Digitimes: Micro-LEDs low aperture ratio makes them competitive for smart displays

Digitimes posted an interesting research note, in which they state that micro-LED displays may find it hard to compete with LCD and OLED displays as the market is approaching saturation.

Micro-LEDs have several advantages over other displays - high brightness, quick response time and the ability to create flexible and transparent displays (this is also true for OLEDs). However a major advantage for Micro LEDs is that the aperture ratio is only 10%, which means that there is a lot of empty space in a micro-LED display.

Mikro Mesa sees opportunities for large-area micro-LEDs with production line prices lower than at comparable LCD fabs

Taiwan-based Micro-LED developer Mikro Mesa's chariman, Chen Li-yi, estimates that it will be difficult for micro-LEDs to compete with OLED displays in the small/medium display market - but the opportunity for large area displays is more promising.

According to Chen, 55" micro-LED panels will be competitive in cost with LCDs, and if companies manage to achieve yields of over 80%, a 55-inch micro-LED will be cheaper by around 30% from an equivalent high-end LCD.

glō orders an MOCVD tool for Aixtron to deposit GaN nanowire-based Micro-LEDs

Swedish-American GaN nanowire based micro LEDs developer glō ordered an AIX G5+ MOCVD platform from Aixtron to support the company's strategic expansion. The tool will be delivered with a 8x150 mm configuration by the end of 2017.

Aixtron G5+ MOCVD handler photo

glō is commercializing micro-LED products based in its proprietary defect-free GaN nanowires technology. glō says that its technology enable the growth of mLEDs while maintaining the reliability of an inorganic material system.

PlayNitride aims to start trial production of Micro-LED displays by the end of 2017

PlayNitride's CEO, Charles Li, says that Micro-LED displays are not as challenging as originally expected, and the company now aims to start trial production of Micro-LED displays in the second half of 2017. The company has mass transfer and placement yield rates of over 99% in its lab.

PlayNitride MicroLED array

In PlayNitride's R&D setup, it takes about 10 seconds to transfer and place 200,000 LEDs - which means that a 5" panel will take only 10 minutes to produce. However the cost for a single smartphone panel could reach about $300 - much higher than the cost of even the highest-end flexible OLED. Possible applications where Micro-LED displays could succeed commercially at this stage include smartwatches, VR / AR, automotive and transparent displays.

Yano Research sees the Micro-LED market growing from $7 million in 2017 to $4.5 billion by 2025

Japan-based Yano Research Institute estimates that following Sony's launch of its CLEDIS display, the Micro-LED market will finally emerge this year. Yano sees the micro-LED market growing from $7 million in 2017 through $14 million in 2018 and $224 million by 2020.

The fast growth will continue, and the micro-LED market wil reach $4.5 billion by 2025 - that's a total growth of over 65,000% from 2017 to 2025.

Unimicron to start producing PCBs for Micro-LED displays by 2019

Unicmicron LogoTaiwan-based PCB developer Unimicron has started to develop specific PCBs for Micro-LED displays, with aims to start mass producing such PCBs in 2019. According to LEDsInside, Unimicron will start a small batch production in 2018.

Unimicron is collaborating with Epistar's and ITRI's micro-LED display alliance, hoping that this will speed up the commercialization of its technology. LedsInside also reports that other Taiwan-based PCB makers aim to also start developing specific solutions for Micro-LED displays.