Advanced production technologies for a miniaturized laser beam scanner for augmented reality headsets
TriLite Technologies is a start-up company based in Vienna, Austria, developing next-generation MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical system) laser beam scanners for augmented/virtual/mixed reality head-mounted displays. For that, TriLite has developed the smallest three-colour visible laser module currently available, including a solution for replacing hardware beam combination optics with a software algorithm. Especially for augmented reality headsets, lightweight components with a small form factor are indispensable.
Augmented reality (AR) headsets are a rapidly emerging market that has the potential to revolutionise how we consume media, communicate, work, learn, etc. Two main pillars that define most AR hardware challenges are wearing comfort and immersion, with form factor (e.g. size, weight) and image resolution playing pivotal roles, respectively. Laser beam scanners (LBS) are an emerging micro-display technology for AR headsets that has the potential of fulfilling form factor and image quality requirements in the existing and future AR systems. Within the KET4CleanProduction project, based on the requirements of state-of-the-art AR headsets, in terms of size and weight, a resource- and cost-efficient production technology for an LBS was developed.
KET Technology Centers involved
Hahn-Schickard - Institute for Microassembly| Germany
INL -International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory | Portugal
To minimise the form factor of the LBS, the Project developed a novel hybrid moulded interconnect device (MID) and rigid-flex printed circuit board (RF-PCB) technology.
That production technology not only reduced the generation of waste through high reliability and yield but also decreased the costs and generation of pollution during production. In the second part of the Project, efficient high-frequency driving schemes for red, green, and blue laser diodes were developed to enable high image resolutions of up to 1920x1080, as well as to reduce the system's power consumption.
The KET4CP program allowed us as an SME to get access to KETs from two leading European Technology Centers, Hahn-Schickard (DE), and INL (PT). The fruitful collaboration led to the development of a novel laser beam scanner demonstrator with improved manufacturing processes with higher yield and reduced waste and pollution.
Besides professional, clear, and efficient instructions and guidelines for Project application and implementation, which were provided by the project coordinator and the KET4CP website, the company benefitted from the KET TCs' expertise and knowledge of 3D precision assembly, surface-mount technology, PCB, high-frequency modulation, etc. Moreover, one of the key success factors was a great collaboration between TriLite and KET TCs, as well as the TriLite's flexibility, which allowed the company to integrate new technologies into its products rapidly.