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30 September 2019

Mini-LEDs to continue to see higher penetration rates in high-end display markets

Mini-LED backlight displays all have a significant advantage in brightness, reliability and performance, as well as a chance to grab a slice of the high-end display market, according to the latest ‘Mini-LED and HDR High-End Display Market Report’ by LEDinside (a division of TrendForce). Mini-LED backlights may even extend the lifetime of LCD displays, seeing penetration rates of 20%, 15% and 10% in the IT, TV and tablet application markets, respectively, in 2024.

Comparing the features of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) and mini-LED backlight displays, the local dimming feature of mini-LED backlight displays may rival OLEDs in their ability to contrast colors, notes TrendForce. Mini-LEDs also have more competitive prices compared with TV and monitor product applications, since mini-LED backlight displays exhibit display effects nearly equal to those of OLEDs, but the power consumption is much lower than for OLEDs. So, these products give better value for money.

Epistar develops fast transfer technology to enter mini-LED backlight market

With the rise of mini-LED backlight technology, the original industry chain has changed, says the report. For example, panel manufacturers AUO and Innolux are both collaborating with their respective LED companies to develop mini-LED backlight modules: AUO has joined with Lextar, while Innolux is already working with companies such as AOT and Epileds, developing towards TV, IT and small- and medium-sized automotive product applications and hoping to keep their competitive edge in LCD products. CSOT, BOE and others have got involved in mini-LED backlights and display businesses by leveraging their edge in product technology and equipment CapEx. Chip manufacturer Epistar has worked with subsidiary Yenrich to release mini-LED light source modules to enter the backlight applications of high-end displays.

The key challenges of mini-LED backlight technology are cost, power consumption and die-bonding efficiency. In terms of the challenge of power consumption, as current mounts (and heat along with it), efficiency declines. So far, Epistar has offered two different solutions to help customers meet their goal of reducing power consumption or cost. For power consumption, with the decrease in chip size and drive current, customers can improve full-screen power consumption with enhanced backlight dimming zone control. For cost, Epistar has added an innovative reflector with LED chips to increase the beam angle. So far, Epistar has been able to produce LED chips with special beam angle of 150-170° to reduce both number of LED chips required and system production costs.

In addition, with the reduction of LED chip size and the increase in number, LED die bonding is becoming increasingly difficult. Epistar and subsidiary Yenrich’s self-developed ‘Fast Transfer on X substrate’ can precisely transfer mini- or micro-LED chips in large quantities on a variety of material substrates specified by customers.

TrendForce says that innovations in mini-LED backlight technology may bring advantages in display effect, but the new structure also places a heavier burden in costs, and striking a fine balance between the two has become a problem that suppliers along the whole supply chain must work together to solve. The fastest way to reduce costs would be to combine the strengths of relevant suppliers for backplanes, LED chips and driver ICs and module assembly companies and to develop mini-LED products with better value. Mini-LED chips will play an important role in that process, reckons TrendForce. Chip suppliers turned market leaders and technological vanguards will hold an even greater advantage in the future, the firm concludes.

Tags: microLED

Visit: www.ledinside.com

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