Kubos Semiconductors closes $605,000 financing


Recently, UK-based Kubos Semiconductors (Kubos Semiconductors) completed a $605,000 financing. The funding will help the company bring its cubic gallium nitride LED technology to new markets such as AR and VR microLED displays.


The round comes from its existing investors, including UK business bank Turquoise and its LCIF2 "green tech" fund, as well as a handful of new investors. It is reported that this is the company’s second round of financing, after its first round of financing in 2020 ($920,000) was led by the LCIF2 fund, which also participated in the latest round of financing.


Proprietary cubic gallium nitride technology for dramatically improved light output and efficiency


Founded in 2018, Kubos Semiconductors' unique cubic gallium nitride ("cubic GaN") technology can improve the light output and efficiency of green LEDs. Specifically, they discovered the potential of their patented material to switch LEDs at a faster rate than those developed for the hexagonal crystal phase, and significantly improve the efficiency of green LEDs.


Kubos Semiconductors uses a fabless semiconductor model, and its technology is fully compatible with standard LED development processes on large wafers and enables lower volume production costs. Previously, Kubos Semiconductors has demonstrated the first commercially compatible LEDs based on the cubic crystal phase of gallium nitride, promising more efficient solid-state lighting applications and pioneering visible light communication (VLC) applications. The company also plans to use this technology to produce red GaN LEDs in the future.


Commenting on the financing, Kubos CEO Caroline O'Brien said: "We are pleased to have the continued support of LCIF2 and other shareholders, and welcome some new investors that will help us achieve our technical and commercial goals. We are also excited about the prospect of developing our own technological capabilities in new markets, such as improving the efficiency of native red microLEDs for AR/VR and displays, and LEDs that provide high switching speeds for visible light communication applications.”


Desmond Astley-Cooper, head of Turquoise, commented: "We are excited to be involved in the many uses of this exciting new material technology, including future small-scale LED devices."


Gallium nitride (GaN) is appearing more and more frequently in next-generation power electronics. Kubos Semiconductors' cubic gallium nitride LED technology can not only be produced on large-scale wafers above 150mm, but is also expected to scale to higher wafer sizes and be seamlessly inserted into existing production lines.


O'Brien of Kubos Semiconductor said: "In the application market, as designs become more miniaturized and more efficient, I think gallium nitride can enable applications that have not been recognized or widely used before, such as small base stations. This is a real opportunity for small system designs."


Kubos is still developing its cubic gallium nitride technology and is deeply applying it to a range of lighting and display applications to produce more efficient green, amber and red microLEDs, whose potential to significantly reduce solid-state lighting carbon emissions has been widely recognized . This would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 120 million tons per year, which is equivalent to the annual emissions of 32 coal-fired power plants, Kubos calculates.


Innovative technologies for next-generation high-performance displays


The global display industry is now worth more than $165 billion, according to a recent report by market research firm ResearchAndMarkets, and will continue to grow as the industry expands into next-generation technologies and the performance of TV displays improves.


The advanced display market includes digital displays for next-generation electronic devices, such as high-definition smart TVs, laptops, tablets, large-screen displays and signage, in-vehicle displays, wearables, and near-eye displays such as AR/VR. Demand for high-performance displays has increased over the past 18 months, and recently QD-OLED and MiniLED backlights for LCD TVs have also emerged.


To improve the visual experience and reduce power consumption, the display industry is constantly introducing new, performance-optimized technologies. Manufacturers in this industry are discovering the next generation of displays that will deliver the best performance and meet the challenging demands of burgeoning applications such as VR/AR.


ResearchAndMarkets pointed out that mini LED and microLED displays are on the rise and have the potential to become disruptive technologies. In the past 2 years, the display market has witnessed a lot of innovation, and players are looking to increase the size and added value of this market by developing innovative new display technologies.