Manufacturers To Speed Up The Layout, Mini/Micro LED Progress, But Cost Pressure.

- Apr 27, 2018-

Since 2018, the Micro/Mini LED mass production process has been accelerating news, so that LED backlight and display industry are "exciting". However, when the sound of landing on Micro/Mini LED is just around the ear, the "cost" worry about this new product is also thrived.

Micro/Mini LED manufacturers accelerate the industrial chain layout in the middle reaches of the middle reaches

From the core technology of technological innovation, whether Micro/Mini LED can enter the market on a large scale on time does not depend on the choice of the terminal application manufacturer, but should "make final decision" by the upstream package enterprise. Therefore, encapsulation of Micro/Mini LED is the top priority for Micro/Mini LED products.

Shino photoelectricity, in March 1st's investor relations activity, said it has been set up for a year of future display Research Institute, mainly in the study of the Mini LED display and the Mini LED backlight, and the Micro LED display, and has made the layout of the sample. It is expected that there will be Mini TV or mobile backlighting applications at the end of this year, but the specific volume may be next year. At the same time, Qian Zhao also favors the application of large size and vehicle market.

The domestic packaging plant, hucan also said that in the backlight application of the Mini blue light chip to the display application on the Mini-RGB chip has been introduced more mature chip products, and led the development of part of the product size. Its large-scale commercialization will eventually be carried out in accordance with the launch of terminal products and market promotion.

The joint-stock company also said in mid January investor relations that 80 inch and more TV sets are likely to use Mini LED and Micro LED, and the company's existing equipment can be Mini LED. The company keeps track of and grasps the industry development trends and advanced technology in a timely manner. At present, it has made technical reserves and has a certain market base.

In mid April, Ruifeng optoelectronic announcement said that the total amount of funds raised by the company would not exceed 467 million 974 thousand yuan (467 million 974 thousand yuan), and the fund should be put into SMD LED package, Mini LED package, Micro LED technology R & D center and replenish mobile funds. Among them, the construction period of SMD LED packaging expansion project is 12 months, and the total production is 17 billion 800 million SMD LED packaging products per year. The construction period of Mini LED packaging project is 12 months, and the total production is 11 million 800 thousand Mini LED package. Micro LED technology research and development center project construction period is also 12 months.

The crystal power indicates that it has taken the lead in the development of Mini LED technology, and the backlighting of mobile phone, TV and higher order pen is the main potential application, and the application technology is expected to be introduced in the second half. Vice president of business and marketing, Fan Jin Yong said that the application of Mini LED is extensive, and there are many cases to be discussed at present.

Among the upstream manufacturers, Mini LED iron rod powder is 100 million light. This year, hundreds of millions of light will successively launch miniLED, electric competition, car use and various type of thin packaging series, as well as direct down TV application CSP LED and mobile phone in line with full screen design products, to bring up the kinetic energy of operating growth for millions of light. Billion light chairman Ye Yinfu optimistic about the operation of billion light this year. However, the new product Mini LED is still expected to wait until the third quarter.

The most exciting news on Mini LED is that Samsung smashed nearly $17 million in prepayment, buying Micro LED panel to Sanan optoelectronic, and signing a three - year contract, and the future Sanan will be a Samsung's exclusive supplier. At the end of 2017, San an ordered 150 organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) equipment, coupled with the support of industrial policy in the mainland. It is expected that San an optoelectronic has the advantages of scale, capacity and comparative cost on the LED wafer.

In terms of terminal, Taiwan Institute of technology is establishing a Micro LED trial production line. The fastest product will be delivered to VR manufacturers in the third quarter of 2018. Samsung's COB technology small spacing LED display market in August 2018, the same period LG is also believed to launch the corresponding products. SONY launched similar products as early as 2016.

To sum up, the upper and middle reaches of the Micro/Mini LED have achieved "complete technical reserves" and "samples at any time", while "the future capacity investment is sufficient to guarantee". However, from the terminal point of view, the application of specific landing is still in the "will" state, 2018 is still more than ready for application. The industry thinks that Micro/Mini LED will be able to "see" in the second half of this year, but the scale needs to wait for "2019".

