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. Samsung keeps improving its microLED TV range, with more size options and lower prices, although the displays are still extremely costly and are still in the realm of the ultra-premium segment.
The latest Samsung MicroLED news:
Samsung Electronics introduced two new MicroLED TVs sized 101-inch and 91-inch. Samsung's 2022 MicroLED TV range will include the 91-, 101- and 110-inch microLED TVs (the 110-inch already started shipping in 2021).
Samsung planned to introduce even smaller microLED TVs, but high prices delayed these plans. The 2022 microLED range features 20-bit contrast processing, 100% DCI-P3 and Adobe-RGB color gamut, up to four HDMI inputs and Dolby sound.
According to The Elec, Samsung Electronics plans to ramp up its microLED TV production next month, and aims to produce around 200 MicroLED TVs (110-inch in size)- up from about a dozen such TVs it currently produces monthly.
The report suggests that Samsung aims to "gauge market reception" for its MicroLED TVs, before it commits to launching smaller-sized microLEDs. During Q1 2022 it will showcase these TVs at several trade shows.
According to reports from Korea, Samsung Display recently approached AU Optronics with a request to develop a 12.7" microLED LTPS TFT backplane to be used in Samsung's MicroLED TVs.
These new backplanes will be used in Samsung's 2022 microLED TVs. This will be a change from Samsung's current microLED TVs that use printed circuit boards (PCBs), and will allow Samsung to release TVs with higher pixel densities, and thus enable smaller 4K TVs. According to the report, Samsung's plan is to launch 89-inch, 101-inch and 114-inch LTPS-based microLED TVs in 2022.
According to a new report from Korea, Samsung Electronics canceled its plans to release these smaller microLED TVs, as the company could not reduce prices enough and the asking price for a 77" microLED would not be attractive to customers.
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.