Ams Osram providing optical chips for AR in standard-sized eyewear

Sept. 15, 2023
The company is supplying laser diodes - not micro LEDs - to Austria’s TriLite, which projects images onto lenses of ordinary-sized glasses.

The laser/LED double act continues apace at ams Osram, as the Austrian company announced a deal to supply laser diodes to TriLite for use in augmented reality (AR) glasses, a market that ams Osram has also identified as strategic for micro LEDs in the near future.

Rather than manufacture bulky AR glasses, Vienna-based TriLite makes a display projector designed to fit into the hinge area of normal-sized eyewear and to project AR images onto the lenses. TriLite calls the product the Trixel 3 laser beam scanner (LBS), and describes it as “the world’s smallest projection display.” 

The housing will include ams Osram RGB laser diodes as the light source.

“We are excited to partner with TriLite as Trixel 3’s compact design paves the way for widespread adoption of ‘always-on’ consumer AR glasses,” said Jörg Strauss, ams Osram senior vice president and general manager, business line visualization & sensing. “We are proud that ams Osram’s laser diodes offer the key specifications essential for achieving the small form factor of Trixel 3.”

AR and its technological cousin virtual reality (VR) are part of the “metaverse” that ams Osram has identified as one of the key markets for micro LEDs. The Premstaetten, Austriabased company has staked a large part of its future on micro LEDs. Ams Osram is in the midst of an approximate €800 million plant expansion in Kulim, Malaysia intended to ramp volume production of micro LEDs in 2025. Financial analysts have been keeping a close eye on the construction progress.

The TriLite laser diode deal would seem to reaffirm that ams Osram plans on selling both laser and micro LEDs into the AR/VR market, rather than a full shift toward lasers. LEDs Magazine has asked ams Osram for a comment, but we had not heard back in time for this article.

The commitment to micro LED production has held firm through the tenure of former CEO Alexander Everke and into the stewardship of new boss Aldo Kamper. Both CEOs have referenced a large commitment from an unidentified customer for the future Kulim-made micro LEDs.

Ams Osram has identified other markets other than AR/VR for micro LEDs including wearable devices such smartwatches, televisions, and automotive applications, which include its new Eviyos 2.0 micro LED.

MARK HALPER is a contributing editor for LEDs Magazine, and an energy, technology, and business journalist ([email protected]).

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About the Author

Mark Halper | Contributing Editor, LEDs Magazine, and Business/Energy/Technology Journalist

Mark Halper is a freelance business, technology, and science journalist who covers everything from media moguls to subatomic particles. Halper has written from locations around the world for TIME Magazine, Fortune, Forbes, the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Guardian, CBS, Wired, and many others. A US citizen living in Britain, he cut his journalism teeth cutting and pasting copy for an English-language daily newspaper in Mexico City. Halper has a BA in history from Cornell University.