|Mini LED commercialization expected soon|
Siu Han, Taipei; Adam Hwang, DIGITIMES [Thursday 31 August 2017]
Because of technological bottlenecks in the production of Micro LED chips, Mini LED chips are expected to be a market focus when commercial applications become available as early as the end of 2017, according to industry sources.
Sony has applied Micro LED technology to CLEDIS (crystal LED integrated structure) large-size displays for which prices are extremely high, the sources noted. A major technological bottleneck in manufacturing Micro LED chips is mass transfer, the sources said. Production of Mini LED chips does not entail mass transfer process and is thought to be more practically feasible.
According to the largest Taiwan-based LED epitaxial wafer and chip maker Epistar, Micro LED chip sizes range from 20 to 30 microns while those of Mini LED chips are 100-200 microns. Epistar has been in talks with clients about using Mini LED chips to make large-size high-end indoor displays for movie theaters, museums and commercial facilities and is likely to begin shipments in the fourth quarter of 2017 at the earliest, the company said.
Despite higher production cost for Mini LED chips than for LED chips used to make fine pixel pitch LED displays, Mini LED displays looks promising in terms of market accpetance, Epistar noted. Mini LED chips used in high-end displays may take up 5-10% of consolidated revenues in 2018, Epistar indicated.
Some LED packaging service providers have cooperated with LCD panel makers to use Mini LED chips in backlighting of high-end automotive display panels, the sources indicated. Display quality of such panels will be better than that for OLED panels and HDR (high dynamic range) performance, the sources said. Adoption of Mini LED chips for backlighting of high-end automotive display panels is expected to begin the earliest in the second half of 2018, the sources indicated. Taiwan-based TFT-LCD panel maker Innolux and LED packaging service provider Lextar Electronics are in preparation for such adoption.