【Exclusive Interview】Smaller yet More Powerful: Yenrich Aims to Be a Technology Leader in Next-Generation Displays with LED Miniaturization Solutions

Photo Credit: Yenrich
Advances in the development of LED products have led to gradual shrinking of chip size and the diversification of uses. Besides conventional lighting applications, next-generation display technologies have become a new opportunity for LED suppliers as well. Fine-pitch LED displays are now in growing demand not only because they offer higher resolutions and sharper details but also because the deployment of LED displays is shifting from outdoor to indoor settings.
Recognizing these new trends, Yenrich as a leading specialist in new LED packaging technologies is actively bolstering its presence in the market for next-generation displays. To take fine-pitch LED displays to a whole new level in terms of performance, Yenrich has been working on ways to overcome various technological bottlenecks as well as concentrating its efforts on the development of LED packages that lead the pixel pitch to less than 1mm.
Demand Rises for Fine-Pitch LED Displays Due to the Shift from Outdoor to Indoor Applications
In a recent interview with LEDinside, Li-yuan Huang, vice president of Yenrich’s sales and marketing division, said that LED displays and LCDs with LED backlight serve different application markets since they are structurally different. With regard to LED displays, Huang told LEDinside that most products on the market right now are divided between those with a pixel pitch of 2.5mm or wider and those with a pixel pitch of 2.5mm or smaller. The former specification standard is more mainstream and primarily applied to outdoor displays. Moreover, given the viewing distance for outdoor displays (i.e., 10-20m), the sizes of LED packages are relatively large for displays with a pixel pitch of 2.5mm or wider.
However, the trend in application development is moving toward LED displays for indoor venues. The viewing distance is significantly shorter in the indoor environment. For example, the average viewing distance for TVs is generally less than 2m. In the case of large video screens for central control rooms and enterprise war rooms, the viewing distance is 3-5m. Narrowing the viewing distance requires a corresponding reduction in the pixel pitch so as to raise the resolution, otherwise viewers are going to see grid lines on the screen (a.k.a., the window-pane effect).
Following this change in requirement to displays, Yenrich has been developing LED products for pixel pitches that are 0.9mm and smaller (i.e., 0.9-0.6mm) since 2019. Going forward, the company will be promoting technological solutions that enable “Super Narrow Pixel Pitch”.
Previously, a pixel pitch of 1.2mm was satisfactory for indoor LED displays. Why does Yenrich want to get ahead of the curve and offer products that are smaller than 1mm? Huang explained that Yenrich already decided to cross into next generations at the start of drawing up the roadmap for new products. By introducing solutions for Super Narrow Pixel Pitch, Yenrich is preparing itself for meeting the requirement related to 8K displays later on. With 8K, the pixel pitch has to be shrunk down to 0.4mm.
Huang added that demand continues to rise for LED products that offer a pixel pitch of less than 1mm. Take Yenrich’s 0.9375mm product as an example, it was not anticipated to take off in the market until this year, but the demand for it began to warm up during the second half of 2020 due to the easing of the COVID-19 pandemic. With enterprises and government agencies starting to widely adopt Mini LED displays for their central control rooms and enterprise war rooms, sales of the 0.9375mm product are growing in volume. Apart from these mentioned venues, indoor LED displays have also been installed in flagship stores of famous brands and deployed in home theater systems. On the whole, LED products for pixel pitches under 1mm are expected to penetrate deeper into the high-end segments of the display market in the near future.
Huang emphasized that while LED displays are mainly sold in the B2B marketplace, Yenrich is targeting more high-end and advanced applications. Therefore, Yenrich’s product strategy will continue to focus on miniaturizing pixel pitch. This approach, in turn, requires long-term investments in R&D.
