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.

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.

Yole: microLED shipments to reach over 125 million panels by 2027

Market analysts at Yole Developpement say that microLED shipments will reach over 125 million panels by 2027. In their aggressive scenario, shipments will reach almost 450 million.

MicroLED panel shipments forecast (2021-2027, Yole)

Yole says that microLED technologies are advancing rapidly - and on all fronts, but there are still many challenges to overcome before mass production arrives. MicroLED makes a strong case for the AR, smartwatch and automotive market. For the smartphones and TV markets it is less clear whether MicroLEDs could succeed.

Foxconn reportedly cancels its microLED display project

A few months ago we reported that Taiwan-based Foxconn is increasing its Micro-LED involvement, but now a new report from Taiwan says that the company canceled its microLED R&D project as it aims to improve its profitability.

Foxconn production line photo

Foxconn had an internal team that aimed to develop microLED displays for smartwatches and smartphones. Foxconn stopped the funding, and the team failed to find outside financing and so had to disband.

PlayNitride aims to raise a further $100 million for microLED display volume production in 2020

In July 2019 Taiwan-based microLED developer PlayNitride raised $50 million to start trial production of microLED displays. The company now says it seeks to raise over $100 million more as it will require large funds to initiate mass production.

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

PlayNitride is considering several production models - from constructing its own production lines, through a joint-venture with strategic partners to the licensing of its technology. The main goal of the company is to start production as soon as possible. The company hopes mass production can begin by the end of 2020.