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Micro LEDs for Large Displays: a $2.7B market by 2026


Large-Sized displays are one of the most anticipated Micro LED products, says TrendForce

According to the latest TrendForce research, 'TrendForce 2022 Micro LED Self-Emitting Display Trends and Analysis on Supplier's Strategies', 4-inch wafers for Micro LED Large-Sized displays will reach approximately 1.14 million units by 2026. The chip market is expected to reach $2.7 billion with a compound annual growth rate of approximately 241 percent from 2021 to 2026.

TrendForce says Large-Sized displays are one of the most anticipated products among Micro LED applications. However, the greater Micro LED market remains at an R&D and experimental stage as branded manufacturers have yet to launch mass-produced products. There are still technical and cost bottlenecks that need to be completely overcome before mass production and commercialisation are feasible including improvement of wafer wavelength uniformity, increasing mass transfer production capacity, and improvement of glass backplane metallisation yield rate.

Therefore, future efforts to surmount technical bottlenecks will focus on wafers, mass transfer, and glass backplane metal processes. After the relevant technologies are mature, costs can be quickly reduced and mass production and commercialisation accelerated.

TrendForce will hold the Micro LED Forum 2022 on September 13 of this year. This forum will reveal the current progress of various manufacturers in developing Large-Sized displays from the perspectives of epitaxy, mass transfer, backplane technology, and equipment development. In terms of epitaxy equipment, this forum will discuss the methodology of manufacture Micro LED epitaxial wafers with wavelength uniformity, low defect rates, and low cost as a key to reducing wafer costs. In this seminar, Aixtron will introduce the MOCVD solution for mass production of Micro LED wafers.

Large-Sized display mass transfer technology is primarily based on stamp and laser transfer. At this stage, stamp transfer technology is still mainstream but, due to the characteristics of red light wafer material, it is easy to cause wafer damage and stamping losses, resulting in a decrease in production yield. In addition, transfer cost depends on the size of the transfer head and the utilisation rate of the wafer. Compared with stamp technology, laser transfer technology possesses the characteristics of speed, precision, and high efficiency, which will help to greatly reduce mass transfer cost in the future.

However, an intensive initial equipment investment has become one of the obstacles in Micro LED mass transfer technology development. The Micro LED Forum 2022 features a large number of transfer equipment manufacturers including Contrel, K&S, and Ultra Display Technology. The forum will also discuss new future developments in Micro LED Large-Sized displays starting from transfer technology.

In terms of driving backplanes, the active driving design scheme with seamless splicing technology has an opportunity to become the mainstream design used in Micro LED Large-Sized displays in the future. Currently, side wire plating glass metallisation technology has yet to become completely viable. After this technology is perfected, rapid cost reduction will fully unlock the advantages of an active drive backplane.

The forum has also invited panel manufacturers that are actively deploying glass-driven backplanes such as AUO, BOE, and Luxnet to discuss development trends in related designs. In addition, PanelSemi will also share the company’s experience and describe new opportunities for active flexible substrates. Macroblock, which is focused on driver ICs, will analyze the role that Micro LED Large-Sized displays play in the metaverse.

TrendForce indicates, as Micro LED Large-Sized display technology and cost continues to improve, coupled with aggressive planning on the part of international branded manufacturers, there will be opportunities to accelerate the realisation of commercialised Micro LED Large-Sized display products.

Future development trends will include commercial-grade cinema screens and indoor public display screens and consumer-grade TVs focused on home theatres. Although current product pricing remains high, as the development of technology, equipment, and related components matures, Micro LED Large-Sized displays will be the first choice for the high-end display market in the future.

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