The micro-LED display market is in the development phase and lacks well-established distribution channels, making it difficult for the manufacturers to switch from traditional components to technologically advanced components. Furthermore, due to the technology’s newness and lack of awareness, there is no patent portfolio. This slows the industry’s growth in the short term but gives participants chances in the long run.
- Definition / Scope
- Market Overview
- Market Risks
- Top Market Opportunities
- Market Drivers
- Market Restraints
- Industry Challenges
- Technology Trends
- Regulatory Trends
- Post COVID-19 Recovery
- Market Size and Forecast
- Market Outlook
- Technology Roadmap
- Competitive Landscape
- Competitive Factors
- Key Market Players
- Strategic Conclusion
Definition / Scope
Micro-LEDs (micro-light-emitting diodes) are a new type of display that uses extremely small LEDs to operate as pixels. To reproduce color, this technique combines red, green, and blue sub-pixels. Despite the fact that micro-LED displays are not yet in mass production, this technology has the potential to become a major display market and to replace incumbent LCD and OLED (organic light-emitting diode) technologies. Micro-LED displays can be found in a wide range of applications, including televisions, smartphones, smartwatches, head-up displays (HUDs), virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR) headsets.
Micro-LEDs are far brighter than OLEDs, giving three to four times the brightness. OLEDs can produce roughly 1000 Nits (cd/m2) of luminance, whereas micro-LEDs can produce hundreds of thousands of Nits for the same amount of electricity. This is the main advantage of micro-LED displays, which makes them ideal for head-up displays (HUDs), virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR) applications in which waveguides are used to place images in front of the eye through a headset or glasses.
Based on the application, the market is categorized into
- AR/VR headsets,
- head-up display (HUD),
- smartphone and tablet,
- smartwatch, digital signage, and monitor and
Based on industry vertical, the market is segmented into
- consumer electronics,
- government and defense,
- advertising, and
Based on region, the market is segmented into
- North America,
- the Middle East and Africa, and
- South America.
The global micro-LED market is estimated to be valued at USD 592 million in 2021 and it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 153.1 percent to USD 11611.88 million by 2026. (2021 – 2026). The micro-LED market was anticipated to be worth 50.30 million units in 2020. Since Apple’s acquisition of Luxvue in 2014, other firms have invested in the development of micro-LEDs, including startups like Playnitride, Mikro-Mesa, X-Celeprint, VueReal, and Lumiode. According to study, the growing number of patents in this industry, estimated at around 1,570 patents filed between 2000 and 2016, is likely to boost market growth throughout the projection period.
Micro-LEDs are a brand-new type of display. Importantly, micro-LEDs are a far brighter source than OLEDs, which can only give roughly 1000 Nits (cd/m2) for the same amount of power consumption, but micro-LEDs can deliver hundreds of thousands of Nits for the same amount of power consumption.
Furthermore, as GaN-based LED technology matures, many research organizations’ attention has switched to the fabrication of higher-power, higher-efficiency LEDs, boosting demand for tiny LEDs due to their features.
The mass transfer technique, which involves placing gallium nitride LEDs on a substrate, is currently the most difficult task in the fabrication of tiny LEDs. The use of pick-and-place equipment is one major advancement in GaN-on-sapphire technology. However, the deployment of this needs the individual positioning of every LED on a pitch of less than 50m, which necessitates the purchase of new and expensive equipment, causing productivity and cost concerns for the organization.
Micro LEDs are currently being adopted over traditional LCOS and DLP technologies due to the desire for higher-quality HMDs and functionality upgrades to enable the ongoing roll-out of high-quality AR/VR content. InfiniLED, an Irish micro-LED business, was recently bought by Oculus, a virtual reality headgear maker owned by Facebook. According to Intel, the AR/VR market’s revenue potential remains robust, with headset hardware sales expected to approach USD 45 billion (USD) by 2021. Such tendencies indicate that the market under consideration has a great development potential throughout the forecast period.
The Prime Risk Factor for the growth of the Global Micro-LED Market is
The Global Micro-LED Market is largely fragmented, with a number of conglomerates and medium-sized and small start-up companies accounting for the majority of global market share. Lower entry barriers, a lack of economies of scale, and fierce market competition are all factors contributing to the Global Micro-LED Market’s fragmentation. Businesses with lower margins and higher costs will benefit from a fragmented market. When interacting with other countries, they also lack the benefit of size.
Top Market Opportunities
The Top Opportunities for Market Players in the Global micro-LED Market are
Growing demand for wearable displays for smartwatches and head-mounted displays (HMDs)
Many smart wearable companies are attempting to expand their product lines by adding small screens to their products. Small display panels are used by smart wearable makers in products such as watches, bracelets, and smart eyewear. Micro-LED technology is likely to be marketed initially for smart wearables like NTE devices and smartwatches, then for smartphones and other bigger application areas like laptops, PC monitors, and TVs as the technology improves. As a result, display panel makers such as Samsung, LG, AU Optronics, and Innolux are projected to benefit from the rising market for smart wearables. These firms are likely to collaborate with micro-LED startups to invest in such applications.
