Another technology outlet, Mini LED will reshape the LCD industry!
Since 2018, the news of “breakthroughs” and “new products” has been coming out for Mini LED. Recently, Mini LED is gaining popularity. BOE Chairman Chen Yanshun proposed that Mini LED technology will break out in the next two or three years, which is the future direction of the panel industry. Zhang Xin, vice president of TCL Huaxing Optoelectronics, stated publicly that next year will be the first year of active development of Mini LED TVs, and it will also be a flashpoint. Mini LED has attracted great attention from various manufacturers. Does this mean that the air outlet is about to usher in an explosion?
Boosting LCD Product Innovation
Mini LED, also known as sub-millimeter light-emitting diode, is the same as Micro LED, which is based on the tiny LED crystal particles as the pixel light-emitting point display technology. Mini LED inherits the characteristics of high efficiency, high reliability, high brightness and fast response time of small-pitch LEDs. It has the advantages of brighter colors, higher definition, thinner volume and longer life. At the same time, its technical difficulty is lower than Micro LED, which is easier to mass produce. Compared with OLED, Mini LED also has advantages in terms of yield, cost, energy saving effect and display performance.
Under the situation that the traditional LCD is weak and the OLED market is not yet mature, can Mini LED fight a overturn with the overcapacity of LCD? For LCD panel manufacturers, more panel manufacturers are involved in the layout and development of Mini LED, which will help In order to promote product upgrades and improve profitability, TFT glass-driven Mini LED backlights also need to use existing LCD panel production capacity, which will play a role in alleviating excess production capacity.
Sigmaintell senior analyst Liu Jiansheng said in an interview with "China Electronics News" reporter that Mini LED backlight combined with high-end LCD screen, as the new technology direction of LCD display products, can achieve higher partition and finer picture Quality, enhance the competitiveness of liquid crystal display products in high-end products, narrow the performance difference with OLED display products, and is expected to promote the innovation of liquid crystal display products.
Yu Chao, research deputy general manager of TrendForce, also said in an interview with a reporter from China Electronics News that for the LCD panel industry with overcapacity, Mini LED backlight technology undoubtedly provides a higher-end technology option. Panel makers can get rid of the unprofitable dilemma by increasing unit prices.
Attract upstream and downstream manufacturers
At present, chip, packaging, panel and terminal application manufacturers in the upstream and downstream of the industry chain are closely deployed and linked. Judging from the current layout of manufacturers, in terms of upstream chip manufacturers, Mini LED driver products such as Juji, Sanan and Huacan have entered the shipping stage; midstream packaging manufacturers, midstream packaging manufacturers, Everlight, National Star, Hongqi and Ruifeng's products have completed acceptance and started shipping; among downstream panel makers, BOE will officially launch MiniLED backlight products with glass substrates next year. TCL Huaxing has displayed a 15.6-inch Mini-LED notebook display. Huacan Optoelectronics' Mini LED products have taken the lead in mass production in the market. Ruifeng Optoelectronics has built the first Mini LED automated production line in China; among terminal application manufacturers, Sony, Samsung, TCL, Konka, Liad and other TV manufacturers, Apple, Huawei, Xiaomi, OPPO and other mobile phone manufacturers have set foot in the Mini LED field, successively Launched various Mini LED application products. For example, Konka released the "APHAEA Future Screen", which is a direct display method of Mini LED.
Mini LED backlit display can provide better picture contrast and higher brightness than traditional LCD display. Many terminal manufacturers hope to use Mini LED backlight to increase the value of their products and increase their competitiveness with products equipped with OLED panels. Chu Yuchao said that for terminal manufacturers at this stage, they really need a high-end product with higher reliability than OLED to stimulate consumer purchases. Therefore, technological upgrades combined with high-end market positioning have attracted many manufacturers to flood in. Liu Jiansheng also proposed that for terminal application manufacturers, the technical path choices of high-end TV products will be more diversified, especially for TV brand manufacturers without OLED panel resources. Mini LED backlight TVs will greatly optimize their positioning in the high-end market and improve Brand image to improve profitability.
Cost reduction needs urgent research
The most critical problem of Mini LED backlight is still cost considerations. Compared with traditional LED backlights, the number of chips used in Mini LED backlights has increased by hundreds of times. Therefore, the cost of materials, the number of times of making parts, and the yield are all key factors affecting cost. . "So how quickly the industry can reduce the cost of Mini LED backlight will determine the speed of Mini LED penetration." Chu Yuchao said.
Under the circumstances that the LED and LCD industries are facing overcapacity and unprecedented profit pressure, the application of Mini LED technology can improve product performance to enhance product competitiveness, thereby increasing profitability. For panel manufacturers, Mini LED backlight with high-end panels, to shape higher-end products, have the opportunity to get rid of the "cabbage price" dilemma. For terminal manufacturers, Mini LED backlight technology has more suppliers than OLED panels, and it also avoids the dilemma of monopoly by a few manufacturers.
2020 or the first year of the outbreak
In 2019, Mini LED's various technical routes are advancing by leaps and bounds, and the small-pitch market continues to explode. Commercial display applications are in the ascendant. 5G, 8K, and AI technology enablement all bring new opportunities for the development of the LED industry. The LEDinside report points out that MiniLED will gradually be introduced into industrial applications and begin to accelerate penetration. In 2019, MiniLED will be imported into areas including automotive panels, mobile phones and large-size panels. It is estimated that by 2023, downstream devices equipped with its technology will grow to 80.7 million Taiwan, driving the MiniLED market size to 1 billion US dollars.
The application scenarios of Mini LED in the domestic market are mainly concentrated in the fields of video conferencing, information release, command monitoring, and commercial display. According to Liu Jiansheng, from the perspective of the backlight technology, Mini LED applications will be mainly used in medium and large sizes. In addition to TVs, high-end products such as displays, notebooks, and automobiles are also promising. Later, with the maturity of technology and the release of production capacity, Mini LED display applications will bring a broad market space.
For large-size display technology, liquid crystal is a very mature technology that has entered the ordinary family. Although Micro LED has perfect picture quality performance, but the cost is too high, there is still some way to go in the future. In contrast, OLED will develop faster, but before OLED and QLED mature, in order to meet everyone's increasing demand for picture quality, Mini LED TV will be introduced to the market faster. Zhang Xin, vice president of TCL Huaxing Optoelectronics, publicly stated that 2020 will be the first year of active development of Mini LED TVs, and it will also be a flashpoint.
Chu Yuchao believes that it is expected that in the first half of 2020, screens and laptop displays for gaming will be introduced with Mini LED backlight, and some TV manufacturers hope to launch Mini LED-backlit TVs in 2020. In addition, some terminal manufacturers also hope to introduce Mini LED backlight into tablet computers and automotive displays. It is expected that more and more products will come out in the next 2-3 years.