Demand for microLED displays is accelerating, with research consultancy Yole Développement forecasting that the market could reach up to 330 million units by 2025. GaN-on-silicon is the only technology platform capable of addressing all the challenges involved with manufacturing microLED displays in high volumes and cost-effectively.
Yole says microLED displays could have a profound impact on both the LED and display supply chains. The development of large scale microLED displays requires the combination of three major disparate technologies: LED, TFT backplane and chip transfer. The supply chain is complex and lengthy compared with that of traditional displays. Each process is critical and managing every aspect effectively will be challenging.
"No single player can solve all the issues and it seems unlikely that any will fully vertically integrate", said Eric Virey, senior technology and market analyst at Yole.
Virey added that while small companies could bring together the different technologies to serve the AR/MR (augmented reality / mixed reality) market, high volume consumer applications such as mobiles or TVs, really need a strong push from a leading OEM to enable the supply chain. He said that Apple has a unique market positioning and appears to be the most likely candidate with enough leverage and financial strength to bring all partners together, with other candidates including Oculus for example, who have also invested in microLEDs for AR/MR applications.
— Nitin Dahad is a European correspondent for EE Times.