Yenrich Speeds Up Miniaturization of LEDs with Unique Technologies and Materials
When asked about why Yenrich is able to manufacture LED products for pixel pitches under 1mm, Huang answered that Yenrich chose an innovative but challenging path at its establishment. Yenrich’s parent company is LED chip manufacturer EPISTAR, so most of EPISTAR’s clients are LED package manufacturers. Under the premise of avoiding direct competition with EPISTAR’s clients, Yenrich devotes its resources to the development of new technologies and new market segments. This way, the company is laying the foundation for manufacturers of whole devices and systems to adopt LED for high-end display applications.
To meet the requirements for high-end applications, Yenrich have selected technologies and materials that are different from the ones adopted for conventional LED packages. Specifically, other than conventional face-up chips, the LED chips that the company has adopted for its latest products are flip-chip. The flip-chip package offers several advantages over conventional LED packages. These include better heat dissipation, better performance at higher current levels, greater reliability, smaller package sizes and wire-bonding process free. On the other hand, there are significant challenges in the development of both package design and manufacturing process for flip-chip LEDs.
Even with the supply of LED chips and technological support from EPISTAR, Yenrich still has to continuously commit resources into the research of the production process and materials in order to maintain leadership in the manufacturing of high-quality LEDs that enable a pixel pitch of less than 1mm.
A prime example of Yenrich’s technological leadership is its proprietary SiT bonding process. SiT, which stands for “Semiconductor Integration Technology”, leverages a modified semiconductor manufacturing process to transfer miniaturized LED chips onto circuit boards and bond them at the same time. Also, to further streamline the production process and lower costs, Yenrich has developed a COB (chip-on-board) technology for backplanes with a large surface area. This solution is aimed at the market segment for large-size displays.
Yenrich has packaging solutions for different types of end products. The company’s offerings include POB (package-on-board) for fine-pitch displays, COB for advanced display technologies, and COG (chip-on-glass) for miniaturized LED. Moreover, the company can provide integration solutions that are suited for specific backplane materials and applications.
Ennostar group teamed up with Leyard Optoelectronic to form a joint-venture company and build a production plant in Liangxi District of the Chinese city of Wuxi. Leyard is an LED display manufacturer from Mainland China, and this alliance is expected to benefit customers in terms of raising production capacity, lowering production cost, and meeting clients’ demand.
As mentioned earlier, with its own packaging and bonding technologies and EPISTAR’s flip-chip technology, Yenrich can lock onto high-end applications and formulate a blue ocean strategy. The company touts that it is ahead of its global competitors in terms of innovation, and the 0.9375mm product is a proof of this claim. In 2019, Yenrich and one of its clients jointly launched the 0.9375mm product. With this feat, Yenrich became the first and only company in the world to release an mini LED package that attains a pixel pitch of less than 1 mm. Now, Yenrich is continuing its efforts in narrowing pixel pitch. The company is expected to achieve more technological breakthroughs and bring more amazing new products to its customers in the display industry.
Yenrich Will Unveil Three Standard-Setting LED Products at Touch Taiwan
At this year’s edition of the display industry trade show Touch Taiwan, Yenrich will be holding an exhibition to present three products related to smart display technologies. The first product is a Mini LED display featuring a 16-in-1 RGB LED packaging technology with a pixel pitch of 0.46mm. Huang said that by narrowing the pixel pitch to 0.46mm, Yenrich is one step closer to reaching 8K in resolution. This 16-in-1 package therefore has the potential to become a key solution in the development of LED displays. Although the penetration rate of 8K displays is still rather low, Yenrich wants to be the first to release related LED products so that the market will recognize that it has the technologies to attain this specification standard. In the future, when the demand for 8K displays starts to take off, Yenrich will be in the position to effectively meet the needs of the market.
In addition to the 16-in-1 RGB Mini LED package, Yenrich will also be presenting two other products at this year’s Touch Taiwan. They are 0404 RGB Mini LED package and 4-in-1 RGB Mini LED package. These two products feature improvements over their previous versions from last year. Taken altogether, the three products that will be shown at the event reflect Yenrich’s commitment to bringing new experience to the market and consumers through ongoing while ever-improving R&D.
Ennostar Event Site:https://bit.ly/3uTBbZy
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