Advanced Materials and Manufacturing,
Phase I

Full Color, Low Power, High Brightness Micro-Display Capabilities

Release Date: 03/30/2021
Open Date: 04/14/2021
Application Due Date: 05/18/2021
Close Date: 05/18/2021
Solicitation: 21.4
Topic Number: A214-010
Duration: 6 months
Amount Up To: $256K

Topic Objective 

Technologies that use micro-light emitting diodes (LEDs) offer the potential for significantly increased luminance and efficiency, unlocking new possibilities in high-dynamic-range (HDR), augmented/mixed reality, projection, and non-display applications. Organic LEDs (OLEDs) are the technology of choice for VR due to their advantages in latency, contrast ratio, and response time. A few commercial augmented-reality (AR) displays have demonstrated very compact and lightweight form factors. Seeking input from industry for innovative full color display component technology in micro-displays to be integrated into augmented reality head/helmet-mounted display systems. Work with an integrator to integrate into a vision system. Demonstrate capability to function to display imagery to user with near to eye optics.  


Micro-display will meet full daylight readability luminescence requirements (>1,000-Foot-lambert />3,400-Candela per square meter) and night performance (<0.3-fL/<1-nit at 8 bits per color) while using sufficiently low power to be applicable to untethered mounts. Consideration of light security and personal protective equipment should be included even though this is just the image source.  

Of the specifications listed below; contrast and resolution are considered to be the most important given a minimum 65 horizontal degree field of view optic. Operation with a waveguide, prism, reflective visor, and other concepts should be considered.   

Potential technologies of interest include but are not limited to inorganic LED microdisplays and OLED microdisplays with advanced and readily manufacturable approaches for daylight readability luminance levels. 

Key requirements include: 

  • Display power per channel (at max luminance with 50% pixels driven): less than 1W (T): less than .5W (O)  
  • Display format resolution: HD demonstrator; 1920×1080/1200 and 4K objective  

Display addressable gray/color level format: greater than 24 bit RGB (T) Contrast (On/Off): greater than 10,000:1; Checkerboard Contrast: greater than 1,000:1  

  • Display gray shades – video (Night): 32 gray shades (no ambient) (T)  
  • Display luminance greater than 1,000-fL white (RGB) for day; less than 0.3-fL night  
  • Frame rate: greater than 60Hz (Hertz) (T)  
  • less than $500/display in quantities in 1000s 

Phase I 

A low fidelity demonstration of a display that can meet the above requirements. A test plan is required to show how the requirements will be met. A thorough explanation/path of how the full capabilities will be met based on the demonstration. Deliverable includes demonstration and any ancillary equipment required to drive demonstration. A test report is required documenting the results. 

Phase II 

Develop prototype from Phase I that can be made commercially viable for augmented reality head/helmet mounted display systems. A fully functional display prototypes capable of meeting all performance requirements above. A Preliminary Design Review (PDR) and Critical Design Review (CDR) at the Government’s facility. Both the PDR and CDR shall present a path to full production with cost detailed. Deliverable includes five (5) pre-production displays and any ancillary equipment to drive a demonstration with commercial video interface such as HDMI. 

Phase III 

Develop full color display component technology in micro-displays for augmented reality system head/helmet mounted display systems. Work with an integrator to integrate into a vision system. Demonstrate capability to function to display imagery to user with near to eye optics. Build twenty (20) production representative systems to supply to the Government for final operational testing.  

Submission Information  

Full proposal packages must be submitted through the DSIP Portal.   

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