Fraunhofer FEP Showcases High-Speed Light Modulation for OLED, Micro-LED and LCOS arrays

High-resolution light modulators play a crucial role in shaping the graphical experience in virtual reality (VR) glasses or the performance in optical communication. Fraunhofer FEP has developed a new backplane architecture for light modulation, enabling extremely high refresh rates that lead to improved image quality and optical modulation.

In applications such as optical imaging or laser control and communication, light modulators are used to control and manipulate the intensity, phase or polarization of light. High-speed light modulation is also used in applications such as high-resolution displays, augmented reality (AR), and VR glasses. This allows for clear images with minimal motion blur and a high refresh rate, resulting in an enhanced visual experience.

Fraunhofer FEP has been developing microdisplays based on OLED-on-silicon technology for many years, tailored to specific applications. For AR and VR applications with high refresh rates, the institute has already realized various displays with a sophisticated combination of power-efficient backplane and optimized pixel densities in recent years.

Expanding the possibilities for light modulation, increasing refresh rates

Philipp Wartenberg, Head of IC and System Design, explains the latest developments: "Our newly developed backplane architecture significantly expands the possibilities for light modulation and exceeds previous refresh rates by multiple times. This is made possible by integrating a complete frame buffer and a high-speed interface to the pixel matrix. With this architecture, a data transfer rate of up to 576 Gbit/s can be achieved for a pixel array with a resolution of 1440 × 1080 pixels and a pixel size of 2.5 µm for LCOS, OLED and micro-LED front planes."

In order to offer future partners and customers application-specific developments in addition to OLED-on-silicon technology, the scientists at Fraunhofer FEP have designed the pixel control to serve various other front plane technologies such as micro-LED or LCOS. The latter is particularly interesting for optical modulation applications. These developments have been supported by public funding.

Caption: Small, but powerful - The new backplane in comparison with a coffee bean. Photo: Fraunhofer FEP/Claudia Jacquemin

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