Sony, based in Japan, is one of the leading consumer electronics companies in the world. Sony has been a pioneer in display industries for many years.
In 2012 Sony demonstrated the first micro-LED TV (55", Full-HD) which they termed Crystal-LED. Sony's 55" Crystal-LED never reached the market, but in 2016 the company unveiled its large-area outdoor micro-LED displays which Sony calls Canvas Display, or CLEDIS.
CLEDIS displays are based on modular tiles (each 403 x 453 mm in size with a resolution of 320x360). The pixel pitch is 1.2 mm and the emitting area is 1% - which enables very high contrast ratios. The peak luminance of CLEDIS displays is 1,000 nits. The company is shipping these displays commercially and demonstrated two large CLEDIS displays at ISE 2018.
The latest Sony MicroLED news:
Sony was the first company to introduce micro-LED large-area displays with its launch of the Crystal LED (also called Canvas LED, or CLEDIS) displays in 2016. Now Sony is introducing this groundbreaking display type to the residential market.
Crystal LED displays are made from tiled LED modules, each 403x453 mm in size and with a resolution of 320x360. The displays offer HDR support (peak luminance is 1,000 nits), 10-bit grayscale support, high frame rate (up to 120p) and a freedom of design.
HDTVTest posted an interesting video showing Sony's 110" Crystal-LED micro-LED display at Sony's Basingstoke UK office, at a joint event organized with AWE, a Sony distributor in Europe. The reviewer is highly positive about Sony's Micro-LED display quality:
AWE offers Sony's Crystal LED displays, which are custom made, but the company did release a general price guideline:
- 146" display - 350,000 Euro ($390,000)
- 182" display - 500,000 Euro ($550,000)
- 219" display - 700,000 Euro ($780,000).
The Society of Information Display (SID) revealed its 2019 display industry award winners, and interestingly two out of the three Display Of The Year Awards went to Micro-LED displays.
First up we have Samsung's modular The Wall display, made up of tiled and seamless micro-LED modules. The Wall was unveiled in January 2018 in a 146-inch installation. The Wall was officially launched in June 2018 when Samsung started to accept pre-orders, aiming to find customers in lobbies, museums, galleries, and retail spaces. It is estimated that the price of the 146" model is around $100,000. The Wall Professional features HDR 10+ and a peak brightness of 2,000 nits.
Sony is set to install the world's largest micro-LED display - 16K (15360x4320) 19.2 x 5.4 meters "CLEDIS" panel that was installed at Shiseido new research center in Yokohama, Japan.
Sony is also creating its own 16K content specifically for this display, using a method it call “demosaicing” to create “quad ultra-high definition” footage.
The Netherlands-based sustainable building developer EDGE Technologies has installed a Sony Crystal LED display at the company's headquarter, the EDGE Olympic office building in Amsterdam.
The custom-build display at the EDGE office is 3.2 x 1.8 meters in size, with a resolution of 2560x1440 pixels. Sony's Crystal LED is built from tiled 403x453 mm (320x360) micro-LED modules.
Sony demonstrated two of its Micro-LED Crystal-LED "CLEDIS" integrated displays at ISE 2018. Sony's main displays at ISE was a large 8K x 2K Crystal-LED display, that reportedly was very impressive. Sony also demonstrated a small "Baby" Crystal-LED display, about 120-inch in size, at its booth.
According to Sony employees at the booth, the large CLEDIS took around 50 hours to build, and the cost of such a display is around $1.8 million. The smaller CLEDIS at around 120" will cost bout $500,000. I wish to thank Omar Ayers for providing the photos and the information from ISE.
Yole Developpement published an interesting article discussing the patent landscape of the MicroLED industry. As of today, almost 1,500 MicroLED patents were filed by 125 companies and organization. The overall corpus has an average of 3.2 years, which makes these patents quite new.
The initial micro-LED patents, filed at around 2000-2001, were mostly by a variety of research institutes, by large companies such as Sony and Sharp but also by startups such as Luxvue (acquired by Apple). The activity in this field is still led mostly by startups, and with the exception of Sony and Sharp, mature display makers are relative latecomers.
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.