[News] Micro LED Transfer Tech Moving Towards ‘Hybrid Approach


According to a report by TechNews, TrendForce held the Micro LED Forum 2023 on the 5th, inviting numerous companies to share insights on the next-generation display market trends. Eric Chiou, Senior Research Vice President at TrendForce, believes that Micro LED technology is making significant strides in the metaverse sector this year. Many technological challenges need to be overcome, such as semiconductor integration techniques. Ever since AUO announced the mass production of Micro LED watches, cost reduction has become a major focus for many companies.

Chiou stated that to cut costs, chips are the most effective components to optimize. Manufacturers are shifting from using 6-inch wafers to 8-inch wafers for chip production to help reduce costs. In terms of mass transfer techniques, a few years ago, stamp transfer technology was in use, but the industry has been increasingly leaning towards laser transfer while striving for efficiency. In the future, there’s a strong possibility of moving towards a “hybrid transfer” approach, which combines stamp transfer and laser bonding methods.

For instance, companies purchasing equipment might conduct in-house experiments and modify equipment to suit their needs. Equipment providers are also drawing from industry experience to create new solutions, offering next-generation equipment to inexperienced customers, making the production process more practical.

Regarding product development, the most evident direction for Micro LED is in smartwatches. Chiou revealed that by 2026, the cost of a 2.12-inch Micro LED Apple Watch from Apple could potentially drop to $100, compared to the current $40-50 for OLED displays. This suggests that Micro LED may pose strong competition to OLED in the near future.

TrendForce anticipates that Apple Watch will attract more brands to invest in the development and promotion of Micro LED wearable devices, leading to a compound annual growth rate of 873% from 2022 to 2027. This year, the Micro LED chip production value is approximately $27 million, and with the market’s continuous expansion, it is expected to reach $600 million. The compound annual growth rate from 2022 to 2027 is projected to be 111%.

Dr. Mingchi Hsu, Special Assistant at the AUO Display Development Center, mentioned during the forum that the challenges of mass transfer in Micro LED technology were previously considered bottlenecks, but significant improvements have been made in the last two years. As for the inspection and repair aspects, AUO has developed its own equipment and has already completed its development.

Porotech’s primary technologies include Dynamic Pixel Tuning (DPT) and PoroGaN technology. Daniel He, Director of Product and Marketing Taiwan Branch Manager at Porotech, disclosed that they are currently mass-producing 8-inch GaN wafers and collaborating with Taiwanese foundries. Although they can produce 12-inch GaN chips, they plan to observe market response before proceeding.

Mr. Lin Mao-Song, General Manager of Coherent Technologies, a leading laser source technology company, stated that the inspection and repair phase in Micro LED manufacturing might be longer than the actual manufacturing process. A 99.95% yield rate implies a high repair proportion, making it crucial to enhance production yield and reduce costs. Laser technology plays a significant role in increasing production speed and yield, with excimer laser being the best choice for repair and mass transfer, achieving yields of over 99.99%.

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