Mini LED Micro LED

2020 Summary of Mini LED and Micro LED Development

What is Mini LED?

Generally speaking, Mini LEDs are diodes smaller than 200 microns.

Because of its much smaller size, it can be used in a larger number of backlights to achieve higher brightness and better contrast.

Therefore, it is developing very rapidly in LED TV backlight applications.

At the same time, in direct-view seamless splicing LED displays without size limitation, Mini LEDs have been used in P0.9mm or less fine pitch led screen.

Now, let us look at the overall development of Mini LED as of August 2020.

Advantages of Mini LED backlight

As a microscopic LED, it has the dimming ability.

Technically speaking, all LCD backlights can be equipped with MiniLED backlights to improve product performance.

Due to the smaller size of Mini LEDs, more LEDs can be used as backlights. Traditional displays may use hundreds of LEDs as backlights, but Mini LED displays may exceed one thousand.

More dimming area means better control of brightness and contrast.

Therefore, the LCD screen with Mini LED backlight can be provided with deep blacks, high brightness, rich colors, and very high contrast, thereby greatly improving the display quality of the LCD.

Applications of Mini LED

Development of Mini LED TV

The main application of Mini LED is LED TV.

A conventional LED TV may use dozens or even hundreds of LEDs to power its backlight. Because of its very small size for single LED, Mini LED makes the number of backlight LEDs reach thousands or even tens of thousands.

Compared with “standard” LCD screen TVs, the reason for using so many Mini LEDs for backlighting is because there are better black levels, better contrast, better brightness, better picture quality, and cheaper price than OLED TV.

TCL Mini LED TV

In 2019, TCL’s 8-series Roku TVs adopted Mini LED display backlight technology for the first time

The biggest feature of TCL’s latest generation 6 series Roku TV is the support of Mini LED display technology, which is equipped with a lot of MiniLEDs, achieves 240-level divisional light control, and supports 120Hz refresh rate.

At the International Display Expo (UDE 2020) exhibition held at the end of July, TCL displayed X10 Mini LED+QLED 8K home theater TVs, which are 65-inch, 75-inch, and 85-inch, respectively, equipped with 25,200 Mini LEDs. It can realize 157% (BT.709) color gamut full coverage, 1.07 billion color numbers, 58.3% improvement in color purity, and no fading for 60,000 hours.

The price of TCL’s Mini LED TV is also within an acceptable range, 5 series 50-inch US$400, 55-inch US$450, 65-inch US$630, and 75-inch US$1100. 6 series 55-inch is 650 US dollars, 65-inch is 900 US dollars, 75-inch is 1400 US dollars.

Samsung Mini LED TV

Samsung Electronics is currently developing Mini LED TVs. It expects to launch such TVs next year and plans to produce 2 million such TVs next year.

This new product will be added to Samsung’s high-end product series including QLED Smart TV and Micro LED TV. Samsung claims that Mini LED TVs will provide a better experience than current QLED smart TVs on the market.

Apple Mini LED Monitor

Mini LED as the backlight can be also used in smaller screen like PAD and laptop monitors.

Apple’s MacBook uses an LED strip at the bottom as a backlight, while the Pro Display XDR uses up to 575 LEDs, and the Mini LED display is somewhat similar to Pro Display XDR but has more LEDs.

In fact, it is said that Apple is developing a display using 10,000 Mini LEDs as backlight.

Mini LED in direct-view fine pitch large-format LED screen

Self-luminous MiniLED actually belongs to the upgraded technology of small-pitch displays, which is in line with the development path of large-format small pitch led screen.

In terms of MiniLED led display, NationStar has launched IMD-M05, IMD-M07, IMD-M09, IMD-F12, IMD-F15 and other products, that have supplied to Unilumin, Absen, etc. 3CINNO’s all-in-one direct viewing LED screen also uses Mini LED from NationStar.

Mulinsen company stated that it will provide ultra-fine pitch (P1.0-P0.25) ultra-high-definition spliceable Mini LED display modules and flexible transparent Mini LED displays.

What’s Micro LED?

