Mini-LED backlight commercialization is expected to accelerate

With the advancement of technology research and development and users' pursuit of advanced display effects, LED chips continue to develop in smaller sizes. Mini-LED, as the transition stage of the development of small-pitch to Micro-LED, inherits the advantages of seamless splicing, wide color gamut, low power consumption and long life of traditional small-pitch LEDs, while also having better protection and higher Clarity. At present, the commercialization of Mini-LEDs is mainly LCD backlight solutions, which are used to enhance LCD display effects. Compared with OLED technology, LCD technology has obvious advantages in terms of cost and life; it has a small difference in color gamut, resolution, and power consumption; it has obvious disadvantages in contrast and motion image blur. Mini-LED backlight technology is added These two problems are solved. As an LCD backlight technology, Mini-LED shows several advantages: high dynamic contrast, high dynamic range, high resolution, etc. We believe that Mini-LED backplane technology will focus on medium and large sizes, effectively extending the LCD display life cycle.

The commercialization of Mini-LED backlight technology is expected to accelerate in 2021. From the perspective of the layout of upstream, midstream and downstream manufacturers in the industry chain, Mini-LED has successfully equipped technology, capacity, yield and other conditions, and is about to enter the fast lane of development and become a new blue ocean market for LED displays: according to Arizton statistics and forecasts, in 2019 The Mini-LED market scale is approximately US$25 million and will exceed US$2.3 billion by 2024, with a CAGR of 148%. my country's Mini-LED industry has obvious advantages. According to Gaogong's LED statistics and forecasts, my country's Mini-LED market will be 300 million yuan in 2018, and it is expected to exceed 2.2 billion yuan by 2020, with a growth rate of over 170%.

 

As the basic glass technology matures, glass is expected to be an important development direction for backlight technology. Due to its relatively low cost, PCB has long been used as a backplane for Mini LED backlights. Due to the gradual shrinkage of the Mini LED manufacturing process, the transfer process has become more difficult. In contrast, the glass backplane has better flatness, does not require splicing, and has better process accuracy, high thermal conductivity, and excellent heat dissipation performance. It is trending to become the preferred solution for Mini LED backlights.

 

Mini LED technology based on glass substrate is a backplane technology in which glass is used as a carrier substrate, and thin-film semiconductors are added to the glass surface as switching elements in the display through semiconductor deposition, and the glass substrate and switching elements are integrated and fabricated as a backplane technology. When a voltage is applied to the gate (Gate), the thin-film semiconductor can be induced to become a conductor, so that current can pass through to supply the LED to drive it to light up.

 

After years of technological development and iteration, enterprises in the industry chain, midstream, and downstream companies have sufficient technical reserves and business layout in Mini LED technology. With the gradual rise of market demand and the continuous decline in cost, Mini LED is expected to rise rapidly.


Manufacturers such as BOE, China Star Optoelectronics, Shenzhen Tianma, Innolux, and AUO are stepping up efforts to expand Mini LED backlight products. BOE and China Star Optoelectronics will both launch Mini LED products with glass substrates in 2020, and establish close cooperation with Sanan Optoelectronics. Shenzhen Tianma cooperates with Taiwan Chunchuang. Taiwanese manufacturers Innolux and AUO are also actively investing in this subdivision track.


According to the estimates of tripartite agencies, it is expected that Mini LED will enter a relatively rapid mass production process in the coming years. It is estimated that by 2023, Mini LED backlight TV shipments will reach 5.58 million units.

 

It is estimated that in Mini LED backlight products, the backlight source (Mini LED) accounts for nearly half of the cost, and the chip accounts for a higher proportion. The future development direction of the industry includes reducing chip-side costs, component costs, substrate and driving costs.


Mini-LED commercial acceleration is expected to significantly improve the supply and demand structure of LED chips. According to DSCC statistics, global Mini-LED backlight equipment shipments will reach 8.9 million units in 2021, and it is estimated that by 2025, the shipment volume of backlight equipment will exceed 48.2 million units, with a CAGR of 53%. According to Morgan Stanley's "LED-Slow Profit Recovery into 2021, Even with Mini LED Ramp" report, it is expected that the LED chip supply-demand excess ratio will drop to 14% in 2020, and the LED chip supply-demand excess ratio is expected to drop below 8% in 2021. We believe that the demand for LED chips will increase significantly in 2022. Taking into account the existing capacity planning, it is expected that the supply and demand of LED chips in 2022 is expected to return to below the balance line.

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