Apple wants to promote Mini-LED LCD in IT products. What are the difficulties in the industry chain?

Apple wants to promote Mini-LED LCD in IT products. What are the difficulties in the industry chain?

Recently, news broke from the industry that LGD will provide Mini-LED LCD displays for Apple's next-generation iPad Pro products. South Korean media reported that LGD received a long-term order, indicating that Apple will begin to promote Mini-LED LCD display products on most products except mobile phones. Apple has used direct-lit partitioned LED backlights similar to Mini-LEDs on desktop monitors. However, due to the larger size and higher heat generation, the industry dare not try to follow suit easily, so there is no market application.

However, Internet TV brand manufacturers and Taiwanese e-sports brand manufacturers, as well as some high-end customized TV products, have begun to import Mini-LED backlight module products, such as the Xiaomi TV in mainland China. The mini-LED backlight module is not difficult for manufacturers. As long as the LED chip is accurately split, it adopts COB or SMT process and is soldered on PCB, glass substrate, or FPC soft board. And if the process is reasonably matched, in fact, the cost of Mini-LED chips and the cost of COB and SMT parts are not high. But the main problem lies in the four words with reasonable collocation.

The Mini-LED backlight module is characterized by direct lighting and light mixing. The important point is the partition drive. Corresponding drive circuits, drive chips, and drive algorithms are required to enhance the brightness of the LCD backlight. Mini-LED LCD products in the true sense are not direct-lit backlight products that use Mini-LED chips, but Mini-LED LCD products. Therefore, the difficulty of the Mini-LED backlight module is actually in the industrial design, including the balance of the number of Mini-LED chips, the heat generation, and the cost of the driver chip.

  In fact, the biggest key point in the industry now is focused on the process adaptation between the driver chip and the driver algorithm. There are two mainstream methods for mini-LED backlight module partition drive:

  One is that Mini-LEDs are partitioned according to the array. The number of partitions is directly proportional to the cost, but the effect is not particularly ideal. It has advantages in enhancing the contrast of large areas, but cannot handle more detailed light and dark parts.

  One is that the Mini-LED is adapted to the COM scanning circuit that is synchronized with the LCD drive circuit. The backlight area corresponding to each Mini-LED is individually controlled according to the average pixel brightness of the area plus the linear pre-vector value. , You can enhance the contrast of light and dark for more picture details.

The second method can perform Mini-LED thermal evaluation according to the space design of the LCD display module, and it is easy to adapt a reasonable relationship between the number of Mini-LEDs and the brightness, but the cost of the driver chip and algorithm of this method is higher.

  At present, Taiwanese companies are relatively leading in the manufacturing technology of Mini-LED products, and there are more models and quantities of products on the market. In Mainland China, manufacturing costs are lower, and the breadth of industrial investment and layout is greater, ranging from Mini-LED backlight products to Mini-LED direct-display TV products to Mini-LED lighting products. Relatively speaking, LGD rarely makes a sound in the industry with regard to Mini-LED. I believe that more reasons why Apple chooses to cooperate with LGD are to make the spread of know-how technology slower and to rely on LGD's IGZO LCD panel production capacity.

Mini-LED products are popularized by Apple in the IT field, at least let the entire industry breathe a sigh of relief, can make OLED panels more confident in the expansion of TV and mobile phones. After all, Mini-LED products are still the reinforcement products of LCD display technology after all, and cannot really control the contrast of individual pixels. There is still a certain gap between the display details and OLED. Coupled with the cost of energy management and the difference in product thickness, Mini-LED products, and OLED products are still not much comparable.