Epistar and Leyard Opto-Electronics to build a $142 million micro-LED and mini-LED production fab in China

Taiwan-based LED producer Epistar is in talks with China-based LED display maker Leyard Opto-Electronic to setup a Mini-LED and Micro-LED production site in Wuxi, China. The two companies (actually Leyard and Epistar's subsidiary Yenrich Technology) will setup a joint-venture with a budget of $142 million.

Leyard says that the plan is to form the joint venture six months after getting the final approval for the plan. This will enable the production to begin in the new fab in 2023. It is still not clear whether the new fab will produce mini and micro LED chips - or actual displays.

Konka announces a $365 million Micro-LED R&D center in Chongqing, China

China-based display maker Konka announced it is building a micro-LED research and development center in Chongqing, China. Total investment in this initiative is around $365 million, out of which Konka will invest $215 million (the rest is contributed by the local government)

Konka APHAEA microLED TV launch

These funds will be used to purchase micro-LED production equipment, R&D and also to increase the production of support the sale of Micro-LED related products. Konka hopes that this investment will propel it to leadership in the microLED industry. Konka believes that Micro-LED will become the leading technology for ultra-high quality consumer TVs.

Rohinni and BOE launch a micro-LED JV called BOE Pixey, first products to reach the market by the end of 2020

In early 2019 Rohinni announced a collaboration with China-based display maker BOE, and now the companies announced that they are launching the JV as a separate company called BOE Pixey, which will design and build micro-LED based LCD display backlights and direct-emission displays - focusing on large-area displays (32-inch and up).

Rohinni flexible Micro-LED lighting prototype photo

BOE Pixel will also develop related sensors for large-format displays. BOE Pixey integrates Rohinni's mini-LED and micro-LED manufacturing process with BOE's display panel production experience and leadership. The company says that first products that utilize its displays will reach the market in the second half of 2020.

Konka launches tiled large microLED TV displays - with the 236" 8K one priced at $1.25 million

China-based display maker Konka launched tiled large micro-LED displays, under the APHAEA brand. These are modular displays (similar to Samsung's The Wall and Sony' Crystal LED displays) and Konka demonstrated several possible configurations - including 118" 4K and 236" 8K.

Konka APHAEA microLED TV launch

Konka already announced the prices of its new TVs - the 118" 4K one costs around $240,000 while the 236" 8K TV costs $1.25 million. For those that think that this is extremely expensive, Konka says that the cost is around 30% cheaper than a comparable Samsung The Wall TV (Samsung is not disclosing the prices of these tailor made displays).

RitDisplay announces it is shifting its focus from PMOLED to MicroLED displays

In May 2019 PMOLED display maker RiTDisplay announced a strategic partnership and share swap with MicroLED developer PlayNitride, and RiT later said it aims to release its first product to the market in 2020.

PlayNitride high-brightness high-density passive-matrix wearable Micro-LED prototype (SID 2019)

RiT announced today that its revenues for the year (to date) were $47.1 million USD - a decrease of 32.4% compared to last year. The company's CEO says that its PMOLED sales has been affected by e-cigarette bans in the US, and the company is now shifting its focus to develop micro LED displays (and also mini-LED ones).

Guangzhou's local government to subsidize emerging display technology production - including MicroLED displays

The local government of China's Guangzhou province announced that it now offers large subsidies (up to $285 million USD per company) to encourage emerging technology production in the province.

LG Display 8.5-gen OLED TV fab in Guangzhou, China

The government announced a list of emerging display technologies - which include OLEDs, quantum dot displays, e-paper displays, graphene enhanced display technologies - and microLED displays.

Samsung Electronics said to mull a microLED TV mass production investment in 2020

According to ETNews, Samsung Electronics is considering to start investing in a microLED TV production facility and equipment in the first half of 2020. ETNews says that Samsung did not yet decide on the investment amount or its production output goals - but microLED equipment makers are hoping for Samsung's orders.

Samsung The Wall Luxury photo

If Samsung will indeed start to invest in microLED production in earnest, this will quite a surprise as microLED production costs are still very high and it is unlikely that prices will drop enough in the near future to appeal to the consumer market. There are also technical challenges yet to overcome.

PlayNitride qualifies its AIX G5+ C MOCVD system, places a follow-up order for another system

In January 2019 Aixtron and PlayNitride signed a joint-collaboration agreement to accelerate Micro-LED development and PlayNitride ordered an AIX G5+ C MOCVD system. Aixtron announced that the AIX G5+ C system is now fully qualified for production - and Playnitride placed a follow-up order for a second such system.

Aixtron G5+ C MOCVD system photo

Aixtron says that the G5+ C is an advanced advanced production tool that offers market leading wavelength uniformity to meet the tightened Micro LED market specifications in a batch reactor high-throughput environment. The system allows for the lowest defect and particle level in the industry due to an effective in-situ cleaning technology and the cassette-to-cassette handler which is essential for high yields. The G5+ C MOCVD was also recently ordered by Plessey for its own GaN-on-Silicon Micro-LED development and production.

RiTDisplay announces it will launch its first MicroLED displays in 2020

Taiwan-based PMOLED display maker RiTDisplay announced that it plans to launch its first MicroLED displays in 2020. RiTDisplay aims to mass produce wearable displays and hopes for receive meaningful revenues already in 2020.

In May 2019 RiTDisplay announced a strategic partnership and share swap with MicroLED developer PlayNitride. In June 2019 it was reported that a US-based smartwatch brand will start a design process in Q3 2019 using a micro-LED display that was co-developed by RiTDisplay and PlayNitride. RiT was reportedly to start shipping samples in Q4 2019.