At IFA 2019, TCL demonstrated its "The Cinema Wall" Micro-LED display - a 132" 4K display which features very high brightness (1,500 nits) and a wide color gamut. This is a tiled display that TCL demonstrated before at CES 2019. The display itself is produced by TCL's subsidiary CSoT.
AU Optronics president, Paul Peng, says that he expects Micro-LED displays to enter the market within 1-2 years. The first displays will be large-area signage and small-sized VR displays. Micro-LEDs for the automotive market will take longer to commercialize - around 5 years.
AUO recently demonstrated a 12.1" LTPS micro-LED display prototype that features a resolution of 1920x720 (169 PPI). AUO discloses that this display was produced using the company's self-developed transfer process that can move 50,000 - 60,000 LEDs per transfer (AUO did not detail the time it takes to perform a single transfer, though). AUO is now developing repair technology to take care of damaged LEDs.
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.
Display signage company Daktronics introduced its first mini-LED display, branded as the Optica. The company says that it achieved a resolution "similar to LCD display resolution" but at much higher brightness levels (6,000 nits) while drawing half the power. Daktronics actually calls this a Micro-LED display, but as the pixel pitch is 0.9mm, it cannot really be called a micro-LED.
It is not clear whether Daktronics produces the display panel itself, and how close it is to commercialize this technology. Daktronics says that it is possible to scale up its Optica displays (to pretty much unlimited sizes) - a Full-HD (1080x1920) Optical display will be 1.037 x 1.8434 meter in size, while a 4K one will be 2.074x3.686 meters.
n-tech Research says that the Micro-LED market will emerge in 2019, with sales reaching $2.7 billion. The market will grow very quickly to reach over $70 billion in 2027.
n-Tech says that the immediate markets for Micro-LED displays will be near-eye displays (AR/VR), automotive HUDs and projectors - as these will benefit mostly from the small size, low weight, high brightness and high resolution of Micro-LED displays. Wearables (smartwatches) is another lucrative market (n-Tech sees $1.6 billion in smartwatch Micro-LED display sales in 2022).
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.
According to LEDsInside, Korea-based LED developer Lumens has begun to produce small and large-area micro-LED display prototypes, and it plans to demonstrate these prototypes at CES 2018 (January 2018).
Lumens focuses on automotive HUD displays and digital signage. The small HUD display is a 0.57-inch VGA (640x480) display (either VGA or 720p, it's not clear) that uses 8 μm LED chips while the signage display is a 100" panel that uses LEDs which are 300x100 μm.
Digitimes reports that Taiwan's Electronic and Optoelectronic System Research Laboratories (EOSRL, part of ITRI) has launched a project that brings together PlayNitride, LED driver IC designer Macroblock and PCB maker Unimicron. The project aims to develop high-density Micro-LED displays.
EOSRL plans to demonstrate first large-size signage display prototypes in H1 2018 with trial production to begin by the end of 2018.