Micro-LED technology still has a long way to go before it can compete with mini-LED and OLED, but Taiwan-based AUO has more than 600 employees working to improve it and make it cheaper. Although existing prototypes leave something to be desired, the company wants to solve the remaining problems as soon as possible and gradually switch from LCD to micro-LED in the coming years.
If mini-LED is actually a variant of LCD, which received backlighting from numerous LED elements, then in micro-LED such elements form the picture itself, without the need for an LCD matrix. But if mini-LED is already used in some gadgets or, for example, monitors, there are no products with micro-LED on sale yet. According to some reports, the technology will be used in the new Apple Watch and Samsung has been experimenting with it for the release of a limited series of TVs. Additionally, some companies are considering micro-LED as a solution for augmented reality headsets.
This week, AUO showcased proof-of-concept products at Touch Taiwan. While the models look pretty interesting, they’ve been in development since at least 2012 and don’t seem to be finished yet. One of the prototypes is a flexible 14.6-inch display with a brightness of up to 2000 cd/m²2. At the same time, the resolution is still only 1280 × 720 pixels, which even 10 years ago would not have been considered a particularly impressive result. In addition, the company showed a 17.3-inch anti-glare display with the same low resolution. The technology also allows you to change the level of transparency.
AUO reports that they are working on improving the technology and the prototypes only show progress in development, although they have many “broken” pixels. In the near future, the company promises to increase the resolution of displays. There is currently only a 1.39-inch variant with an acceptable pixel density of 326 PPI.
In addition, the developer demonstrated 16- and 18-inch displays for laptops with AmLED technology – a variant of mini-LED. In this case, we are talking about a resolution of 2560 × 1600 pixels, which is quite usable for commercial use, and a peak brightness of 1000 cd/m²2as well as a 240Hz screen refresh rate and full DCI-P3 gamut display.
AUO said it will transform its LCD factory into a Micro LED factory in the next two years. The company expects the cost of such panels to drop by 50% every two years, potentially increasing the technology’s chances over OLED and mini-LED.