10/13/2004 - Researchers from Ghent University and IMEC have created a new company to accelerate the integration of liquid-crystal-on-silicon (LCOS) micro-displays in day-to-day applications. Gemidis aims at a low-cost, high-resolution alternative for the existing technology in large-screen monitors. Backed by nearly a decade of experience in this advanced technology, a first product is ready for commercial sampling.
The spin-off will use the vertically-aligned nematic (VAN) liquid crystal to produce its LCOS technology. VAN liquid crystal is known to be the liquid crystal needed for superior image quality. Only a few companies master the technique to integrate it in LCOS micro-displays. After nine years of usage and improvement of this technology at Ghent University's TFCG micro-systems lab, the attained level can now compete with the best in class.
In its first phase, Gemidis will focus its attention on the high-definition-rear-projection market and, more specifically, on the home-entertainment market. LCOS is considered a qualitative and cost-effective alternative to the existing technologies for large-screen applications (over 40 inches). The first product, a XGA-W 120Hz LCOS micro-display of approximately 1 million pixels, is ready for commercial sampling. The UXGA-W version (better known as 1080i) will be ready by spring 2005. Further results will include a single-panel solution, as well as a QXGA-W LCOS micro-display of about 4 million pixels for the professional market. Gemidis expects both products to be market-ready by the end of 2005.
As of 2006, Gemidis intends to enter the professional market with solutions for the demanding monitor- and simulator-display market. Here, the key aspect will be to provide higher resolutions for more faithful imaging (CAD, graphical, printing). Further growth opportunities lie in the great potential of LCOS microdisplays for e-cinema and head-up displays (HUD).
Gemidis will serve optical-engine makers and system integrators as its main client base. Mass production capacity of 5000 sets per month will be available as of December 2004.
Beside the financial and technological support of IMEC and Ghent University, Gemidis has won the financial backing of venture capitalists GIMV, Fagus (a joint venture between the European Investment Fund (EIF) and Fortis Private Equity), Baekeland-fonds (the seed capital fund of the Ghent University) and business investors.
Gemidis was founded on August 5, 2004 as an initiative of Ghent University and IMEC. The company was created by researchers of Ghent University's TFCG Microsystems lab, which is affiliated with IMEC and headed by Prof. André Van Calster. Professor Van Calster's research team is respected worldwide as a knowledge center in the field of micro-display design and technology.
About Ghent University
Ghent University offers high-quality, research-based education in all academic disciplines. Today Ghent University attracts over 26,000 students and employs more than 5.000 researchers. Ghent University invests an annual amount of more than 150 million euro in research projects on behalf of public and private partners and supports excellent research laboratories in the fields of nanotechnology, biotechnology, telecommunications, history, aquaculture and food-nutrition technology. Further information can be found on www.ugent.be or on www.techtransfer.ugent.be for techtransfer information
About Baekeland Fonds
Baekeland Fonds is the seed capital fund of Ghent University and invests in high-risk high-potential spin-off companies.
IMEC is a world leading independent research center in nanoelectronics and nanotechnology. Its research focuses on the next generations of chips and systems, and on the enabling technologies for ambient intelligence. IMEC's research bridges the gap between fundamental research at universities and technology development in industry. Its unique balance of processing and system know-how, intellectual property portfolio, state-of-the-art infrastructure and a strong network of companies, universities and research institutes worldwide, positions IMEC as a key partner with which to develop and improve technologies for future systems. IMEC is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium and has representatives in the US, China and Japan. Its staff of more than 1300 people includes over 380 industrial residents and guest researchers. In 2003, its revenues were EUR 145 million. Further information on IMEC can be found at www.imec.be
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