We've seen many early production builds and some small volume insertions of products into the market. But Mini-LED never has gone into volume production. That however is changing as PCB manufacturers are ramping up for it.
Creating these panels is very time-consuming because each LED in the backlight has to be placed in the right place. There is also a choice of flexible substrates, which are more expensive and require a second coat to ensure that the lighting is even enough for a panel. Mini-LED panels appear to be relatively simple and therefore usually only consist of two layers.
-- DigiTimes --
Taiwan's PCB makers are poised to embrace a new wave of shipment boom for mini LED backlit boards along with increasing penetration of mini LED backlighting technology in new notebook and TV products, with rigid PCB solutions emerging as the mainstream, according to industry sources.
Mini LED will feature in more consumer devices. Apple is set to release new iPads with mini LED backlighting in the second half of 2020 and will also incorporate the technology into its future MacBook series, while Samsung Electronics is also moving aggressively to tap the market for mini LED TVs, promising great shipment momentum for mini LED backlight boards, the sources said.
Gaming notebooks, large gaming screens and even creator PCs will become new segments for mini LED applications, the sources continued.
Among Taiwan's mini LED backlight PCB suppliers, Zhen Ding Technology has cut into the supply chain of new iPads, while Uniflex Technology will zero in on new notebook models from Chinese vendors, the sources said. Unimicron Technology and Taiwan PCB Techvest both focus on large-screen public display applications. Apex International has reportedly landed orders from Samsung for mini LED TV backlight boards. Rigid boards are being widely adopted in mini LED backlighting solutions as they are more cost effective than flexible ones which require a new layer of special material to secure stable backlighting, the sources said, adding that mini LED backlight boards usually have only two layers as no sophisticated computing capability is required.
But to support mini LED mass transfer technology, the flatness of backlight boards is highly required, and therefore PCB makers will have to purchase new processing equipment to meet the requirement, the sources said.