Micro-LED, the next-generation display technology, looks promising for smartphones and smartwatches. Companies such as Apple, Samsung, and Facebook’s Oculus are eyeing up this innovative technology for their upcoming products.
So, what is micro-LED? Micro-LED, also referred to as mLED or μLED, is the developing flat panel display technology, which is an electronic viewing technology that is used to allow people to see images or any visual thing in mobile, entertainment, personal computer, and consumer electronic devices. Most of the flat panel displays nowadays use LCD and LED technologies, but mLED flat panel displays have better contrast, response times, and energy efficiency than LCD technology.
Micro-LED is developed by Prof. Hongxing Jiang and Prof. Jingyu Lin of Texas Tech University and their team. Some companies have applied this technology to their products after its invention. One example of this is Sony, which launched a 55-inch Full HD “Crystal LED Display” in 2012. This features better contrast ratio and color than LCD TVs. A downside, however, is that it is amazingly expensive, according to Android Authority.
This next-generation display technology could enhance brightness while being power-efficient. This means the same panel brightness can be done for lower power. Its power consumption could be 90 percent lower than LCD and up to 50 percent lower than OLED, which uses organic materials in light producing part of the pixel stack.
With this, mLED is potentially good for smartphones and smartwatches, as it could generate longer screen-on time. It also offers higher total brightness, about 30 times than that of OLED products.
These minute micro-LED sizes could also make the vision of higher resolution panels in a compact form factor like the 4K or 8K smartphones or VR displays more possible. In VR displays, mLED could generate high response times into ns (nanoseconds) or a thousand times faster.
Currently, micro-LED is not yet commercially mass-produced. Experts say that it will probably come out in 2018 or 2019. It is also reported that Apple Inc. is making the investment on micro-LED technology research and development for future use of their Apple watches, which would have longer battery life, according to Apple Insider.
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