Macroblock Pioneers Driver IC Technology for Micro LED, Fine Pitch Display, and Interactive AR Applications

Organized at the Langham, Shenzhen, on 19th July, Macroblock LED Display Conference 2017, gathering makers of displays and LED light sources worldwide, ended on a high note as it always did for the past 12 years. At this high-profile annual event, Macroblock’s chairman Dr. Li Chang Yang stated that display technology has been more widely used for various applications in different ways, such as displays in retail spaces, theaters, restaurants with immersive AR technology, and interactive applications.

Macroblock’s chairman Dr. Li Chang Yang (Image: LEDinside)

Judging by the history of the display industry, it has faced a radical industry transformation and witnessed unprecedented demand over the last decade. Chinese display makers have been actively promoting fine pitch displays. International manufacturers didn’t buy into their notion at first considering costs of production and of power consumption of those displays. However, after five years of development, the drastic demand boost proved the competency of these Chinese display makers and their fast-paced development.

The retailing industry, currently using LCD displays most, appears to be a promising market for fine pitch displays. LCD displays penetrate with competitive cost structures, while fine pitch displays come with more advantages. They are more seamless, lighter, brighter and with wider color gamut, which already paved a way into the indoor display market for them from the market of outdoor applications 3-4 years ago. 

Fine pitch displays have seven common technological issues: 1) ghosting effect, 2) dim line at the first scan line, 3) nonuniformity at low grayscale, 4) color shift at low grayscale, 5) gradient dim lines, 6) dead pixels, and 7) cross effect caused by failure LEDs. Macroblock launched driver ICs for fine pitch LED displays that resolve the problems. It is definitely challenging to develop driver ICs for P1.0 ultra-fine pitch displays. Macroblock’s presented the High Integration series, which enable remarkable grayscale performance, high refresh rates, in-advance LED failure prediction, high display reliability, and high pixel density.

With the promotion of display companies around the globe, the standard pitch sizes pretty much fall into the range from P1.25 to P2.5 in 2017. As the pitch size gets finer, the mainstream in 2018 and 2019 may downsize to below P1.0. Micro LED will also enter the market around the same time. In that regard, Macroblock has been developing driver ICs for Micro LED for two years. It aims to improve the overall yield of Micro LED displays with other participants in the supply chain in hope to reach a pitch size of P0.625-P0.75. According to Macroblock’s own stats, the driver IC products for fine pitch displays contributed to 30% of the company’s revenue. For Micro LED displays, aside from high integration between displays and ports, and in-advance failure detection, Macroblock attempts to lower the power consumption of Micro LED displays, believing that could help create outstanding sales performance.

In the end, Macroblock’s Chairman Yang mentioned he foresaw the potential of LED displays that they will be even more commonly seen in cinemas, wedding venues, and shopping malls soon in the future. Macroblock will work in tandem with its clients towards a myriad of possibilities. It will also integrate displays with smart controls and interactive VR technology to provide a seamless user experience.

(Author: Joanne Wu/ LEDinside) 

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