【SID Display Week 2019】Mini LED Backlight Becomes New Paradigm in the Display Industry

Mini LED backlight solution seems to be a “must have” technology for all the panel exhibitors at this year’s Display Week. Despite that adopting Mini LED backlight to consumer electronic products is rather difficult due to high production cost; panel makers still proactively demonstrated related products. Therefore, Mini LED backlight might not be a flash in the pan.

LEDinside noticed that almost every display maker participated in Display Week disclosed the focus on automotive display incorporating LCD panel and Mini LED backlight. The solution is able to tackle the environment difficulties for automotive light source. As a result, even OLED-focused Korean companies are developing LCD panel with direct LED backlight as a solution for automotive display.

Besides, the competition of active matrix (AM) and passive matrix (PM) driver solution for Mini LED backlight is a highlight of the event. Panel producers who began Mini LED development earlier also used their proprietary glass backplane production for achieve AM driver solution, hoping to replace PCB backplane by glass backplane for reduce the number of LED driver IC used. Follow LEDinside to see the progress updates of Mini LED products from the exhibitors!

Taiwanese panel producers have been promoting Mini LED backlight technology. At AUO’s booth at Display Week, Mini LED backlight solution was adopted in products in all of the sized and series, including a 32-inch 4K display implementing 1152 zones Mini LED backlight with impressive display performance. Also, AUO introduced a VR glasses based on AM driver solution. Its 2305 zone Mini LED backlight intensify color contrast of the display to enhance user experiences.

(AUO: automotive display panel)

Japan-based JDI also showcased a 3.5-inch Mini LED backlight panel display for VR glasses. The product used 3,840 LEDs in 960 zones, achieving an amazing contrast of 2,000,000:1.

(JDI: VR glasses)

Chinese panel maker CSOT went directly to curved AM Mini LED, demonstrating a 8-inch flexible display with Mini LED. In collaboration with TCL, CSOT also presented a 65-inch AM LED backlight display with 5,000 zone RGB LED backlight and AM driver solution. The display performance of the product was perfect; however, the price would also be unattainable given its specification. Hence, the product might only be produced and available in the market when technology solutions that can lower production cost are adopted.

(CSOT: flexible AM Mini LED display)

TIANMA exhibited a 5.99-inch Mini LED backlight display with AM TFT driver solution and 4,600 lighting zone, reaching 96% of NTSC and a contract of 100,000:1. The demonstrated display was in the size of mobile phone, which would be difficult to compete with OLED due to high production cost. However, Dean Collins, Marketing Director of TIANMA in the North America District, noted that product adopting the technology will be adopted in automotive display first.

OLED display is still the core for BOE during the show. Nevertheless, the company presented backlight solutions for VR applications and notebook panel display. Its 15.6-inch notebook display used LED backlight 200 zones. LEDinside noticed that BOE is trying to balance the cost and performance in the Mini LED development.

(BOE: Mini LED backlight notebook display)

(BOE: Mini LED backlight VR glasses)

BOE also showcased a 65-inch BD Cell (BOE Dual Cell) backlight solution which adopted two layers of glass backplane. The function of Front Panel is similar to LCD panel that controls liquid crystal deflection of each pixel so that light can penetrate color filter to display various colors. The Front Panel can achieve 4K resolution. Meanwhile, Back Panel monitors voltage to control backlight source to illuminate designated pixel. BOE use 2K resolution for backlight.

The technology still use conventional side LED backlight but the display performance was excellent. This might be another option instead of Mini LED backlight. However, challenge of this technology is also cost increase and the market reaction is still the key.

Additional showtime: Rohinni
Since Mini LED can not only be applied in backlight but also for self-emit display, US-based startup Rohinni has gathered attention from the market with its expertise and progress in Micro/Mini LED mass transferring.

Instead of joining Display Week, Rohinni held its own demonstration to showcase its Mini LED products including Mini LED light bars and panels. Matthew Gerber, CEO of Rohinni, noted that the company has cooperated with different strategic partners to speed up Mini LED products commercialization. Rohinni has worked with equipment producer K&S to develop facility for mass transferring. It also plans to develop partnerships for other applications to realize volume-production as soon as possible. Rohinni might roll-out Mini LED backlit keyboard by the end of 2019.


Author: Roger Chu/LEDinisde

LEDinside 2019 Micro LED Next Generation Display Key Technology Report
Release Date: January 31, 2019
Format: PDF
Language: Traditional Chinese / English
Pages: 219
Quarterly Update: Micro / Mini LED Market Perspective Analysis - Vendor Dynamics, New Technology Import, Display Week / Touch Taiwan Direct Strike (March, June, September 2019; Approx. 10-15 pages/quarter)


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