Credit: playnitride.com

Micro LED display technology miniaturizes the traditional LED structure to the 50-micron level, and uses mass transfer technology to array these tiny chips to become display pixels that can be driven independently.

Compared with the widely used LCD technology, MicroLED displays have better contrast, faster response time, higher saturation, and lower energy efficiency.

Advantages of Micro LED

Micro LED display is considered the next generation of the ultra-high-definition display.

<100 micron size

Micro LEDs are less than 100 microns in size that greatly reduce the space required for the pixels that form the images on the display.

Based on COB technology, it adopts flip-chip packaging through mass transfer technology to generate the display.

Complete black, Super-high contrast

Each pixel emits light independently, without the need for a separate backlight.

The greatest benefit of any self-luminous display is that it can achieve perfect black levels. When the pixel is not used, it does not emit light at all, giving you the feeling of deep black.

High brightness, Low energy consumption, Wide view angle, Fast response speed

Micro LED display has higher resolution and higher brightness but it’s very energy-efficient.

Its normal brightness of 1600 nits, which is brighter than current OLED devices. And the availability to make 5000 nits even can break the viewing limit in the sun.

Meanwhile, it has a wide viewing angle, fast response speed, high color saturation, and good reliability.

Micro LED advantage

Modular design

A Micro LED display uses modular design. Multiple same sizes display panels can make up a large format seamless screen.

The modular design allows the large format screen to become possible.

Applications of Micro LED

Under the trend of declining cost, its various advantages make it more and more widely used.

It will be widely used to make the small-size consumer electronics UHD display above 2000PPI,  and the large format seamless splicing led display big than100 inches.

Small Size Micro LED Display: Smart wearable devices, AR VR, Smartphone screens, Automotive applications

Automotive display

At this year’s Display Week, manufacturers such as AUO, RiTdisplay, Industrial Technology Research Institute, and Tianma all exhibited flexible Micro LED displays, highlighting the Micro LED potential applications in cars or wearable products.

AUO exhibited a car’s central control display using Micro LED, which is composed of two 9.4-inch Micro LED flexible panels, and a V-shaped Micro LED cockpit display, which consists of a 12.1-inch Micro LED dashboard and center console panel. Both use LTPS drive.

Tianma Microelectronics presented Micro LED automotive displays, including a 7.56-inch flexible Micro LED display and a 5.04-inch automotive display with a resolution of 114PPI with LTPS backplane.

Wearable devices (Flexible Micro LED Display)

In addition to automotive displays, wearable devices are another important Micro LED display application that manufacturers are actively investing in.

The Industrial Technology Research Institute in Display Week this year delivered a flexible Micro led display module.

The full-color RGB flexible display module has a size of 60mm*30mm, uses a chip smaller than 50 μm and achieves a pixel pitch of only 250 μm.

RiTdisplay also exhibited a small-sized Micro LED flexible display. Although no specifications are indicated, from the image, it is likely to be the 0.94-inch Micro LED flexible board display that was exhibited on Touch Taiwan last year.

VR, AR

In the VR field, Mirco LED will present a differentiated competitive relationship with OLED in the future.

For AR applications, compared with traditional display technologies, as Micro LED can provide higher brightness and smaller size, this type of micro-projection application will have a greater competitive advantage.

Sharp 0.38 inch and 0.13 inch Mirco display

Sharp’s subsidiary “Sharp Fukuyama Semiconductor” produced a 0.38-inch full-color Micro LED display with a resolution of 1053 PPI and a 0.13-inch blue Micro LED display with a resolution of 3000 PPI.

The goal is to start mass production from 2023 to 2024, which will be used in smart wearable devices such as AR/VR. It is expected that demand in the industrial and marine sectors will continue to grow.

Smartphone

In addition to VR/AR, smartphones are another huge potential Micro LED display market.

From the perspective of the development history of the smartphone, high-end brands usually use the latest display technology as a selling point.

Large size Micro LED display: TV, Conference, Movie theater, Home theater

The large-size Micro displays currently available for mass production are more like COB LED Display or Mini LED Display, even though manufacturers call themselves Micro LED Display.

Large size display technique difficulty

Different from small-size Mirco LED displays, the application of large-size LED displays pays more attention to product reliability, maintainability, and color uniformity.

