From the perspective of technical advantages, the Micro LED display technology can not only theoretically meet the ultra-high-definition applications of TV with sizes of 70″ and 80″, but also meet the applications of large-sized TV above 100″. LCD and OLED displays which are currently using glass substrates technology can’t do so large size above 100″ TV.
What are the advantages of Micro LED TV?
Modular design easy to enter home
Micro LED display is assembled by splicing units.
Although the modular design may lead to secondary complex installation on the user side, it overcomes traffic and household problems such as “difficulty in entering the home with a large screen”. Because the panels such as OLED and LCD over 100 inches is impossible to enter the elevators and stairs of most ordinary residential buildings.
Better color performance
Micro LED display technology also has huge advantages in terms of “visual effects” and lifespan.
In terms of color bits, color gamut, and contrast ratio, self-luminous Microdisplay technology is significantly better than the performance of liquid crystal display technology.
And there is no “moving picture tailing caused by the bottleneck of the reaction speed” of LCD display
Micro LED is an inorganic semiconductor light-emitting technology. So its material life and reliability are higher, and it does not have the problem of “burn-in and uneven aging” of OLED display technology.
Wider range of brightness adjustment
Especially in the indicator of “brightness”, the micro-LED display technology has a super wide adjustable range.
First of all, the maximum brightness is significantly higher than that of OLED, and the minimum brightness of low grayscale is also significantly lower than that of liquid crystal display technology. The brightness performance is a combination of the advantages of liquid crystal and OLED.
This makes micro-LED display technology have a special advantage in the home market – “controllable optimal viewing distance”.
Pure black and much higher contrast
At present, the main display technology of TV is liquid crystal. Liquid crystal displays rely on a backlight to provide brightness, and the liquid crystal light valve layer controls the light output. This technical system naturally cannot display “pure black” – that is, the liquid crystal molecules will have a problem with light leakage to some extent and cannot be completely turned off. This makes it necessary to increase the “brightness level” of LCD systems to achieve higher contrast ratios. The current nominal brightness value of LCD color TV is usually 500-700 nit (1nit=1 cd/m²)!
Comfortable for closer watching at home
However, “higher brightness” can be a problem for large TVs. For example, increasing the display size from 60 inches to 100 inches almost triples the display area. When people view the whole picture at the same distance, the energy entering the eyes will also triple, and the eyes will be more prone to fatigue. The “countermeasure” for this phenomenon is to watch a larger TV at a longer distance, thereby reducing the incidence of eye strain and dizziness.
For this viewing distance, people used to think more about “TV picture size” rather than “TV brightness level”, this is because there was only one dominant technology in the TV market, the brightness level per unit display area is equivalent. However, micro led display technology can comprehensively consider the characteristics, brightness levels, and screen size to determine a “reasonable viewing” distance.
In this aspect, micro-LED technology can maintain high levels of color and contrast at lower “brightness levels.” That is, micro LED TV may be a display technology that is more suitable for home scenarios, including the influence of home environment brightness and viewing distance. For example, the brightness of a micro-LED 100-inch TV can be adjusted to maintain 300-400nit through technology. Instead of the 500-700nit of LCD TVs. The comfortable and healthy viewing distance required for it will also drop from 5-7 meters for LCD TVs to 3-5 meters – that is, it is easier to meet the needs of the use distance in the living room at home.
Therefore, when Micro LED display technology is applied to the home TV market, it not only has more vivid colors, higher color gamut coverage, larger contrast ratio, faster response speed, longer life, no screen burn-in, high efficiency, and environmental protection, but also has a wide adjustable range of brightness, convenient transportation, and home accessibility.
At this stage, what are the main obstacles to the popularization of Micro LED TV?
The advantages of micro LED display technology are very clear, and some household products have also been launched. So why have micro LED TV products still not become mainstream in the large TV market? The answer to this question is mainly in two parts: price and technology maturity, while technology maturity highly affects product cost and selling price.