Rising Adoption of Advanced Technologies
The increasing adoption of advanced technologies is a crucial industry trend. Vehicle makers are always attempting to develop lightweight, efficient, and tiny technologically advanced components. OLED, laser, and matrix-led lighting are examples of emerging technology. A matrix led’s high-beam unit is made up of 25 individual components. The high-beam feature of the matrix LED light allows it to react appropriately to other vehicles. Because the sensors are connected to the matrix led, the light is automatically activated, deactivated, or dimmed, guaranteeing that other drivers are not blinded. Nichia Corporation, for example, teamed up with Infineon Technologies to develop a high-definition front illumination system with 16,000 tiny LED matrix solutions. Only the lights in this solution that are required for the light pattern are turned on, boosting the solution’s energy efficiency.
The Major Factors driving the growth of the Global micro-LED Market are
Increasing demand for brighter and power-efficient display panels
Every day, the share of the urban population grows, generating traffic congestion. Only 46.72 percent of the world’s population lived in cities in 2000; by 2007, more than half (50.14 percent) of the world’s population (for the first time) resided in cities. In metropolitan locations, private and professional mobility poses major problems. Increased urbanization and population have increased traffic density levels, making commuting difficult for the general public. In addition, as the urban population expands, so will the volume of business conduct within cities and with business partners outside of cities. As business increases, a growing urban population tends to increase the amount of transportation. For example, when businesses such as e-commerce, postal & logistics, and restaurant aggregator & meal delivery companies extend their operations, traffic will increase in cities.
Rise in demand for infotainment system in automobiles
Demand for video streaming, an increase in automobile infotainment systems, a growing trend in foldable displays and flexible technologies, and consumer demand for high-end home entertainment solutions are expected to drive GaN Micro-LED market growth over the forecast period.
Due to the rapid pace of technological advancements and changes in consumer demand, GaN Micro-LED is very likely to become a mainstream product in the near future. Moreover, over the assessment period, demand from newer consumers is likely to affect the global GaN Micro-LED market’s growth trajectory. The lower cost of GaN Micro-LED-enabled products will lead to their adoption in more applications and more consumer acceptability.
The Major Factors restraining the growth of the Global micro-LED Market are
Limited patents and inadequate supply chain
The three key supply chain steps required for mass production of micro-LED displays are micro-LED manufacture, mass transferring, and panel manufacturing. These three processes must come together for large-scale display production. Micro-LED displays have a more complicated and lengthy supply chain than LCD or OLED panels. As the technology matures, the LCD supply chain, which includes a variety of components and materials, is well established. The OLED supply chain is changing; yet, because there are fewer components in the display panel, one or two players can control the supply chain. Every operation in the micro-LED supply chain is crucial, and managing each stage of the supply chain by one or two parties will be difficult. The patent portfolios of companies, as well as their dispersion, indicate that no single company is well-positioned to cover the whole micro-LED display supply chain.
High cost of micro-LED display
Micro-LED displays are a fourth-generation display technology that is just getting started. It combines the benefits of both OLEDs and LCDs, resulting in increased brightness and energy efficiency. However, as compared to traditional display technologies such as OLEDs and LEDs, the cost of micro-LED displays is significantly higher, which is projected to limit market growth. Furthermore, power leakage caused by micro-LED display downsizing results in excessive power consumption, limiting market expansion.
The Prime Challenge for Market Players in the Global micro-LED Market is
Requirement of high investments
To mass-produce micro-LED chips for various applications, manufacturers will need to adopt new manufacturing techniques and equipment or modify their existing systems. Micro-LED development options that are compatible with existing manufacturing methods are being explored by industry-leading LED manufacturers such as Epistar (Taiwan) and Cree (US). GLO AB (Sweden) has demonstrated the ability to grow nanowires on a variety of substrates, including sapphire and silicon, using industry-standard process equipment. Leading players are concentrating their efforts on making the micro-LED fabrication technique compatible with existing fabrication plants.
Some of the recent technological advances and the novel applications of MicroLED are
PlayNitride showed a flexible Micro LED display. More than 5.5 million Micro LEDs smaller than 30 m were used to attain a high resolution of 228 PPI on the 9.4-inch flexible Micro LED display.
Many people believe that Micro LED technology has a lot of potential in visible light communication, in addition to display applications. In June, CEA-Leti declared their success in the field. A 10 m Micro LED was employed by the research institute to achieve a data transfer rate of 7.7 Gbps.
Micro LED technology is also employed in medical implants. Korea’s GIST introduced a Micro LED embedded medical implant system which supplies wireless power.
Regulation in the USA
The FDA has mandated that all LEDs meet the FD2 standard. “LED items utilized for general or local area illumination, such as lamps and light bulbs,” according to the specification. An importer must provide the name and physical address of the original production plant when importing an LED gadget. This can be challenging in some circumstances and may require more inquiry beyond where the part was acquired. This could entail contacting the LED supplier and requesting the factory from which the item was sourced. It is also vital to consider this if importing lights to be used with LEDs in order to prevent an FDA hold.
