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IHS: MicroLED Market to Grow as Manufacturing Costs Dip

LONDON—In 2019 and 2020, microLED shipments are projected to total less than 1,000, but a rapid ascension is on the horizon, per IHS Markit’s new report, “Micro LED Display Technology & Market.” By 2026, IHS says that the global market for microLED displays will jump to 15.5 million units, with the key contributing factor being the declines in manufacturing costs that will make the technology suitable for the mass market.

As manufacturing prices drop, so will the pricing for microLED products, which will eventually include smart watches, televisions, AR systems and smartphones. As an example of the dramatic decline in manufacturing price, IHS says that the cost to make a 75-inch TV display with the technology will drop to one-fifth of its current price by 2026; for a 1.5-inch smart watch display, the drop could be as much as one-tenth.

MicroLEDs, which are comprised of microscopic LEDs that each represent an individual pixel, are an emissive display technology that generate their own light, eliminating the need for backlight. They are also said to appear much brighter than OLEDs.

The manufacturing of microLEDs is expected to reach maturity by 2024.

“Despite the growth in acceptance, microLED shipments in 2026 will still amount to just 0.4% of the global flat-panel display market,” said Jerry Kang, associate director at IHS. “However, with shipments of nearly 16 million units that year, microLED will have entered mass-market territory, setting the stage for much wider acceptance during the following years.”

The full report from IHS is available here.