News | May 12, 1999

Cree, Microvision Team for Development, Cree Invests $4.5 Million

Virtual retinal display developer Microvision Inc. (Seattle, WA) has formed a strategic partnership with optoelectronics manufacturer Cree Research Inc. (Durham, NC). Under the terms of the agreement, Cree has made a $4.5 million equity investment in Microvision, purchasing common stock at $16.75 per share; the equity interest equates to less than 4% of the company's outstanding common stock.

Meanwhile, Microvision has entered into a $2.6 million development contract with Cree to accelerate development of semiconductor light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and laser diodes for application in Microvision display and imaging products. The program will be focused on the development of blue and green laser diodes and edge-emitting light-emitting diodes that are suitable for Microvision's scanned-beam display systems. Microvision will gain exclusive access to component technology developed in the program for "scanned-beam display'' applications for three years following completion of the initial development contract. The contract also includes a one-year extension period, at Microvision's option, valued at $2.5 million.

Target applications for the LED-based microdisplays would include information displays for next- generation mobile phones and pagers, viewfinders for digital cameras, and wearable display peripherals for personal computers and interactive computer games. Blue and green semiconductor laser diodes would be used in a variety of military and professional applications that require higher display luminance.