Display panel and TV manufacturers are paying attention to the development of mini LEDs, which, in their view, are sufficiently competitive in terms of price and performance compared with OLEDs, market research firm WitsView reports.
Mini LEDs have a chip size of 100 to 200 micrometers, bigger than micro LEDs and smaller than general LEDs. When it comes to micro LEDs, which have a chip size of five to 10 micrometers, there are still a lot of hurdles in terms of production technology and costs. In contrast, manufacturing processes for LCD TVs using LED backlights can be shared to a large extent for mini LED production.
The immaturity of OLED technology is one of the reasons why mini LEDs are drawing much attention. OLEDs use red (R), green (G) and blue (B) organic materials. However, the RGB method requires high production costs and entails a high defect rate.
Under the circumstances, LG Display is manufacturing white OLEDs by making white light sources from blue and yellow green materials. This method is worse than RGB in terms of color reproduction but more advantageous in process simplification, enlargement and mass production. Market research firm DRAMeXchange said that OLED color patterning is still immature and the deposition process material usage stands at 20% to 30% as of now.
WitsView pointed out that a mini LED coated with a QD film can have color clarity comparable to that of white OLEDs.
In the meantime, a manufacturer commented that the size of a mini LED TV screen cannot be easily reduced to less than 150 inches due to aliasing, which refers to the image on the screen showing steps at the edge of it.
WitsView added that mini LED TVs are comparable to OLED TVs in production cost as well. According to its recent report, a 65-inch UHD OLED TV panel has a production cost of US$950 to US$1,000 and this is similar to a 65-inch UHD mini LED TV using 30,000 to 40,000 LED chips. The report also pointed out that burn-in, which is a typical problem of OLED TVs, is another factor making mini LED TVs competitive enough.
Samsung Electronics’ home cinema display recently released in Europe uses mini LEDs. The Home Cinema LED for use at home, ranging from 110 to 260 inches, has a 4K resolution along with a price of up to 400 million won. LG Electronics is working on mini LED TVs, too. According to market research firm TrendForce, the global mini LED market is expected to reach US$1 billion in size in 2023.