【CES 2023】Micro/Mini LED Will Be Dominant Display Trend in 2023

As the world’s biggest tech show, Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was held between January 5 and January 9, 2023 in Las Vegas. TrendForce has summarized several highlights and categorized them into four themes, namely the 1) automotive lighting and display, 2) Micro / Mini LED TVs and video walls, 3) Micro LED AR smart glasses, and 4) Micro LED-backlit TVs and monitors.
 
Topic One: Automotive Lighting and Display

Macroblock showcases driver IC product service for automotive lighting and display.
 
1. Headlights: Adaptive Driving Beam (ADB)
At present, high-end car manufacturers have launched car models with adaptive driving beam by arranging multiple LEDs into matrix-shaped headlights. Each LED can be lit individually. With lens modules, comprehensive consideration of environmental information, geographical location and even driving speed, the angle of high beam or low beam is changed accordingly to improve driving safety. The more LEDs, the more flexibility to adjust illumination zones. The adaptive capabilities improve visibility to reveal critical objects such as pedestrians, oncoming vehicles, and traffic signs while avoiding dazzling other drivers.
 

Macroblock demonstrates the ADB system by using 100 LEDs and LED driver ICs MBI6353Q. Features of the driver IC are: 1) Flexible current design 2) 4,096 steps of brightness adjustment to fit ambient light change 3) Meet automotive safety integrity level ASIL B.
 
 
2. Rear Light: Full-width Rear light
In recent years, automakers have successively introduced LEDs into the application of rear lights. What they are looking for is high-tech and exquisite outline that LEDs bring. Auto manufacturers design rear lights or the third central brake lights in a strip or narrow shape, forming a full-width rear light. The visual extension is achieved by increasing the illuminated area, and cars are easier to identify when lit up at night. A higher-end design is capable of independent control of LEDs, and welcome light effect of rear light can be programmed variously.
 
The exhibit is built in LED driver IC MBI5353Q that meets the automotive safety integrity level ASIL A, and the pitch of the module is 0.9375mm. The feature of independent control of LEDs are used for a rear trunk LED multi-function stripe to create more lighting effects and present a variety of appearance designs.
 
 
1.   HDR Automotive Display
1)   The backlight module for a mini-LED interactive safe driving display, which has been adopted in mass-produced cars. The display is embedded on the steering wheel to provide the driver with driving information. The backlight module is built in Macroblock LED driver IC MBI5353Q that meets the automotive safety integrity level ASIL A, providing 16-bit grayscale, and only one driver IC can control local dimming zones up to 1,536, which not only brings fine images to a small-sized display, but also due to the high-brightness feature of LEDs make it possible to watch displays in bright s unlight without disturbance.
 
2)   The curved local dimming backlight module is built in LED driver IC MBI6353Q, and its hybrid dimming technology can generate excellent low-grayscale images, and the environmental information can still be clearly captured even in dim light. In addition, Macroblock's LED backlight driver ICs can provide automakers with flexible function design options for expanding application functions or simplifying circuit design.
MBI5353Q / MBI6353Q has been successfully introduced in Roewe RX5 and Li L9.
 
 
Seoul Semiconductor focused on promoting LED products for video walls and automotive lighting applications.
1.   Video Wall: Unlike COB solutions requiring chip binning for two times, Seoul Viosys debuts 0202 / 0404 LED are capable of one-time binning and color mixing with high uniformity.
2.   Automotive Lighting: Seoul Semiconductor grandly launched WICOP, nPola and UHL (Ultra High Luminance) series in response to the new trend of ADB LED and Ultra Slim headlight source. Of all, WICOP has gained a share of up to 10% in automotive LED market. nPola LED spotlights high brightness and high current and has been adopted by China-based and Korea-based car makers. UHL products feature compact size with a package size of only 1.88x1.61mm and chip area of only 0.54mm2.
 
 
Similarly, AUO exhibited a series of integrated display solutions tailored for automotive scenarios.
1.   55" Pillar-to-Pillar Mini LED display backlights
In the coming years, highly digitalized and integrated in-cabin displays will become the mainstream in the automotive market. These displays will be bigger with stronger brightness, contrast ratio, and reliability for safety concerns. Mini LED backlights are currently the priority solution for car manufacturers. Specifically, panel maker AUO unveiled a 55" Mini LED-backlit pillar-to-pillar display. The product features the integrated cluster, CID, and entertainment display for the driver and front passenger along with high dynamic contrast, which can largely reduce driving risks caused by poor display effects.
 
