I was reminded by the announcement that QD Vision had raised an additional $22 million for development of quantum-dot displays of the significant display technology ecosystem around Boston. A refresher on some of the players:
- E Ink. The most-visible star of the system. Now Taiwanese-owned (note the acquirer changed their identity to E Ink!). Proved that persistence can pay off, especially if you enable some critical functionality– in their case, high contrast, low power for e-books.
- Kopin. Also an established (Nasdaq:KOPN) player, supplies miniature LCD displays based on a unique crystalline Silicon lift-off process.
- QD Vision. With its latest announcement, QDV is returning to its “roots”– seeking to build displays based on wavelength-tuned emission from quantum dots. Note they have demonstrated/discussed other display applications including better LED backlights, and better color filters as well.
- Pixtronix. Founded by ex MIT prof. Nesbitt Hagood, Pixtronix has been relatively quiet. So I was pleasantly surprised to find videos of a display they built with Hitachi (Japanese, sorry) — based on MEMS shutters at every pixel! [update: raised another $4M in June 2011]
- Laser Light Engines. A spin-off from contract research firm Physical Sciences Corp, Salem NH-based LLE is developing ultra-high brightness laser engines to power cinema projectors. They recently closed a $13 million B-round with IMAX as one of the investors.
- Luminus Devices. Though not a display company directly, Luminus (another MIT spin-off) supplies high-brightness LEDs for projectors.
One that got away was Iridigm, which started in Boston by Mark Miles (initial prototypes were built at MIT), and subsequently moved to Silicon Valley. Qualcomm acquired them in 2004 and has subsequently poured enormous resources into commercialization of this interferometric MEMS technology. The latest promo videos are looking very impressive!
Anyone I missed?