Global Micro LED Market: Key Research Findings 2019
Yano Research Institute (the President, Takashi Mizukoshi) has conducted a survey on the global micro and mini LED displays for 2019 and has found out the trends of implementation by application, the trends of market players, and the future perspectives.
While LCD (Liquid Crystal Displays) still dominate 90% of the market of various displays, OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) displays have increasingly become adopted in smartphones, TVs, and etc., due to their characteristics of lower power consumption, simpler structure, brighter color reproduction, and wider viewing angles, than LCD, together with the next-generation function such as flexible display.
On the other hand, LED (Light Emitting Diode) has been used as a backlight unit for LCDs that need separate light sources. For large signage and etc., individual LEDs are packaged to be used as pixels. LED displays, in spite of their high brightness, high legibility, high efficiency, low energy consumption and long-life, they are too large to be implemented into small or middle-size displays needing to be high resolution. In such a status, the display technologies using micro LEDs (i.e., LED with the size 100μm or less) that keep the characteristics of LED with miniature size have started attracting attention, not only because they can be introduced into the displays of whatever size, but because they have flexibility. Therefore, micro LED displays have eagerly been studied and developed in recent years toward commercialization. Nevertheless, micro LED display technologies are difficult to be developed when they are seen as an extension of the conventional technologies, so that they need a long-tern development period before they are commercialized and used. Also, employment of mini LEDs with the size 100 to 200μm, which are regarded to be easier to manufacture, as a pixel of Fine Pitch Displays or backlights of LCD panels have become considered mainly among Chinese and Taiwanese makers.
When mini LEDs, with the size between 100 to 200μm, larger than micro LEDs, are applied to manufacturing and transferring of light sources, defect inspection, choosing of LED chip types, and to repairing processes, they can use the same manufacturing processes and equipment as the conventional LEDs. Therefore, mini-LEDs are considered to be easier to manufacture than micro LEDs, making them easier to be commercialized.
On the other hand, micro LEDs have very small chip size, so that new technologies are often needed in the current manufacturing processes. Although makers, R&D institutions, and universities have made many attempts of development, there still are various problems to be solved, such as improvement of availability, cost reduction, and etc. Unless those problems are solved, it is difficult to expand the implementation of micro LEDs in each type of displays. The following factors seem to be the key for the future market expansion: To establish the manufacturing technologies; to secure supply chains; to improve productivity and yield by weight; and to reduce costs.
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