MicroLED technology is a next-generation emissive display technology that promises highly efficient and bright displays that offer superior image quality with infinite contrast and a wide color gamut.
MicroLED can be applied to displays of many kinds - from small displays for smartwatches and AR devices to large-area TV displays. MicroLED displays are often compared to OLED displays - the main display technology that it is rivaling.
Samsung MicroLED displays
Samsung Display and Samsung Electronics are mostly interested in microLED technology for TV applications, but the company is also developing other microLED display technologies, including ones for smaller displays which may one day power wearables, smartphones, tablets and laptops and monitors.
For the TV market, Samsung has two R&D initiatives. First up uses what should be called mini-LED chips to create large-area tiled microLED displays (more on this below). Samsung's LED chip supplier is San'an Optoelectronics. Samsung is also developing finer-pitch displays which will target more consumer-sized solutions.
Samsung The Wall microLED TV
Samsung's microLED TV product range, made from tiled display modules, is called The Wall. The company is offering a commercial display (The Wall Business) and a 'consumer' one (The Wall Luxury), although both displays are still very expensive.
The latest Samsung MicroLED news:
Many believe that MicroLED technology will emerge as the next-generation display technology, and one of the first markets for such displays is the TV market. Several companies already offer microLED TVs - which you can already buy today. Assuming you have the money and a large enough room, that is.
As is often the case with new technologies, especially in the display industry, the first few years are marked with extremely high prices and limited selection. MicroLED TVs are no exception - as of 2021, they target the very high-end premium market, with very large TVs and prices starting at around $100,000.
But let's assume you really want to buy a microLED TV and can afford it. What are your options today?
Samsung electronics announced a new partnership with CJ ENM, to install a large microLED The Wall display at CJ ENM's studio which will enable a 'virtual production studio'.
The main display in the new studio will be a 20-meter diameter oval-shaped The Wall microLED displays, with a height of seven meters. The idea is that this will create a "seemingly endless backdrop to capture content."
According to a new report from Korea, Samsung plans to build a new TV production line in Vietnam, that will be dedicate to microLED TV production. The new plant will begin production in 2022, and will be used to produce its upcoming smaller 77-inch and 88-inch TVs. Samsung is also expanding its facility in Vietnam which is currently used to produce the 110-inch microLED TVs.
Samsung aims to reduce the production costs of its MicroLED TVs, and has launched a project that will develop a TFT backplane for its future TVs (to replace the currently used PCBs). The company hopes that this will enable it to reduce the production costs of its microLED TVs to the level of its 8K QLEDs. This sounds a bit optimistic, at least for TVs in sizes such as 77-inch or 88-inch.
Samsung unveils a new microLED The Wall display, with upgraded performance, smaller LEDs and a thinner profile
Samsung Electronics announced a new microLED The Wall IWA display module, that offers upgraded performance and a thinner profile compared to its current displays. It has installed the first such display at its Suwon office, a 1,000-inch display (8K resolution).
Samsung says that the new module uses LED chips that are 40% smaller compared to current models (for which the chip size is around 100 um so the new ones are likely to be around 60 um). The new TVs support a refresh rate of 120Hz, 8K resolution, a brightness of 1,600 nits and a new enhanced AI processor.
Samsung unveiled its TV lineup for 2021 in its Unbox & Discover 2021 event. Included in this new lineup are two new MicroLED TVs aimed for the residential consumer market.
Samsung will start selling its MicroLED TVs by the end of the month (March 2021), with two models - 110-inch and 99-inch in size. In the fall Samsung will release a 88-inch model, and it also revealed that it has a 76-inch model on its future roadmap.
Towards the end of 2020, Samsung announced it's first "consumer"110-inch 4K MicroLED TV. It's not really for regular consumers with a price tag of around $150,000 - but this is a step forward in Samsung's goal to advance its MicroLED display technology.
Samsung now announced that its Micro-LED TVs will also be available in 99-inch sizes - and even smaller ones by the end of the year.
Samsung Electronics is now accepting pre-orders for its upcoming 110-inch 4K MicroLED TV, in Korea.
Customers who pre-order the TV (the price is 170 million Won, or about $155,000) will get a special bundle (home cinema package, refrigerator package or a travel package to Jeju island) in addition to a 7-year warranty (this will likely to be extended to all customers). Shipment will begin in March 2021.