LONDON—The market for micro light-emitting diode (microLED) displays may be negligible at the moment, but one researcher thinks it will quickly ramp up over the next seven years.
U.K. research firm Omdia predicts that global shipments for the displays will jump to more than 16 million units by 2027, led by smartwatch and television markets. MicroLED displays for smartwatches will exceed 10 million units by then, while shipments for the TVmarket will grow to more than 3.3 million.
MicroLEDs represent an emerging flat-panel display technology that employs arrays of microscopic LEDs to comprise the individual pixel elements. Compared to conventional LCD displays, microLED displays can deliver superior contrast, faster response times and reduced energy consumption. As mentioned, microLEDs also offer superior luminance efficiency compared to OLEDs. As a result, microLED technology is expected to emerge as a competitor to LCDs and OLED displays in applications ranging from wearable devices to televisions.
“Because of their superior luminance efficiency compared to rival organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays, microLED displays are expected to become the next self-emissive display technology,” said Jerry Kang, associate director at Omdia. “Numerous startups, display manufacturers and consumer brands now are developing their own microLED displays, devices and process in various sizes, ranging from medium-to-large sizes to ultra-small dimensions.”
MicroLEDs are showing up in a variety of emerging display formats. Taiwanese firm AU Optronics recently introduced a prototype 9.4-inch flexible display using blue microLED pixels under red and green color-conversion filters on low-temperature polysilicon (LTPS) plastic substrate. Plessey Semiconductors announced it will help Facebook prototype and develop new technologies for potential usage in the augmented reality/virtual reality space.
Samsung Electronics in 2018 introduced a prototype TV with a chip-on-board (COB) processed RGB microLED display. The company plans to launch the product this year. Samsung Display has also started development of quantum dot nanorod LED (QNED) technology, which applies nano-tube LEDs onto an oxide TFT glass substrate. Furthermore, many consumer brands are expected to release their own microLED displays or devices in the near future.
“The microLED market is poised for much more rapid growth once the technologies for manufacturing microLED chips—including mass transfer—gain more maturity,” Kang said. “The growing use of microLED display technology will push display makers to evolve away from current LCD and OLED display technologies.”
Omdia’s report is available at MicroLED Display Technology and Market – 2020 (opens in new tab).
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