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Press Releases
Commercialization of Micro-LED Could Consume 50% of Current Global LED Capacity, Says TrendForce



Micro-LED is regarded as a promising next-generation display technology that is being quietly developed by major brand companies in various industries According to LEDinside, a division of TrendForce, displays for wearable devices and large indoor public displays are two applications that offer micro-LED the quickest paths to commercialization Furthermore, LEDinside estimates that having all wearable devices and indoor public displays on the market to switch to micro-LED would consume as much as 50% of the current LED production capacity worldwide “Typically, developers of new display technologies would first create solutions for small-size display applications,” said LEDinside analyst Philip Chang “They eventually transfer their technologies to displays of larger sizes as they overcome problems related to the yield rate and cost However, micro-LED’s two potential applications are at the opposite ends of the size spectrum On one hand, wearable devices such as smartwatches have the smallest displays around On the other hand, we have the extremely large indoor public displays” Chang furthermore pointed out the development of micro-LED is very different from other display technologies: “Micro-LED combines the pixel and the light source together into one package Therefore, specifications and product development for this technology will depend on sizes and volumes of pixels needed for various applications Small-size displays have the advantage of having lower pixel volumes Displays of wearable devices, for example, are usually smaller than a two-inch silicon wafer Micro-LED solutions for this applications even allows for the wafer bonding process, which simplifies the LED manufacturing process and lower the technology barriers for LED suppliers” Adoption of micro-LED in large-size display applications has an advantage of products having lower pixel densities (as expressed in pixels per inch or PPI) Micro-LED solutions for large-size but low PPI displays do not need to significantly scale down their LED packages However, the LED usage volume for micro-LED display increases with the size of the screen panel, and the technology is currently not mature enough to be transferred to large-size applications “Having several smaller micro-LED display modules connected together to form one giant screen could bypass the need to mass produce large single-panel displays,” noted Chang “At the same time, this method also reduces LED usage volume and addresses the yield rate issue associated with increasing the display size Theoretically, large indoor micro-LED display systems based this “connected structure” design will likely become practical products sooner than wearable devices with micro-LED displays Currently, Taiwanese companies that are focusing on the R&D of micro-LED include Epistar, PlayNitride, Industrial Technology Research Institute, AU Optronics and Innolux Providing a complete supply chain solution would be developmental advantage for Taiwanese micro-LED display manufacturers Major international branded electronics makers and LED suppliers such as Samsung, LG, Nichia, Sharp and Sony are also very active in the field Among them, the leaders in terms of transferring the technology to end applications are LuxVue, which was acquired by Apple, and X-Celeprint, which spun off from the University of Illinois LEDinside is proud to present LEDforum 2016 at National Taiwan University Hospital (NTUH) International Convention Center on September 30 This event will feature detailed presentations on the micro-LED supply chain, including materials, manufacturing process, system integration, end-use applications and market trends We cordially invite industry representatives and friends in the media to take advantage of this opportunity and participate in the conference For more information about the event, please visit: http://seminartrendforcecom/Ledforum/2016/US/index

Press Releases
TrendForce Expects Micro-LED Displays to Enter Mass Production in 2018 Due to Heavy Investments from Sony and Apple


Display , LED

Following LCD and AMOLED, micro-LED has emerged as the next-generation display technology that is expected to be deployed widely in various applications Increasing interests from electronics giants Apple and Sony during the recent period have encouraged further investments in micro-LED and accelerated the timetable for its commercialization The latest analysis from LEDinside, a division of TrendForce, forecasts that micro-LED displays for smart wearable devices will enter the mass production stage in 2018 The technology will become available for smartphones later in 2020 “Compared with the existing technologies, micro-LED offers significant improvements in many areas, including brightness/contrast, energy efficiency and response time,” said LEDinside analyst Philip Chang “It also satisfies the demand for higher pixel density (expressed as pixels per inch or PPI) and other product design requirements, such as flexible and transparent screens In sum, micro-LED overcomes the limitations of both LCD and AMOLED, and the mass production of displays based on this technology is foreseeable in the near future despite many unresolved technical issues” Chang added: “Currently, the most significant technical hurdle that prevents the mass production of micro-LED displays is finding the best balance in the trade-off between pixel density and pixel volume In this matter, Apple and Sony diverge in their strategies to commercialize the technology” Apple focuses on applications that require high PPI but low pixel volume Apple intends to use micro-LED to create sharp, high definition displays Therefore the priority is to reduce the size of LEDs used for each pixel As LEDs become smaller, their production yield rates also drop Hence, Apple’s approach is only cost effective and commercially feasible for small-size displays used in wearable devices Currently, Apple has successfully developed a 6-inch prototype micro-LED display at its research facility in Taoyuan, Taiwan Besides the continuing R&D efforts at the Taoyuan facility, Apple also takes advantage of the LuxVue acquisition and are working with strategic partners to develop full color micro-LED displays with high pixel density Apple’s goal is to advance the technology beyond the display specs of Apple Watch devices that are currently on the market  “Basing on the technology’s development level and Apple’s product roadmap, Apple is likely to launch wearable devices with micro-LED displays in 2018,” said Chang “However, the market will have to wait much longer for Apple to use micro-LED in the iPhone series because smartphone screens require greater pixel volume” Sony sacrifices pixel density for greater pixel volume Sony prioritize screen size before image quality as its micro-LED displays will be viewed from a distance Since increase in size and pixel volume will also increase the number of LEDs used on the display, more time and effort will be spent on making the product as well Sony’s solution is to lower the PPI (or to increase the pixel size) by using larger LEDs, which in turn have high production yield rates Sony unveiled a costly micro-LED display solution known as Crystal LED Display in 2012 Since then, Sony has made adjustments in its development strategy as to speed up the commercialization of the technology Earlier this year, Sony introduced its second-generation micro-LED display solution called Crystal LED Integrated Structure (CLEDIS™) CLEDIS overcomes the constraints related to LED’s cost and yield rate issues by allowing multiple micro-LED panels to connect together to form a large, continuous display CLEDIS-based products are expected to enter the mass production phase in 2017 as scheduled

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