Micledi Microdisplays, the latest spin-off of from Imec, has raised €4.5M seed capital from Imec.xpand, with participation of PMV and FIDIMEC. The funding will be used to develop microLED displays for next generation Augmented Reality (AR) glasses.
Micledi's vision is to enable AR for everyday personal use - smart glasses that are small, lightweight, with long battery life, and at reasonable cost. To make this happen, Micledi is developing the world smallest and brightest displays. The key innovation behind Micledi is the new integration technology for microLED on 300mm wafers developed in collaboration with Imec.
Micledi Microdisplays was founded by Soeren Steudel and Alexander Mityashin, both researchers from Imec with a deep know-how in the R&D field and display development. They are joined by Sean Lord, an experienced executive in the semiconductor industry, as CEO.
“AR glasses may replace our smartphones in the future and display technology is a key enabler for such a transition. Today's display technologies cannot fulfil the specifications needed for next generation AR glasses. At Micledi we are tackling this challenge and have developed displays that are 100x brighter than commercial alternatives”, explained Soeren Steudel
In order to implement the vision that future consumer AR devices will be powered by a tiny display developed in Leuven, the company has raised a 4.5M euro seed investment from Imec.xpand, PMV, and FIDIMEC.
“We are pleased to back a unique team. We look forward to working with them and to enable technology that will be at the core of future AR devices and will change how digital information is presented to consumers,” said Cyril Vančura, Partner at Imec.xpand.
Micledi's will develop its microLED technology and first prototypes on Imec's 300mm pilot-line infrastructure.
“Hardware development takes courage, capital and time. We are proud of the entrepreneurship of our engineers to bring promising technology developments originating from our R&D, to the market,” said Luc Van den hove, president and CEO at Imec. “Based on an original concept launched, now more than two years ago, by the Micledi team, Imec together with Imec.xpand incubated this into a promising technology base and exciting business case. It leverages Imecs extensive R&D in organic displays, 300mm integration and wafer-scale optics technologies.”
“Micledi's new generation displays for AR glasses fits in PMV's strategy of supporting early stage technology with a largescale international potential, hence strengthening Flander's position as a top region,” said Roald Borré, head of equity investments at PMV.