2.   FIDM Plus: Integrated AmLED Display Solution
AUO’s exclusive AmLED (AUO Adaptive mini LED) technology helps achieve high resolution, wide color gamut, and strong contrast for the display, on which the driving information can be clearly presented. Moreover, the LEDs feature high energy efficiency and weather resistance, largely improving the safety and stability of the in-cabin display.
 
Source: AUO                                                                                                   
 
3.   Transparent and Flexible Display Technologies
Transparent and flexible substrates are two innovative applications that have made Micro LED as a promising new display technology. At CES 2023, AUO unveiled a 14.6" rollable Micro LED display featuring a 202 PPI flexible substrate and 2K+ resolution. Notably, the product can be rolled and stored properly with a 40-mm radius of curvature, creating more interior space while providing excellent visual experiences for vehicle occupants. The panel manufacturer also showcased its Micro LED transparent display that can be attached to the windshield and car window, thereby achieving seamless combination of additional information with the driver’s field of view
 
Source: AUO
 
 
Topic Two: Micro / Mini LED TVs and Video Walls

At CES 2023, Samsung rolled out its LED displays measuring 50", 63", 76", 89", 101", 114", and 140".
Source: Theverge
 
LG released a 136" 4K P0.78 Mini LED video wall.
 
TCL demonstrated its 136" 4K P0.78 Mini LED video wall.
 

Topic Three: Micro LED AR Smart Glasses
The metaverse that went viral in 2022 unsurprisingly became one of the six major themes at CES 2023. The metaverse is still under the spotlight this year thanks to numerous big players—from NVIDIA’s release of the Digital Twins computing solutions to Qualcomm’s announcement of its latest smart glasses platform, the Snapdragon AR2 Gen1 (the company claims that the new platform delivers 2.5 times the performance of the existing XR2 platform). As a crucial medium for access to the metaverse, AR glasses with Micro LED being the optical engine made an appearance during the event.
 
Vuzix, a leading AR/VR and wearable manufacturer, rolled out the latest Ultralite combining Micro LED with waveguide technologies. Different from their bulky competitors, the fashionable, lightweight (38 g only), sleek-looking glasses fit easily into an average glasses case.
 
Source: Vuzix


TCL announced its Ray Neo X2 AR glasses with full-color Micro LED and waveguide as the display solution. Powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR2, the glasses feature 1,000 nits of brightness and a 100,000-to-1 contrast ratio along with real-time translation, navigation, photography, video recording and many other useful functions.

Source: TCL


Lumus, an AR display optics company headquartered in Israel, presented the 2nd-gen waveguide architecture Z-Lens 2D. In addition to being half the size of its predecessor, the new architecture is compatible with display technologies like Micro LED, LCoS and LBS (laser beam scanning). The lightweight exhibit boasts high-resolution display output, allowing consumers to explore virtual worlds using average glasses.
 
Source: Lumus
 
 
Topic 4: Micro LED-backlit TVs and Monitors
In the coming years, display brands will develop new products by focusing on several aspects, such as the solution for seamlessly creating a next-gen display using the existing LCD + backlight combination, developing products with higher contrast and image quality compared to conventional backlight models and the use of Mini LED concerning its not-so-high threshold. Prior to and during CES 2023, major brands including Samsung, Hisense, TCL, Skyworth and Sharp rolled out TVs with Mini LED backlights. In the IT monitor market, Samsung, MSI, Razer, Acer, ASUS and Lenovo all announced Mini LED-backlit products. Additionally, Continental, AUO and other automotive system developers have applied Mini LED backlights to their in-cabin displays.
 
Hisense demonstrated a 4K Micro LED-backlit line with U6K, U7K, and U8K versions available for buyers. Specifically, the U6K model comprise around 200 local dimming zones, targeting at the entry-level TV market. The U7K and U8K models, comprising 500 and 1,000 zones, respectively, are scheduled to be launched in summer 2023. Furthermore, the most advanced 8K ULED X model boasts high dynamic contrast achieved through 5,000+ local dimming zones. The said lineups of Mini LED TVs demonstrate that Hisense has a clear segmentation plan for customers with different needs.
 


Source: Hisense
 
 
TCL rolled out the new Q8M Mini LED TV with size options of 65"/75"/85"/98". Among these 4K TVs, the 98" model feature high contrast with 2,300 local dimming zones, for which TCL revealed that the number could jump to 5,000 this year plus 3,000 nits brightness, allowing the TV to better satisfy consumers’ demand for high image quality.
 