In terms of price, for example, Samsung’s 110-inch Micro LED TV in 2021 will cost around $140,000. However, Samsung’s products in 2022 will have larger price adjustments. It is reported that its 89-inch products will be priced at $80,000, 101-inch products will be priced at $90,000, and 114-inch products will be priced at $100,000. However, with a 30-40% price drop, its actual price is still very high. Because the current price of new micro TV is relatively high, they do not yet have the conditions to enter the household market. With the maturity of technology and craftsmanship, it will be an inevitable trend to gradually enter the consumer electronics market after the cost and price of Micro LEDs drop.
Millions of LED chips
The price and cost of Micro LED TVs in the home market are still technical in nature. For example, at present, a large TV generally requires a basic resolution of 4K. Even if adopting the “sub-pixel multiplexing” technology, a Micro LED TV at least has more than 10 million Micro LED lamp bead structures. For example, there are media reports that Samsung’s 89-inch MicroLED TV installed 11.3 million LED chips with a chip pitch of 0.44 mm. With so many wick particles at such a small spacing and density, the reliability, stability, and defect rate control are all major technical issues: that is, the efficiency and quality of mass transfer technology greatly affect the final cost of the product.
New AM active drive technology
On the other hand, in order to give full play to the advantages of Micro LED display in terms of display effect, viewing comfort, brightness adjustability, etc., high pixel density Micro LED display devices tend to adopt AM active drive circuit structure instead of traditional LED screen passive PM drive structure.
TFT glass substrate to replace traditional PCB
At the same time, the higher pixel integration density of Micro LED makes the fineness of the traditional PCB backplane must be greatly improved, and the cost will also increase greatly. The currently adopted solution is COG technology: that is, the semiconductor TFT glass substrate is used to replace the PCB board. Semiconductor TFT substrates have an advantage over ultra-fine PCBs in terms of cost per unit area under the 0.6mm pitch. At the same time, TFT glass substrates themselves meet the AM-driven architecture, and their smoother surface is also conducive to “mass transfer” technology success rate.
It can be seen that Micro LED display color TV products do not only need to solve miniaturization of LED chip particles and massive transfer and integration, but also face “ultra-fine pitch integration”, “AM active drive” and “new backplane material for TFT glass substrate” Wait for “technical progress”. Compared with the traditional large-screen LED display and traditional small-pitch(fine-pitch) LED display products, the technology, craftsmanship, and materials of Micro LED display TVs are quite different and can be completely regarded as a brand-new “display technology category”. The maturity of these new technologies, materials, and processes requires continuous research and innovation, exploration, and practice, and it takes more time to reduce the price and cost of products to a level acceptable to the household market.
Main applications of current Mini/Micro LED displays
Large-format LED screen
Micro/Mini LED displays (Here, it mainly refers to the transitional Mini LED/Fine pitch led displays) have begun to be used in high-end conferences, big data centers, intelligent command centers, monitoring centers, traffic control rooms, exhibitions, airports, subways, radio and television studios, and other large-screen application scenarios, as well as the emerging XR virtual production film shooting, 3D naked-eye display and so on.
For commercial display, we already have mature 2K/4K 108″, 136″, 163″, 216″ all-in-one LED screen.
AR/VR micro-size displays
The Micro LED TV we mentioned earlier mainly refers to large-size TV above 100″. In the field of micro-size displays such as AR/VR wearable devices, Micro LED technology is also developing rapidly.
Among many solutions such as OLED and Micro LED, Micro LED has been recognized by the industry as the best technology for AR/VR displays due to its high resolution, high brightness, high contrast, and low power consumption.
For the broad market brought by Metaverse, the application of Micro LED in AR and other wearable devices also requires the complementation of the overall ecosystem such as content, optics, and other supporting facilities. It is expected to see more Micro LED AR products in the fastest two or three years. opportunities for industrialization.