【Touch Taiwan 2022】Partnerships between Giants to Create Win-Win Micro/Mini LED Display Solutions

Touch Taiwan 2022 kicked off on April 27 in Taipei, centering on the theme “Features on Cross Industry Integration , the Future of Displays”, during which major players––such as Ennostar, Macroblock, AUO and PlayNitride––showcased various products which they have spent years to make.

Ennostar

Ennostar focused on displays and sensing. The first thing catching visitors’ eyes was an ultra fine pitch display featuring 0404 RGB LED. The LED manufacturing group also exhibited solutions for small and large displays powered by 0202 / 0303 / 0404 RGB LEDs.

Ennostar has partnered with AUO and Innolux to invest NTD 10 billion in establishing a Micro LED plant in Miaoli, Taiwan, aiming at video wall, TV and AR markets. Therefore, the company presented their 6- and 8-inch Micro LEDs following the chip-on-wafer (COW) process, which are available for both 6-inch GaN on sapphire and 8-inch GaN on Si wafer processes, depending on customers’ needs. As TrendForce’s sources reveal, customers mostly ask their suppliers to transfer the Micro LED wafer on a carrier (i.e., chip on carrier; COC 1); Ennostar has accordingly optimized the bump pad to improve transfer yield.

Micro LED has been seen as next-gen display technology, QD Micro LED displays have shown much better image reproduction this year.

The other focus, namely automotive displays, came with direct-lit models meeting the demand for HDR, local dimming and wide color gamut features. For example, Ennostar showcased an impressive automotive display with 384 dimming zones. Meanwhile, the LED manufacturer also unveiled a display with 60% transparency for HUD and car window display applications.

Moreover, the 27-inch monitor with Mini LED backlights and 17.3-inch Mini LED notebook on site boast 512 dimming zones. For cost and yield concerns, the size of their chips is likely to be switched to 07x12mil or 06x18mil.

Additionally, Ennostar demonstrated intelligent ambient lighting, horticulture lighting, infrared sensing and UV LED products. The presented intelligent ambient light is composed of RGB LED (Chip Size: 12x12mil) engineered with built-in driver ICs, boasting simplified circuitry, high application flexibility as well as full-color mixing and dynamic scenario display, which is likely being used for gaming display applications. The company’s 660nm red chip–– a must for horticulture lighting––boasts a WPE as high as 80%. Regarding its IR LED, the manufacturer adopts large-size 45mil chips featuring dual-junction chip structure for greater brightness, which are compatible with driver/occupant monitoring systems (DMS/OMS).

Macroblock

To achieve better image quality, gaming display makers have adopted full-array local dimming backlights for their Mini LED products. Unlike conventional backlight technologies, the “infographics” nature enables full-array local dimming Mini LED backlights to achieve HDR and independent control of local dimming zones. However, Mini LED backlights are prone to flickering and uneven brightness without variable refresh rates, consequently weakening the perceived level of entertainment in gamers. To solve the problems, Macroblock added the variable refresh rate function to its MBI5359 driver IC to effectively process Vsync. signals when being applied to both static and scan-based Mini LED backlit displays, thereby creating excellent visual experiences for gamers.

In addition to demonstrating the application of multi-zone Mini LED backlight technologies in everyday life and advanced gaming visual experiences, Macroblock has set up a gaming booth featuring its curved fine pitch display (0.75mm), allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves into the game’s world.

Following trends of thin design, HDR, local dimming and wide color gamut, notebook companies have more often applied Mini LEDs to their products. At its booth, Macroblock exhibited a 16-inch NB with 512 dimming zones powered by the MBI6334 driver IC featuring 64-channel and 8-scan. To achieve better current transmission and brightness, an NB shall be equipped with two such driver ICs that have been mass produced by several gaming NB makers.

Similarly, the 27-inch gaming monitor comes with 512 dimming zones (4 LEDs per zone) and the MBI6353 driver IC featuring 48-channel 4-scan design; the company has been providing driver ICs for its clients in China. The exhibited automotive display––powered by the MBI6353Q––also features HDR, local dimming and wide color gamut; the AEC-Q100-certified driver IC will be launched in 2H22.

