Samsung Group’s venture capital arm Samsung Venture Investment announced on Sept. 10 that it has funded US-based startup iBeam Materials.
Spun off from Los Alamos National Laboratory in 2011, iBeam is a business-to-business startup and is known for developing ion-beam crystal alignment of thin layers for high-performance optoelectronic devices. According to sources, Samsung decided to invest in the US firm as it also has a key technology for micro light-emitting diode.
“The company’s breakthrough in LED, enables them to be manufactured on large-area substrates as opposed to the much smaller single-crystal wafers currently used in the industry,” a Samsung Venture Investment official said in a statement.
The venture arm of Samsung, however, did not disclose the specific amount that it has invested.
Micro LED, a panel with light-emitting diodes measuring less than 100 micrometers, boasts high contrast ratios and deep blacks to compete with organic light-emitting diodes or high-end liquid-crystal displays. But display makers are still reluctant to adopt the technology, citing difficulties and high costs.
According to industry sources, currently only Samsung Electronics can steadily produce micro LED.
Established in 1999, Samsung Venture Investment manages investment activities for Samsung affiliate companies. It encompasses investments in diverse sectors including semiconductors, displays, telecommunications and consumer electronics.
By Song Seung-hyun (email@example.com)