Google LLC has confirmed that it has acquired Raxium, a startup that develops MicroLED displays used in augmented reality headsets and other devices.
It was first reported that Google had acquired the company in March. While Google has today confirmed the acquisition, it has not confirmed the alleged acquisition price of $1 billion.
Founded in 2017, Raxium specialized in developing tiny light-emitting diodes for displays used in AR hardware. The company’s pixel technology is said to bring monolithic integration to MicroLEDs ranging from augmented and virtual reality micro-displays to life-size panel-based field arrays. The functionality is said to enable users to interact with data in the context of everyday activities naturally.
As noted in March, MicroLED is inorganic, similar to LCD displays, but it’s supposed to have OLED qualities such as high brightness, good color fidelity and high contrast. The bonus part of a MicroLED is its energy efficiency, which is a key requirement of wearable devices such as headsets. Raxium’s technology involves a more efficient manufacturing technique for MicroLED’s that reduces production costs.
Rick Osterloh, senior vice president, devices and services at Google confirmed the news on Google’s The Keyword blog.
“Today we’re announcing that Google has acquired Raxium, an innovator in single panel MicroLED display technologies,” Osterloh wrote. “The team at Raxium has spent five years creating miniaturized, cost-effective and energy efficient high-resolution displays that have laid the foundation for future display technologies.”
“Raxium’s technical expertise in this area will play a key role as we continue to invest in our hardware efforts,” Osterloh added.
Raxium is set to join Google’s devices and services team.
Exactly what Google will use Raxium’s MicroLED tech on is open to speculation, but it’s widely believed that Google is working on a new AR headset. It was reported in January that Google’s new AR headset, which could feature a custom chip, may debut in January 2024.
The headset is known internally under the codename of Project Iris and around 300 Google staff members are said to be working on the device. The headset is also rumored to run on an operating system called Fuchsia which features cybersecurity optimizations and features designed to facilitate simple software updates.