As TV brands including Samsung, LG, TCL, Sharp, Sony, Skyworth and Huawei strive to stimulate the Mini LED market development, Macroblock displayed a 75-inch 4K TV boasting 2,880 diming zones powered by the MBI6329 with 48-channel 8-scan design, thereby achieving HDR together with its clients.

AUO

AUO presented different lineups from AM to PM solutions for the first time, including a transparent display, a 54-inch TV/video wall, a virtual production studio and a sphere full-flight simulator engineered with its ALED technology.

The 17-inch transparent Micro LED display combines physical objects with digital images. For example, the transparent display on site comes with an actual model of Taipei 101 and projections of animated fireworks. The presented fireworks will move accordingly when the viewer moves to the front right or left sides, allowing the animation be presented right in front of them. In addition to creating interactive entertainment experiences for the audience, AUO has thoughtfully applied a matte surface to the transparent display to mitigate glare issues.

Transparent displays can also present information, which are highly suitable for retail store displays and vehicle window displays. The Micro LED display can be applied to smart vehicles in the future, facilitating the combination of mobility and communication for ADAS and autonomous vehicles as well as car sharing.

As Samsung Electronics strives for the development of AM Micro LED The Wall, LTPC supplier AUO showcased its 54-inch P0.625 FHD TV/video wall with sixteen 13.6-inch LTPS displays. The product has three major features. First, AUO’s A.R.T (Advanced Reflectionless Technology) features a unique surface structure that can reduce direct glare even in an environment with high light intensity, thereby ensuring excellent image quality. Guaranteeing realistic tone reproduction plus desirable saturation and contrast, the surface design also helps reduce ambient light interference; the pure black display is as good as that of OLED. Additionally, the video wall has as 2,000 nits of brightness, demonstrating its combability with high-brightness environments. Third, the multi-LTPS design enables display tiling for the desired size, demonstrating the product’s unlimited possible applications. Moreover, the displayed red and green colors on-site have high uniformity. With increasing product stability, AM Micro LED displays will thrive in the ≤P1.0 ultra fine pitch display markets.

Virtual production comprises applications for filmmaking and TV series / music video / advertisement production. AUO’s P1.25 virtual production video wall represents a perfect combination of LED display and XR technology that can replace conventional green screens. Virtual production can largely reduce post-production costs and creates immersive experiences for directors and actors. The use of LED displays has thus increased in the virtual production sector.

Being creative, AUO turned the same P1.25 video wall into a curved sphere model, establishing an unmatched immersive experience space that can serve for not only gaming but military driving, flight, ambulance driving simulation and other special training programs.

PlayNitride

PlayNitride incorporated Micro LED solutions into various application scenarios to allow users to enjoy the excellent performance and unlimited potential of its large Micro LED video wall, automotive transparent display, and AR product.

Notably, PlayNitride exclusively showcased its 0.49-inch µ-PixeLED display featuring FHD resolution,4,536 ppi (the highest of its kind) and high brightness full-color display engineered with blue Micro LED plus color conversion technology, allowing visitors to experience the possible applications of Micro LED in AR glasses in person.

As a next-gen display technology, Micro LED–combined with (flexible) transparent displays––can be equipped in smart vehicles and present information almost everywhere inside and outside the cabin, facilitating mobility–communication combination for designs of ADAS and autonomous vehicles as well as car sharing. PlayNitride announced a 9.38-inch Micro LED transparent display with 114 ppi, a 960x480 resolution and 65-70% transparency. The company indicated that displays with a transparency level of >70% will meet the requirements of car makers (OEMs) and can be applied to the automotive market.

Concerning wearable application, PlayNitride presented its 1.58-inch PM Micro LED display. Compared to OLED displays, the Micro LED display boasts shorter reaction time, better grayscale control at the control panel, playing the strengths of passive matrix driving.

Author: Joanne / TrendForce

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