【Exclusive Interview】Breaking Barriers, EPISTAR Unveils RGB Mini LED That Leads the Trend in WCG with Pure Color and Multi-Primary-Color Displays


Photo Credit: EPISTAR
Exhibitions and conferences on the LED industry in the recent years have mainly revolved around the topics of pixel pitch and price. The reduction of pixel pitch, in particular, has been the common goal of all companies involved in the supply chain for LED displays. As a leading manufacturer for LED chips, EPISTAR continues to launch new and advanced solutions for smaller pitches every year. At this year’s edition of the display industry trade show Touch Taiwan, EPISTAR will be presenting its latest fine-pitch technology and a lot more.
For the upcoming event, EPISTAR will be introducing LED technologies that enable display systems to feature higher image quality, higher color saturation, and wider color gamut than ever before. The company intends to significantly raise the position of LED in the display market by taking up the challenge of attaining the high level of image quality that is defined by Rec. 2020. The ultimate aim is to demonstrate to the industry and public that the use of LED displays is no longer limited to viewing low-definition images and texts from a distance. Instead, LED displays are capable of accurately reproducing a diverse range of colors and images that are visible to the human eyes. Furthermore, their deployment is no longer impeded by spatial and other constraints of the indoor and outdoor environments.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the running of international trade shows, it will not diminish the excitement surrounding EPISTAR’s exhibition at Touch Taiwan. There are three major sections in EPISTAR’s exhibition: (1) RGB Mini LED signage, (2) Mini LED product that produces pure colors via the processing of green light, and (3) multi-primary-color technology.
LEDinside took the opportunity to invite Dr. Shao-You Deng and Dr. Yung-Hsin Lin from EPISTAR for an exclusive interview. Dr. Deng is the Senior Director of the company’s Product Management Group, while Dr. Lin is the Senior Engineer of the company’s PM Group FAE. The following is their discussion about EPISTAR’s latest strategy for the display market as well as the emerging (and unforeseen) applications for LED displays.
EPISTAR’s RGB Mini LED Signage Challenges the Limitations in the Efforts to Narrow Pixel Pitch
The adoption of Mini LED took off in 2020, and since then the technology has been incorporated into many different types of electronic devices. The use of Mini LED for self-emissive displays is therefore an irreversible trend. And just what advantages does Mini LED bring? Compared with conventional signage that uses face up chips, RGB Mini LED signage features flip chips. This packaging method enhances light emission and heat dissipation. Furthermore, flip-chip LEDs offer a higher image quality that is more suitable for viewing at a closer distance.
On the other hand, there are challenges in the manufacturing of Mini LED chips. Critical issues related to soldering materials, chip protection, etc. appear when chips are shrunk to less than 100μm in size. These issues raise the level of difficulty and complexity for chip packaging and device assembly. Dr. Deng pointed out that further considerations on the chip packaging process have led to the development of a four-in-one package format for Mini LED chips. While the pitch is reduced further, the original tiny Mini LED chips are also provided with a larger package. Therefore, it is technically easier to assemble RGB pixel onto a backplane with the four-in-one package.
If the cost of a self-emissive LED display is calculated as price per unit area, then a reduction in pixel pitch will lead to a corresponding increase in cost. The reason is that the number of pixels in a given area goes up as the distance between pixels becomes shorter. From the technological standpoint, even though shrinking chip size will cut material cost, there is still a rise in the total cost. This is due to an increase in difficulty and complexity for other manufacturing processes such as backplane production and die bonding.
In the short term, technical and technological hurdles in the manufacturing process will keep prices high for Mini LED displays. However, prices will drop over the long run because the industry will be providing more mature solutions, and consumers will have higher expectations for display quality. Once the sweet spot is reached, the market acceptance of Mini LED displays will start to take off.
EPISTAR’s Pure Color and Multi-Primary-Color Display Technologies Will Challenge Existing Opinions
Besides showing its technological prowess with the solution for fine-pitch displays, EPISTAR will also make wider color gamut and higher color saturation the points of focus at this year’s Touch Taiwan. The company plans to leverage the latest LED technologies to take signage beyond their existing applications. Not only does EPISTAR want LED displays to match laser projectors in terms of color performance, the company also intends to push LED displays into more niche and innovative market segments.
Dr. Deng and Dr. Lin offered some extraordinary insights when they talked about the differences between the current and past generations of LED displays with respect to color rendering, or when they highlighted breakthroughs in the current understanding and imagination about LED displays.
“When thinking about new display systems and monitors, consumers want higher color saturation, more detailed images, and specifications that meet or exceed Rec. 2020,” said Dr. Lin. It should be noted that Rec. 2020 is a standard for projectors, TVs, and video broadcasting systems that can deliver UHD content. The color space defined by Rec. 2020 is wider than the color space defined by DCI-P3. Therefore, meeting this more advanced standard has been quite challenging in the development of display systems.
However, from the perspective of application development, LED displays have evolved from serving as simple information displays in the past to serving as high-end displays for venues such as theaters and museums at the present time. Other new uses include security monitoring and even backdrops for shooting videos. Display users therefore have increasingly higher demand and requirements for color gamut, color saturation, and image resolution. This is why EPISTAR wants to present pure color and multi-primary-colors display technologies in addition to solutions for smaller pixel pitches.
To achieve the cinematic standard for color rendering, display specifications have to meet DCI-P3 or Rec. 2020. Since Rec. 2020 is the higher standard, the LED chip for processing the green light of a RGB pixel has to have a broader  gamut area within the color space. The wider the gamut, the more colors can be shown.
For Mini LED displays, EPISTAR is doing more than just expanding the color gamut of the LED chip that processes green light. The company is also attempting to exceed the limits of the color space for conventional display systems with a multi-primary-color technology. Earlier, Sharp added amber to LCD backlight so that the gamut can become wider and expand toward a new direction instead of being confined within the triangular shape of the original RGB gamut. Now, EPISTAR is offering a new solution that is progressed for the self-emission display. The multi-primary-color technology that it will be introducing at Touch Taiwan is expected to break the barriers that have constrained the performances of conventional display systems.
EPISTAR has never stopped trying to surpass its previous technological achievements and is pushing the limits of what display systems can bring to the viewing public. This is the main theme that the company will be emphasizing at this year’s Touch Taiwan. Its upcoming exhibition is thus highly anticipated by industry participants. Still, as the saying goes, seeing is believing. Readers are therefore cordially invited to attend the trade show and see for themselves the secret weapons that EPISTAR has developed for the technological competition in the display market.
Ennostar Event Site:https://bit.ly/3uTBbZy
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