Source: TCL
 

Skyworth released a Mini LED TV tailored for outdoor environments, the S1, featuring 1,400 local dimming zones and 3,000 nits of brightness. The TV boasts excellent contrast under direct sunlight and is able to automatically adjust brightness and color temperature as per the ambient light intensity thanks to the built-in ambient light sensor, thereby satisfying viewers’ comfort demand.
 
Source: Skyworth
 
 
Sharp exhibited the AQUOS XLED, a Mini LED-backlit display measuring up to 120", which is the biggest of its kind. Engineered with quantum dot, the Mini LED giant boasts high contrast and color saturation.
 
Source: Sharp

 
In the IT monitor sector, Mini LED displays for NBs have made a breakthrough from mid- and high-end markets—where products mostly measure 16” and bigger—down to the conventional backlight monitor market with 14" being the mainstream specs. The trend will help increase the penetration rate of Mini LED backlights in the NB market. Concerning MNT applications, Mini LED backlights are aimed at the gaming segment, where manufacturers tend to increase the monitor size covering players’ field of view to a greater extent so as to enhance video game immersion.

Acer also demonstrated its Predator Helios 16 and 18 with a Mini LED screen measuring 16" and 18", respectively, featuring a resolution of 2,560 x 1,600, refresh rate of 250 Hz, and peak brightness of 1,000+ nits. The Predator Helios will be available in 1Q23, starting at USD 1,649 and USD 1,699 for the 16" and 18" models, respectively.
 
Source : Acer
 

ASUS released its ROG Zephyrus G14 and M16. Being the smallest model in the line, the 14" G14 has fewer local dimming zones of Mini LED backlights at around 504 zones and peak brightness of 600 nits, which are half of the M16 model. The NB maker has yet to announce the G14’s price; if the price is good, this Mini LED NB with relatively basic features is likely to enter the conventional backlight market.
 
Source: ASUS
 

Lenovo launched its 16" ThinkBook 16p Gen 4 featuring a 3.2K resolution and 120Hz refresh rate. The Mini LED-backlit screen is able to deliver 400 nits of brightness and wide color gamut at 100% DCI-P3. Its backlight light source features a low blue light design and has been approved by the TÜV standard, demonstrating its ability to reduce eyestrain from prolonged screen time.
 
Source: Lenovo
 
 
As the recent trend in Mini LED-backlit TVs show, branded manufacturers have turned from developing products featuring fewer than 1,000 local dimming zones with a high price-performance ratio to designing TVs with more than 1,000 zones for competing with to players in mid- and high-end markets. By doing so, Mini LED TV makers can, in addition to advancing their technological know-how, secure more shares in the TV market. This change also indicates that some businesses have turned to adopt COB backlight solutions from the previous POB-only strategy, which will boost the use of COB solutions for Mini LED backlights in the TV sector.
 
In the IT sector, Mini LED-backlit products mostly come with a high resolution (2K and higher) and refresh rate (at least 240Hz), demonstrating their strong link with the gaming market. However, this trend also reveals that IT display brands have yet to create a competitive advantage for Mini LED backlights to enter mid- and entry-level markets due to the high cost of such components. A critical task for these manufacturers is how to effectively reduce the Mini LED usage volume, which will largely reduct product costs. Among them, TENGIFTS has developed a unique LED optical lens that can ideally control the Mini LED beam angle and optical uniformity. Compared with conventional Mini LED optical solutions, TENGIFTS’ design helps reduce the number of Mini LEDs by 60–75% without disrupting optical uniformity, which can boost the competitiveness of Mini LED-backlit displays.

Source: TENGIFTS
 

Release date: 31 May 2022 / 30 November 2022
Format: PDF 
Languages: Tradional Chinese / English
Pages : 130–150 in total (subject to change)

TrendForce 2022 Mini LED New Backlight Display Trend Analysis
Publication Dates: April 30 and October 31, 2022
Language: Traditional Chinese/English
Format: PDF
Number of Pages: The two publications will total 120–130 pages

2023 Global LED Video Wall Market Outlook and Price Cost Analysis
Release Date: 28 September 2022
Language: Traditional Chinese / English
Format: PDF
Page: 238

TrendForce 2022 Global Automotive LED Product Trend and Regional Market Analysis
Release Date:
1. PDF(123 Pages)- 30 June 2022
2. EXCEL- 30 June 2022 and 31 December 2022
Languages: Traditional Chinese / English

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