Supply chain
Micro LED to be widely used in large displays starting 2024
Tony Huang, DIGITIMES Research, Taipei

Micro LED technology is limited to applications in high-end large-size commercial displays and deluxe home theater systems currently due to high production cost, but technological improvements are expected to broaden its adoption in display modules which can be mosaicked into large screens of various sizes starting 2024, Digitimes Research's newly published Special Report on the outlook of mini and micro LED.

While Sony and Samsung Electronics have unveiled micro LED-equivalent display modules, their prices are over US$50,000 per square meter, far exceeding US$500-1,500 per square meter for 75-inch 4K LCD TVs and US$3,000-6,000 per square meter for 77-inch OLED TVs, Digitimes Research indicates in its Special Report, "Mini/micro LED: Challenges and opportunities in the display industry."

As sizes of glass substrates are limited for production lines, it is difficult to produce LCD or OLED TV panels of over 120 inches. In comparison, micro LED display modules can be mosaicked into 110-, 220-, 440-, 790-inch or even larger displays and will therefore have market niche in commercial displays of over 100 inches. But, the problem is how to reduce production cost for micro LED panels.

A new manufacturing process via embedding CMOS circuits in micro LED chips seems to be able to hike yield rates and thereby decrease production cost for micro LED panels. The process reduces complexity of mass transfer of micro LED chips onto backplanes to facilitate wafer-level production and testing. In addition, backplanes are not limited to TFT-LCD glass substrates and can be made of glass, metals or flexible materials.

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