, which made the successful implementation of a new control concept possible in the first place.