In the 5G era, "visual sense is supreme". 8K UHD video is one of the most desirable applications in the 5G era.
Domestic LED display companies in the Red Sea Market are working hard to rush to the Blue Ocean Market brought by "UHD".
The National "UHD Video Industry Development Action Plan (2019-2022)" proposes that, according to the overall technical route of "4K first and giving consideration to 8K at the same time", the overall scale of China's UHD video industry will exceed 4 trillion yuan by 2022. Research and development and industrialization of 8K key technologies and products should achieve breakthroughs, and a group of internationally competitive enterprises should be established.
A UHD storm is on the way. 8K "UHD" display and Mini LED / Micro LED have become the best technology path recognized in the industry, among which Micro LED display technology is "disruptive and revolutionary".
Many domestic display companies are deploying Mini LED / Micro LED products. Several LED companies have announced their successful Mini LED mass production and commercialization cases, but only Ledman has announced the successful mass production of Micro LED products.
Mr. Martin Lee, chairman and president of Ledman, told "The Entrepreneurs" that Ledman’s Micro LED products will continue to be upgraded, "we will deploy and develop in multiple professional tracks".
Mr. Martin Lee guests in the studio of "The Entrepreneurs"
"COB Integrated Packaging Technology"
At present, there is actually no unified definition of Micro LED in the industry. Upstream and panel companies tend to define Mini LED and Micro LED (screen) in terms of chip size, normal chip or flip chip, etc., downstream, midstream and LED display companies tend to use pixel pitch to define Mini LED and Micro LED ( screen).
Ledman believes that "Micro LED" refers to a new type display using COB integrated packaging technology and micron-level LED chips, and the pixel pitch is less than 1 mm.
According to Mr. Martin Lee who has the technical background and who has been involved in the LED industry for 16 years and prided himself as a "veteran in the LED industry", compared with traditional SMD technology, the company's self-developed COB technology solves many pain points in the industry, such as:
"COB technology integrates the midstream packaging and downstream display technologies in the LED industry. The division of labor in the industry chain all uses the 'all in one' model, synthesizing midstream packaging processes and downstream display technology. The processes are concentrated, and some industrial supporting manufacturing links are omitted in the middle; compared with traditional SMD technology, COB technology has higher production efficiency, and the overall performance of products is much higher than SMD products. ”
Expansion of production and upgrading make the price of Micro LED "down to earth"
For the commercialization of Micro LED products, the core problems to be solved are the mass transfer and price, that is, "cost performance", which directly relates to the acceptability of the downstream industry chain. According to Mr. Martin Lee, the company continues to increase production capacity and reduce production costs by expanding production scale. "Micro LED products will be more cost-effective and the price will be more ‘down to earth’ in the future."
It is understood that the Micro LED technology in small size is also an important direction of Micro LED based on COB technology, facing the wearable and other fields, including VR / AR glasses, watches, mobile phones and so on. At present, many companies such as Apple and Samsung are conducting research and development, but the commercialization is currently rarely mentioned.
"The door to the demand for large-size Micro LED has opened"
Mr. Martin Lee said that the large-scale application of small-sized Micro LED may have to wait 3 to 5 years. Large-scale and super-large-scale technologies and markets have matured. "The door to market demand has been opened".
Mr. Martin Lee is quite optimistic about these special fields such as "city emergency management center, command center, data center and monitoring center of smart city" to apply large-size Micro LED display.
"In the past, these markets were either dominated by projections or traditional LED based on splicing, and the definition was not very high." Mr. Martin Lee said. "Now we made Micro LED products through the use of COB technology, bringing ultra high definition."
According to calculations by Mr. Martin Lee, the market size of special display screens used in city control centers etc. is about 15 billion. In addition, in the commercial fields such as hotels, conference venues, and exhibitions, traditional small-pitch LED large screen, DLP projection, and LCD panel splicing screen will gradually be replaced by LED UHD display.
Mr. Martin Lee is more optimistic about the potential of the emerging conference room market, he believes that "the scale may be as high as 100 billion".
At present, there are more than 20 million meeting rooms over 100 square meters in the world, most of which use projection as a display tool, and the largest LCD panel is 98 inches, which cannot meet the display size requirements of medium and large meeting rooms. COB UHD display has its unique features of interactivity and long service life. At present, the display market serving conferences is "in a rapid start-up phase and is expected to develop into a new Blue Ocean Market".
For the future of the company's Micro LED products, Mr. Martin Lee, who has deployed it for five years, said, "Now, I see the dawn, and my heart is finally settled."
According to Mr. Martin Lee, the price of Ledman’s COB-based display products has gradually approached the price of small-pitch products based on SMD technology. "The company's Micro LED display products can meet customers' requirements for after-sales maintenance, technical indicators, display quality and picture quality of UHD display products, and have been well received by end customers and partners, especially in mid- to high-end applications."
Ledman’s second entrepreneurship
At present, many domestic LED companies are still launching upgraded products of traditional LED such as OLED, and most of them are cautious about Micro LED. Mr. Martin Lee chose a bold and avant-garde way.
Five years ago, Mr. Martin Lee led Ledman to conduct a second entrepreneurship and invested in the research and development of the Micro LED field. He himself said that they were "entering a no man's land." Mr. Martin Lee said, "I dare to enter this field, one is because of the company's technical genes; the second is because Ledman has a complete industrial chain from the midstream to the downstream of the LED industry, and also has LED packaging technology and LED display technology."
According to reports, the overall yield rate of Ledman’s COB product line has gradually increased to the current 97%; In terms of production capacity, the current monthly output of the company's COB products can reach more than 1,000 square meters, which can basically meet the mass production conditions and customer orders of Micro LED display products based on COB packaging technology.
In April 2020, the board of directors of Ledman announced to conduct targeted fundraising lower than 380 million yuan, and it will be invested in the COB ultra-small pitch LED display panel project later. At the same time, Ledman launched the LED HUB smart conference system and formally entered the high-end video conference market.
Previously, the display product market customers of Ledman mainly came from overseas. Nowadays, the company's Micro LED product market mainly explores the domestic market. How to play the new game? Mr. Martin Lee said that they will quickly open up the market with the layout of region + industry, and at the same time form a strategic alliance with high-quality customers. "Since last year, the company's sales staff has doubled."
Ledman was listed on the Second-board Market as early as 2011, and was the first A-share listed display company. Mr. Martin Lee is very confident about the future development of the company. "Now relying on the Micro LED, the company has great potential." And he believes that it is a very healthy listed company because its asset-liability ratio is only about 30%.
The development of the small-size Micro LED technology for the C-end has attracted much market attention. Mr. Martin Lee said that based on COB technology of more than 100 inches and Micro LED technology of smaller size, the current interoperability of Ledman has reached 50%. Therefore, the company is also actively accumulating and developing technology for small-size Micro LED.