Clare Inc. said today that it has entered agreements with two semiconductor foundries for high-volume manufacturing of display driver ICs for the organic light-emitting- diode (OLED) flat-panel display market.
X-FAB Semiconductor Foundries and Siliconware Precision Industries Ltd. will be part of an alliance to manufacture the chips for Clare's Micronix IC Group, Beverly, Mass.
Under the terms of the agreement, Clare is responsible for all product development, marketing and worldwide sales. X-FAB, Erfurt, Germany, will be the wafer foundry for the high-voltage mixed-signal process, while Taiwan-based Siliconware will be responsible for tape carrier packaging assembly and test using its current LCD driver assembly plant in Taichung.
"The availability of our OLED driver ICs will be a major milestone in pressing this technology forward to fulfill its vast potential," said Dennis Cocco, president of Clare's Micronix IC Group. "We selected X-FAB and Siliconware, two world-class partners, to meet the anticipated volume demand for our driver IC solutions. Through this alliance we are offering our customers a seamless, rock-solid supply chain."
According to Stanford Resources Inc., San Jose, the market for OLED displays will increase from several hundred thousand units in 1999 to more than 100 million units in 2005.
Custom-built OLED driver ICs will be critical to achieving the display performance demanded from next-generation cell phones, PDAs and games. Unlike liquid crystal displays (LCDs), which are voltage-driven, OLEDs are current-driven. Display drivers used for LCDs cannot be efficiently applied in OLED displays.
Clare's Micronix IC Group entered the OLED driver IC market in May with the announcement of the first general-purpose OLED column driver, and plans to announce availability of a row driver in early 2001.