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.

From the application point of view, Mini LED can be divided into two directions: backlight and RGB direct-view display.

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

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

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

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

Advantages of Mini LED backlight

Mini LED backlight technology usually uses blue chips with color conversion materials to achieve white backlight, and then combines with LCD panels to make the display.

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

Due to the very small size of Mini LEDs, it can dynamically dim the overall picture through fine partitions to achieve high dynamic contrast.

Application scenarios include wearable display devices, televisions, car displays, e-sports, and laptop displays. In addition, Mini LED backlight can work with flexible substrates to achieve a curved, thin, and light design, which gives more flexibility to its applications.

Development of Mini LED Backlight TV

One main application of Mini LED backlight is LED TV.

A conventional LED TV may use dozens or even hundreds of LEDs to power its backlight, while Mini LED TV uses the number of backlight LEDs reaching thousands or even tens of thousands.

More dimming area means better control of brightness and contrast.

Therefore, the TV with Mini LED backlight can have deeper black, higher contrast, higher brightness, lower power consumption, and richer colors as well as the advantages of the lighter and thinner structure. But its price is cheaper 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

The Mini LED direct-view display is an upgraded version of the fine pitch display.

Usually, from P1.2 to P0.4 can be seen as a Mini LED screen.

The demand for large displays for public services such as conference rooms, control rooms, high-end commercial displays stimulated the development of Mini LED wall.

In particular, the outbreak of the epidemic has effectively stimulated the demand for indoor commercial displays (such as conference room displays) and accelerated the use of Mini RGB displays.

The Mini LED also contains many different technical routes like IMD Mini LED, COB Mini LED, etc.

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.

Nationstar Mini LED
Nationstar Mini LED IMD Package P0.5mm
3CINNO Mini LED Display
3CINNO P0.9 LED screen adopts Nationstar Mini IMD-M09

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.

Creative features

The creativity of Micro LED mainly includes three aspects, one is flexible form, the second is high transparency, and the third is the ability to attach sensors.

For example, many mobile phone displays must be drilled, or use complex under-screen fingerprint recognition systems or under-screen cameras. The reason is that traditional displays cannot easily integrate with these non-display components.

For Micro LED displays, due to the considerable gap between each pixel, it can actually integrate many functional devices into the screen such as all sensing and touch components.

Due to these advantages, Micro LED displays can theoretically be used in various display devices ranging from the smallest size to the largest size.

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.

Sony Crystal LED Display

At NAB 2019, Sony released a professional Crystal LED 16K display system with a width of 19.3 meters and a height of 5.4 meters (approximately 800 inches), consisting of bezel-less modules. The entire display is completely seamless and has an ultra-high resolution of 16Kx4K, which can provide an ultra-fine visual experience. According to reports, Crystal LED is based on Micro LED technology and works like OLED.

The LED chip size of SONY Crystal LED is 0.003 mm2, which is much smaller than other LED displays on the market.

The smaller crystal particles make the black ratio of the LED display screen reach about 99%, which can provide a more realistic pure black display effect, a higher contrast effect, and an unprecedented “low brightness grayscale performance” experience.

Sony 16K resolution crystal led  wall
Sony 16K Crystal LED, Image from: robbreport.com
Sony Micro Crystal LED
Sony Crystal LED Display in ISLE 2020

Sony Micro LED Display System
Sony Crystal LED Display System uses 0.003m2 size chip

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

In the era of the ultra-high-definition display, Mini/Micro LED has greatly improved specifications such as picture quality and resolution. The chip sizes of the two have been both miniaturized. The main difference is that the Micro LED is smaller in size and does not require a sapphire substrate; while the Mini LED is larger in size and retains the sapphire substrate.

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.

However, with the continuous advancement of Mini LED technology, manufacturers have been able to manufacture Mini LED products with a size of less than 100 microns but still with a sapphire substrate. Therefore, we changed the dividing line to 75 microns.

Compare itemsMini LEDMicro LED
Key differenceWith sapphire substrateNo sapphire substrate
Size range75~300 µmLess than 75µm
Application categoryBacklit display
Commercial small pitch display
Automotive display
Wearable device
AR/VR
Large TV

Technical advantages
Multi-zone backlight control
 Low manufacturing cost
Thin and light
Greater application flexibility
Upgraded display effect
Mass production statusBacklight can be mass-produced in 2019
Mass production is expected in the second half of 2020
Mass production is expected after 2021

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.

3CINNO Related Product

Direct-view Mini LED Display

Bezel-free and No size limitation

P0.9mm, P1.2mm

16:9

3CINNO Mini LED Display Cabinet
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