Increasing Demands for High Contrast Display Drives Mini LED Commercialization

As display technology continues to progress, worldwide big names have launched innovative displays that the resolution has evolved from full HD to 4K. Nevertheless, without high contrast, the refined display performance of high resolution would not be fully presented. High contrast intensifies the brightness and darkness of images and videos on TVs and gaming monitors and enables AR wearables or automotive displays to deliver clear picture under sunlight. Thus, the demands for high contrast display keep rising.

LEDs, with its self-emitting feature, can be adopted to various applications in backlight and RGB module after shrinking. LED also outpaces OLED in contrast, brightness and reliability. With the strength, Mini LED backlight technology has been adopted in gaming and other high-end display since the second half of 2018. Mini LED technology applications continue to increase in 2019 and are expected to boom in 2020.

(Image: LEDinside)

Mini LED technology is mature enough with both chip makers including Epistar, Lextar and display manufacturers AUO and Innolux launching a wide range of applications. Apart from gaming monitors, automotive displays, large sized TVs and wearables are all on the way to mass production.

However, Analyst of LEDinside, Max Chen, pointed out that production cost is still a barrier for Mini LED products. Currently, the price for a 32-inch Mini LED backlight display is over US$ 3,000, which is too expensive for consumer market. As a result, optimizing production process and reducing production cost are the critical challenges for Mini LED manufacturers.

Chen indicated that the optimization begins with driver and backplanes. PCB backplane with passive driver not only limits display resolution but also increases cost. Many companies turn to glass backplane with active driver instead to lower cost for driver and panel.

Thriving Mini LED applications push business for LED chip makers and panel makers as well. Taiwan-based LED producer Epistar has begun shipping Mini LED backlight product since 2018 and has received more orders for 17.3-inch and 27-inch gaming displays. The company is also getting ready to launch 4K products for ultra large displays. Epistar is seeing a growth for 2020 with rising Mini LED business.

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