MicroLED Display Technology and Market Outlook

Report Summary

MicroLED display technology is making rapid progress and is now at an early stage of commercialization. However, there are still challenges to establish a reliable supply chain and lower the manufacturing cost, despite the push by companies such as Apple, Samsung and Facebook. The report addresses the technical hurdles which depend mostly on the choice of manufacturing technology. Included in the report are market forecasts to 2026, based on DSCC’s analysis of the competitive landscape in the display industry. This report will be useful to every company in the microLED supply chain: LED manufacturers, panel makers, technology developers, OEMs, assembly houses, and end users.


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With growing interest in microLEDs, DSCC is proud to announce a new report on MicroLED Display Technology and Market Outlook.

MicroLEDs have garnered a lot of interest because of the potential advantages over other flat-panel display technologies, most notably in high efficiency, high brightness, high color saturation, faster response rate, and longer lifetime. This unique combination of features would make microLED the superior display for many applications, ranging from super large TVs to microdisplays for use in AR/VR headsets. The ability to withstand harsh environmental conditions is also particularly attractive for the automotive industry.

MicroLEDs have generated a lot of hype, but also a lot of confusion amongst the mainstream media. This is because microLED displays can be manufactured in different ways, and each one will bring its own set of challenges and possible applications.

The report covers the two general manufacturing methods: monolithic or mass transfer. The monolithic approach is the preferred route to make microdisplays that are below 1-inch in diagonal and with a very high pixel density above 5,000 PPI. These miniature displays are very promising for AR/VR since they can achieve millions of nits in brightness without sacrificing contrast or compactness. However, obtaining a full color display has proven to be a challenge.

The mass transfer approach consists in moving a large number of individual microLEDs on the display substrate. This method can, in theory, produce displays of any size, including large TVs above 100-inch in diagonal. There are currently several mass transfer technologies under development.

Samsung has already started selling luxury microLED video walls to consumers. However, the LED chips on these displays are still larger than 100 μm, which is the commonly accepted size definition for a microLED. Future microLED TVs will be based on smaller LED chips, which will help reduce the total BoM of the display. However, shrinking the LED chips too much can have an impact on efficiency and affect the performance of the display.

The report covers all these issues in detail and shows the various solutions under development by the microLED industry. The report also includes market forecasts to 2026, segmented by applications.

Topics Covered Include:
  • MicroLED efficiency challenges
  • Mass transfer technologies
  • Yield and defect management strategies
  • Color conversion with quantum dots
  • Backplanes and driving schemes
  • Monolithic displays
  • Cost analysis (epiwafers, backplanes, QD color conversion, transfer costs)
  • Supply chain scenarios
  • Competitive landscape
  • Market forecasts to 2026 (shipments and revenues)
Companies Covered:
  • Samsung
  • Apple
  • Facebook
  • LG
  • PlayNitride
  • AUO
  • Foxconn
  • Glo
  • Epistar
  • Aledia
  • Plessey
  • Jade Bird Display
  • CEA-Leti
  • and more
Table of Contents

1. Introduction: MicroLED Displays p.6

  • What is a MicroLED?
  • Why are MicroLED Displays Attractive?
  • MicroLED Attributes vs Application Requirement
  • Modular & Tiled Displays
  • Microdisplays
  • MicroLED Displays with Additional Functionalities
  • Competitive Landscape: How does MicroLED Stack Up?

2. Overview of MicroLED Display Manufacturing p. 18

  • Epitaxy
  • Mass Transfer Vs. Monolithic
  • Color Conversion
  • Tiling of Modules
  • Summary of Manufacturing Trends

3. Epitaxy & Chip Manufacturing p.37

  • MicroLED Epitaxy
  • Sapphire, GaAs Vs GaN on Si
  • Chip Manufacturing & Singulation
  • Challenges & Infrastructure Requirements

4. MicroLED Efficiency p. 58

  • Efficiency Challenges
  • Improving MicroLED Performance
  • Other Considerations

5. Mass Transfer Processes p.72

  • Overview of Mass Transfer Processes
  • Stamp Based
  • Laser-Assisted
  • Continuous/Semi-continuous
  • Fluidic Assembly
  • Key Players and Status

6. Yield & Defect Management p.114

  • Yield Management with Mass Transfer
  • Redundancy
  • Test and Repair
  • Defect Management and Compensation
  • Defects in Monolithic Displays

7. Monolithic MicroLED Displays p.133

  • Monolithic MicroLED in AR/VR Applications
  • Monolithic Integration vs. Hybridization
  • Various Approaches to Hybridization
  • Sapphire vs. Silicon Wafers
  • Challenges with Colors
  • Collimation
  • Passive Matrix Monolithic Displays
  • Summary

8. Color Conversion p.160

  • Quantum Dots Color Conversion
  • QD Introduction
  • QD Color Conversion for MicroLEDs: Advantages & Challenges
  • Photolithography Vs Inkjet Printing : Advantages & Challenges
  • Key Optical Properties for QDCC: Blue Absorption, External Quantum Efficiency, Color Gamut
  • Performance of Nanosys’s High Absorption Core QDs
  • Secondary Color Filter
  • QDCC for MicroLEDs: Status and Demos
  • Phosphors

9. Display Driving and Backplane p.205

  • Challenges of Driving MicroLEDs
  • Passive Matrix
  • Active Matrix
  • Microdriver IC

10. Additional Functionality for MicroLED p.226

  • Transparent Display
  • Flexible Display
  • Embedded Sensors

11. MicroLED Cost Analysis p.237

  • Epiwafer Consumption
  • Backplane Cost
  • Mass Transfer Cost
  • Color Converter Cost
  • Cost Reduction Strategies
  • Conclusions

12. MicroLED Supply Chain p.256

  • Supply Chain Scenarios
  • Samsung
  • Apple
  • Facebook
  • Key Suppliers

13. MicroLED Market Outlook (2020 to 2026) p.282

  • Display Market Overview
  • Competitive Landscape for Display Technologies
  • MicroLED Application Roadmap
  • Shipment Forecast
  • Revenue Forecast

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