Mass movement for microLEDs

An article written by Rebecca Pools for Electro Optics, in collaboration with Eric Virey, Principal Analyst, Technology & Market, Displays at Yole Développement (Yole) – When it comes to the next big display technology, all eyes are on microLEDs. Promising stunning picture quality with spectacularly high resolution and brightness, tech companies far and wide are muscling in on the diminutive yet mighty flat-panel starlet.

Earlier this year, industry behemoth, Samsung, unveiled its latest raft of 110-inch, 101-inch and 89-inch displays, while LG is poised to push picture boundaries with a 100-inch plus microLED display. Meanwhile, Apple, Meta and other multinationals continue to hone their display-tech behind closed doors, as start-ups such as PlayNitride and Plessey serve up microLED innovation. And, with many industry analysts predicting market growth to top 100 per cent in the coming years, the industry frenzy is understandable.

Eric Virey, technology analyst at France-based Yole Développement, has been tracking microLED developments for some time while keeping a close eye on microLED patents and who’s been filing these all-important indicators of industry progress. As he pointed out: ‘The level of activity here is still increasing exponentially… and what we can see now is a trend towards more mature patents.’

According to Virey, a few years ago the patents were generally about ideas or concepts, but not anymore. ‘We’re now seeing a great deal of detail on describing precisely the structure of the pixels, the nature of the materials and how this is all put together,’ he said. ‘You can tell that many of the companies filing these patents are actually in the fab, trying to make [the technology] work.’