The area of ​​the large screen reaches tens of square meters or even hundreds of square meters, which poses certain challenges to the uniformity of the display screen.

However, at this stage, the Micro LED in COB form is difficult to detect and separate the color grade, which limits its application in the large screen.

Leyard Micro LED Display

In July 2020, Leyard released four Micro LED commercial display products to the world, 40-inch 2k (P0.4), 54-inch 2k (P0.6), and 67-inch 2k (P0.7). , 81 inches 2k (P0.9)

Among them, the 0.4-pitch ultra-high-definition Micro LED commercial display can currently achieve 81-inch 4K and 162-inch 8K.

The product uses full flip-chip technology to avoid the shielding of light by the electrodes and maximize the light-emitting area and light-emitting efficiency of the chip.

At present, the product brightness can reach 2500nit, the contrast ratio is as high as 20000:1, HDR2.0 display is realized, and the picture quality is even better.

LedMan Micro LED Display

LedMan Optoelectronics launched the world’s first 324-inch 8K Micro LED display based on COB technology in 2019, and launched a new generation of COB technology-based P0.6 Micro LED display in February 2020. A few days ago, the company announced the launch and mass production of P0.79 and P0.63 Micro LED displays.

LG Plan

LG Electronics has added Micro LED products under its official website and will soon launch the first commercial Micro LED TV LSAB009. LSAB009 is a 163-inch 4K P0.9mm Micro LED TV based on COB technology. It is seamlessly spliced ​​by multiple 640×360 display modules with a peak brightness of 1200nits and a peak contrast ratio of 100,000:1.

Samsung Micro LED Display(TV)

At the 2019 International Consumer Electronics Show, Samsung showed off a large TV using MicroLED technology, which expanded from the 146 inches we saw in 2018 to an astonishing 219 inches.

Currently, Samsung’s giant “The Wall” TV has a maximum size of 292 inches, which is the largest TV you can buy and is the only TV on the market that offers MicroLED technology.

Samsung claims that this technology enables MicroLED technology to use ultra-fine LEDs to provide light and color instead of OLED or traditional LEDs.

The pixel pitch of Samsung The Wall is 0.84mm, which is not small for a TV or monitor (the pixel pitch of a 65-inch 4K TV is about 0.37mm), but for a small-pitch large-format LED display, this It’s really small.

Mini LED VS Micro LED VS OLED

Mini LED VS Micro LED

Despite the similar names, there is a difference between Micro LED Display and Mini LED Display.

In terms of chip size, Mini LED is larger than Micro LED and is more like a transitional product.

The dimensions of the Mini LED chip are between 100~300μm, and the display products are generated by the normal or mass transfer method through the flip-chip packaging method.

The Micro LED chips are less than 100μm in size, also using flip-chip packaging to generate display products through mass transfer.

LED TVs with Mini LEDs as backlights have more dimming areas than traditional LCD systems, but the brightness and contrast are not as good as self-luminous OLED and MicroLED TVs.

Micro LED VS OLED

OLED stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode. In an OLED display, each dot is individually lit in a specific color.

Micro-LED is similar to OLED, which dot also emits light independently without a separate backlight. It can produce perfect black. The entire screen achieves extremely high contrast, but it is made of inorganic materials.

Micro LED is better than OLED:

  • The attenuation speed of Micro LED is much lower than that of OLED;
  • Micro LEDs can achieve higher brightness. OLED panels can currently achieve a brightness of about 1,000 nits, but Micro LEDs may produce up to 5,000 nits of brightness.
  • Micro LED displays have no size limit, because MicroLED panels can be seamlessly spliced ​​at will, and there is no real limit on the number of connections. The resolution can reach up to 16K or even higher. But at present, the maximum size of OLED is 88 inches.
  • Micro LED running for a long time will not cause screen burn.

Although OLED is better than Mini LED, OLED is too expensive, or even for notebook monitors.

Apple is also developing Micro-LED technology, but mini-LED will be the first to be used on iPads and Macs because Micro-LED technology is also very expensive.

Mini-LED TV has gradually begun mass production, and Micro-LED TV is the future trend.

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