16 July 2020
Micro-LED display shipments to reach 16.7 million units in 2027
Driven by increasing demand for innovative, self-emissive displays, global shipments of micro light-emitting diode (μLED) displays are expected to soar from negligible levels in 2020 to more than 16 million units by 2027. Growth is being led by demand from the smartwatch and television markets, according to the ‘Micro-LED Display Technology and Market – 2020 report’ from Omdia. It is expected that shipments of micro-LED displays to the smartwatch market will exceed 10 million units in 2027, while shipments to the TV industry grow to more than 3.3 million units.
“Because of their superior luminance efficiency compared to rival organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays, micro-LED displays are expected to become the next self-emissive display technology,” says associate director Jerry Kang. “Numerous startups, display manufacturers and consumer brands now are developing their own micro-LED displays, devices and process in various sizes, ranging from medium-to-large sizes to ultra-small dimensions,” he adds.
Micro-LEDs represent an emerging flat-panel display technology that employs arrays of microscopic LEDs to comprise the individual pixel elements. Compared with conventional LCD displays, micro-LED displays can deliver superior contrast, faster response times and reduced energy consumption. As mentioned, micro-LEDs also offer superior luminance efficiency compared with OLEDs. As a result, micro-LED technology is expected to emerge as a competitor to LCDs and OLED displays in applications ranging from wearable devices to televisions.
Several major technology players are taking steps to improve micro-LED technology and manufacturing.
Taiwanese firm AU Optronics recently introduced a prototype 9.4-inch flexible display using blue micro-LED pixels under red and green color-conversion filters on low-temperature polysilicon (LTPS) plastic substrate.
Plessey Semiconductors announced it will help Facebook to prototype and develop new technologies for potential usage in the augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) space.
Samsung Electronics in 2018 introduced a prototype TV with a chip-on-board (COB) processed RGB micro-LED display. The firm plans to launch the product in 2020.
Samsung Display has also started the development of quantum dot nanorod LED (QNED) technology, which applies nanotube LEDs onto an oxide TFT glass substrate. Furthermore, many consumer brands are expected to release their own micro-LED displays or devices in the near future.
“The micro-LED market is poised for much more rapid growth once the technologies for manufacturing micro-LED chips — including mass transfer — gain more maturity,” Kang says. “The growing use of micro-LED display technology will push display makers to evolve away from current LCD and OLED display technologies.”