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Samsung to Galvanize Growth of Mini LED Backlight TV Market, while Intense Competition in LED Supply Chain Projected to Resurface, Says TrendForce

28 September 2020 LED Max Chen

Yearly Mini LED backlight TV shipment is projected to reach 4.4 million units for 2021, a 2% penetration rate in the overall TV market, as brands begin integrating Mini LED backlights into their TVs and continue to improve technologies as well as optimize costs, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations. While Apple is set to release IT products featuring Mini LED backlights, Korea-based Samsung and LG will both debut their own Mini LED backlight TVs in 2021. In particular, as part of its effort to deploy Mini LED backlight across its product mix, Samsung is targeting a yearly shipment of more than two million Mini LED TVs next year in anticipation of high market demand.

Samsung challenges OLED TVs with its Mini LED backlight-equipped QLED offerings

At the moment, TV brands are focusing on 4K resolution and OLED displays as the primary selling points in their high-end product strategies. However, Samsung is hoping to increase the market share of its QLED TVs, which are much more cost-competitive than OLED TVs, via the integration of Mini LED backlights, which can significantly raise the level of contrast and image detail through multiple dimming zones in addition to its WCG (wide color gamut) capabilities.

TrendForce indicates that Samsung’s lineup of Mini LED backlight TVs in 2021 will include 55-inch, 65-inch, 75-inch, and 85-inch display sizes, 4K resolution, and multiple Mini LED local dimming zones, which produce contrast ratios of 1,000,000:1, a significant improvement over the current market mainstream of 10,000:1. Since such high contrast ratios are only possible if the display backlight contains at least 100 local dimming zones, the corresponding number of Mini LED chips used for backlighting will skyrocket as well, with between 8,000 to 30,000 Mini LED chips used for each TV. By combining high-resolution display panels and multiple local dimming zones, Samsung’s Mini LED TVs deliver a superior visual experience for the end-user.

The upcoming release of Samsung’s Mini LED TVs will inject considerable momentum into the LED supply chain

Samsung’s new Mini LED backlight TVs are expected to feature HV LED chips as their light source. Thanks to their Mini LED backlights, these TVs deliver improved display performances via HDR and WCG functionalities. Samsung’s adoption of HV LED chips requires an extremely large-scale, fast, and stringent testing and sorting process for LED chips according to chip wavelengths and specs, and related companies such as San’an Optoelectronics, Epistar/Lextar, FitTech, Saultech, Apex, and Macroblock have all moved to participate in Samsung’s Mini LED supply chain. TrendForce believes that, although most of the above companies are still currently in the sampling stage without any finalized contracts, competition in the LED supply chain will likely intensify once again.

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