Mini LEDs which are slightly larger than microLEDs hold potential for replacing AMOLED displays in smartphones, at least according to a DigiTimes article that cited Chinese smartphone vendors switching to MiniLED displays as soon as the second half of 2018. The article indicated that China-based smartphone vendors, including Huawei Technologies, Xiaomi Technology, and Oppo intend to adopt mini LED-backlit panels
For this new technology, these Chinese smartphone vendors have requested that Taiwan-based LED makers start producing mini LED backlighting in June 2018, according to the article that cited industry sources. Apparently, the companies see mini LEDs as more technologically and economically viable, at least in the near future.
While Samsung showed off microLED technology in an enormous, modular 146-inch backlit display at CES 2018 (Ref. Coverage), such technology is not expected to be mass production-ready for some time. For this reason, commercial application of micro LED TV is also not expected to take off in 2018.
Industry insiders said that through design and technology improvement, the number of mini LED chips used for 6-inch smartphone panels can reportedly decrease from 9,000 to 4,000, which will greatly reduce production cost. Notably, a TV needs about 10,000 mini LED chips for backlighting.
Epistar says that production of mini LED backlighting for smartphones and TVs is likely to begin in second-half 2018, with specifications to be created in the first half. Existing LED production equipment can reportedly be adjusted to produce mini LED chips.