Under the current weakness of the LCD industry, emerging technologies may bring new breath. Among them, Mini LED has attracted wide attention, and it is expected to promote the upgrade of display products and the development of diversified technologies in the future. At present, Mini LED is developing in two technical directions: backlight application and self-luminous display. Based on the LCD industry, this article will focus on the Mini LED backlight technology and supply chain analysis.
Mini LED is also called “sub-millimeter light-emitting diode”, and there is no uniform standard for its specific definition. As the name implies, Mini LED refers to products with chip sizes smaller than traditional LEDs, but the structure is the same; from the perspective of LED chips, 100-200 micron LED chips are now commonly referred to as Mini LEDs in the industry.
According to the manufacturing process of Mini LED, the supply chain mainly involves chips, packaging and driving. Mini LED chips have a wide range of specifications, and the threshold for chip manufacturers to participate is not high, so the market concentration of domestic manufacturers continues to increase. In the meanwhile, the high precision of the Mini LED chip increases the difficulty of the die-bonding process. Higher-precision die-bonding substrates and die-bonding equipment will become the difficulty of this process. And the number of LED chips is increasing, the chip transfer scheme affects efficiency, which become the most critical factor.
At present, Chinese panel manufacturers and Taiwan panel manufacturers are actively developing backlight products for Mini LED on glass. With the innovation of panel technology, downstream brand manufacturers are also constantly exploring backlight technology. More and more brand manufacturers are actively deploying Mini LED TV backlight technology, and the brand camp is gradually expanding.
With the maturity of the LED industry technology, the improvement of technology and the decrease in material costs, the cost of Mini LED BLU solutions in the future will still have a large room for decline. It is expected that in the high-end LCD TV market in the future, especially the large-size market of 55” and above, it is expected to gradually become popular, thus becoming the mainstream configuration of mid-to-high-end LCD TVs with a terminal price of more than US$1,000.
PM Mini LED backlight TV: mass production has begun, the current market scale is limited, but the brand camp continues to expand. It is estimated that the scale of PM Mini LED BLU TV products will reach 3.6 million units by 2023, and the penetration rate in the global flat-panel TV market will reach 1.5% and will rapidly increase to more than 9 million units by 2025.
AM Mini LED backlight TV: led by panel manufacturers, mass production is expected to be achieved by the end of 2020, and panel manufacturers are highly motivated to participate. With the maturity of the future process and the improvement of the yield rate, the cost advantage will gradually become prominent, and the shipment scale is expected to surpass the PM Mini LED backlight TV. It is estimated that the shipment of AM Mini LED backlight TV will reach 7.6 million units in 2025.
Mini LED backlight monitor at present, there are two major applications, professional and gaming monitors, both of which are high-end displays, terminal demand is in a booming stage. The main advantages of Mini LED are high contrast and high color gamut space, which can be perfectly match high-end monitors requirements for image quality. The upstream industry chain has a strong desire to develop, and the backlight cost of Mini LEDs is also decreasing year by year. There will be a significant decline in 2020 year-on-year. With the gradual maturity of the industry chain, the future market scale and penetration rate will further expand.