Cost pressure has been put forward, and SMD/SMT still has its advantages

As a forerunner of LED micro display, Mini LED is a big hit in the market (compared to Micro LED, which also needs to further overcome the bottleneck of the "huge transfer" technology). The target market includes two systems: backlight and display.

From the backlight, the industry is optimistic about its application in mobile phones and other products. There are three reasons, 1., although the OLED competition pressure is great, but the supply capacity is still insufficient, the LCD high-end machine market still has the opportunity; 2. mobile phone large screen products are large enough for about 2000000000 parts of the market each year, a part of cutting down will be enough to realize the survival of the Mini LED; 3. mobile phone 5-7 inches screen, the manufacturing difficulty of Mini LED is less difficult It is more feasible.

For the backlight market of LCD TVs, the market expectations of Mini LED are still conservative. Because LCD products are more sensitive to low price and sensitive to thickness, they are not as good as mobile phone market. This allows Mini LED to aim only at the ultra high end of LCD TV. The latter is more competitive with OLED and has limited market size. At the same time, it is more difficult to apply Mini LED on large LCD TV.

However, Mini LED industry is very optimistic on vehicle display. On the one hand, this is a new field, and the gross margin itself is higher and the cost sensitivity is very low. On the other hand, the lighting conditions of the vehicle make it more necessary for the "top match" product display, color display and brightness level, which is better for Mini LED.

From the display market, Mini LED is optimistic about the indoor small spacing LED display industry. Starting in 2017, the price of COB products dropped to less than 100 thousand yuan per square meter, which has opened up the first barrel of "high-end market". The integration of Mini LED and COB is bound to achieve better display performance. In addition, even SMD/SMT, the small spacing LED screen of the patch package / tab process can also obtain better low brightness gray scale control and possible lamp cost advantages from the Mini LED.

The above market analysis has one thing in common, that is, "high-end" two characters. This also shows that Mini LED is not the essence of "economic products" for the time being. For example, it has been reported recently that Epistar plans to produce Mini LED chips for backlighting of smart phone screens in the third quarter of 2018. Among them, a 5.5 inch Full HD smart phone panel requires 2000-10000 Mini LED for backlighting, and the total cost of the display module is expected to be $35-40 - a cost that makes the "LCD -LED" display system twice as high as the hard screen OLED, and is not competitive.

The same is true of small space LED display areas: products that can be sold in a large scale are often less than 100 thousand yuan per square meter, preferably between $6-8, 000 yuan, even the most advanced command and dispatch center, which also needs such a price level. In this regard, DLP splicing and liquid crystal splicing constitute the main competitive price environment. That is to say, if the Mini LED is applied to the small spacing LED screen of COB technology, but it can not control the reasonable price, its market can hardly scale.

In a word, by giving priority to producing Mini LED instead of Micro LED, the upstream and downstream vendors of LED can bypass the difficulty of "huge transfer", which is difficult to achieve by Micro LED, but still cannot avoid the "possible cost problems of the new product system". Therefore, the LED product packaged by SMD is still the focus of the expansion of all the packaging manufacturers: from the middle and upper reaches, it is not considered that there is a market trend of the complete replacement of SMD technology by a Micro/Mini LED. The two will be the coexistence.

This is also true for the coexistence of COB and SMD/SMT in the small spacing display area. After all, the cost advantage of the latter over P1.5 is the "unstoppable temptation". And the LED screen is also looking for new progress. For example, Riad recently released Supersafe technology for LED display. Supersafe technology, through the use of nanomaterials, special technology for the conventional small space LED display double surface treatment, to solve the product weather resistance, bump and other problems, and to maintain the cost advantage of COB products.

In the backlight area, Mini LED can not block the challenge of emerging technologies such as OLED, whether successful or not. The latter does not require a backlight. So, before the Micro LED direct display product came out, the so-called backlight market, including competitive niche, vehicle and other advantages niche segmentation areas, Mini LED are still "transitional competitors". This greatly constrained people's imagination of the industrial prospect. Moreover, at this stage, the market for mobile phones, PC and TV products is also vulnerable to industrial weakness, which further increases the difficulty of expanding the Mini LED market.

The progress of Micro/Mini LED technology is good, which is in sharp contrast to the "bottleneck" of market terminals. How to break through these bottlenecks will be the biggest attraction of the Micro/Mini LED industry in 2018.