Google acquires a specialist in MicroLED screens for cheaper AR / VR

Google has confirmed the acquisition of the American start-up Raxium. Specialized in MicroLED display technology, the company should help Google design new AR / VR devices of better quality … and potentially less designated.

Google has just formalized its takeover of Raxium, a MicroLED specialist // Source: Dylan Carr – Unsplash

Fanned last month by The Information, the acquisition of Raxium by Google has just been formalized. The Mountain View giant is therefore getting hold of a MicroLED technology specialist who could help it achieve its ambitions in the augmented, mixed and virtual reality sector.

The Raxium team spent five years creating high-miniaturized, laudable, and energy-efficient displays that laid the foundation for future display technologies. “, explains in particular Rick Osterloh, Senior VP of Google in charge of devices and services. ” Raxium’s technical expertise in this area plays a key role as we continue to invest in our hardware efforts “.

Google is stepping up its efforts to return to augmented reality

As The Verge reminds us, this takeover is part of Google’s efforts in the field of augmented reality. In 2020, the group had for example acquired North, specializing in the manufacture of AR glasses. At the end of December, Google was also recruiting engineers assigned to the design of an operating system intended, precisely, for augmented reality devices. Even more recently, in January, we finally learned that the Californian giant had begun to develop an AR helmet nicknamed “Project Iris”.

The information explained for its part last month that the MicroLED screens developed by Raxium could be very useful to Google for this project. The latter allow excellent energy efficiency (perfect for preserving the limited autonomy of AR glasses), but could also prove to be relevant from an industrial point of view. We learn, for example, that Raxium is working on a “monolithic integrationof its MicroLEDs, which could allow Google to make these screens from the same silicon as most processors. This manufacturing process could lead the firm to drastically reduce the production costs of MicroLED screens.

Google buys a specialist in MicroLED screens for cheaper AR / VR
Source: Raxium

On its site, Raxium also praises the merits of its technology, focusing on the issue ofpixel pitch(gap distance between the centers of two designated pixels next to each other). For a classic AMOLED panel, like the one present on our smartphones, the brand speaks of apixel pitchof 50 microns, against only 3.5 microns for that of its MicroLED screens. Clearly, the pixel density on very small screens promises to be there.

Note, however, that Google will have to stick to strong competition if it does launch new AR glasses. Microsoft has already offered a lot of experience in this field through its HoloLens headsets (whose future seems to be compromised), but we also know that Apple, Meta and Snap are also working on well-known augmented reality devices. their.

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