Regulation in the Europe
Lighting goods must now conform with the eco-design requirements specified in three directives: (EC) No 244/2009, (EC) No 245/2009, and (EU) No 1194/2012, according to the Single Lighting Regulation (SLR). Light sources and contained goods have replaced the old phrases of lamps and luminaires. The European Commission (EC) was attempting to get firms to adopt a more circular economy approach at the same time. As in the past, lights could be replaced and housings reused, as well as simply disassembled in the event of recyclability. A luminaire with a nonreplaceable LED module is now classified as a “light source,” with all of the regulations’ ramifications.
Regulation in China
According to the Machinery and Electrical Products Testing Center of Shanghai’s Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, one of the most noticeable changes to China’s latest lighting standard GB7000.1-2015, which addresses luminaires general test requirements, is the introduction of blue-light hazard regulations. The new lighting standard, which was published on December 31, 2015 and will take effect on January 1, 2017, differs significantly from the current standard, GB7000.2007.
To begin, it has enacted blue-light danger legislation. The IEC/TR 62778 requirements for blue-light hazard assessments of integrated LEDs and LED modules in luminaires must be met. Blue-light danger emission levels in mobile luminaires for children and nightlights shall not exceed RG1 at a distance of 200 mm.
Regulation in India
Unnat Jeevan is a programme that provides everyone with affordable LEDs and appliances. The (UJALA) initiative, which is the world’s largest non-subsidized LED bulb distribution plan, has provided the industry a boost. The campaign has effectively supplied more than 250 million LED lights. The ultimate goal is to replace 770 million incandescent bulbs with LEDs across India. With such a large output objective, the industry has the potential to create a lot of jobs and grow exponentially.
Post COVID-19 Recovery
The recent COVID-19 outbreak has a significant impact on the micro-LED display market. Logistics issues caused by the pandemic offered significant obstacles, including getting raw materials, recruiting workers from quarantine, and bringing finished goods to market. The lockdown and work-from-home rules, on the other hand, encouraged sales of different consumer electronics equipment such as PCs, laptops, and televisions.
As a result, the micro-LED display industry is steadily ramping up and seeing a slew of new product introductions. In 2022 and beyond, the market is predicted to pick up and grow tremendously.
Market Size and Forecast
The global micro-LED market is estimated to be valued at USD 592 million in 2021 and reach USD 21,169 million by 2027, at a CAGR of 81.5% between 2021 and 2027. The micro-LED market was anticipated to be worth 50.30 million units in 2020, Since Apple’s acquisition of Luxvue in 2014, other firms have invested in the development of micro-LEDs, including startups like Playnitride, Mikro-Mesa, X-Celeprint, VueReal, and Lumiode. According to study, the growing number of patents in this industry, estimated at around 1,570 patents filed between 2000 and 2016, is likely to boost market growth throughout the projection period.
Mass transfer and mass inspection/repair are now the most difficult difficulties in Micro LED technology. Industry participants are looking for creative technology breakthroughs and long-term technology developments in the near future, as well as using packaging technology to solve challenges. The present target applications are small-sized wearable Displays with fewer pixels or large-sized wearable Displays with a larger pixel pitch, as these obstacles have yet to be overcome. Leading worldwide brands are looking to build their own supply chains, while smaller companies, such as OEMs, are looking for industry partnerships to help them advance their micro-LED technology development.
As disposable money rises, wearable technologies such as smartwatches and head-mounted displays are becoming more popular. The growing demand for wearable displays in smartwatches and head-mounted displays (HMDs) is predicted to provide lucrative growth and investment possibilities for micro-LED display market players.
Market, By Panel Size
Because of their increasing use in applications like as smartwatches, smartphones, and near-to-eye gadgets, the small micro-LED display market is expected to increase at a rate of roughly 150 percent until 2026. These components reduce the size of devices dramatically, allowing them to be used in compact electronics such as cellphones. These components have a few milliseconds response time and are ideal for use in smartwatches and AR/VR systems.
The increased use of the technology in digital signages, particularly in indoor applications, will drive the big micro-LED display market shipments to 35 million units by 2024. Samsung announced the debut of its 146-inch micro-LED modular panels in January 2018. The size of these panels can be adjusted to meet the needs of both outdoor and inside public displays. The smaller size of these panels and the closer spacing of the LEDs allow for high-resolution images and videos.
Market, By Application
Due to rising applications in near-to-eye devices such as AR and VR headsets, the micro-LED display market is expected to develop significantly, reaching USD 5.4 billion by 2026. Compact and small-sized panels with great brightness and low costs are becoming more popular as AR/VR technology becomes more widely used in gaming, healthcare, and entertainment applications. To achieve user pleasure, AR and VR devices require components with strict size and weight constraints. For near-to-eye devices, these components also provide the appropriate brightness and contrast ratio.
Through 2026, the smartwatches application will grow at a rate of roughly 100%. Several technology behemoths, including Apple, Inc., are investing in near-eye device modification technology. For example, in April 2018, Apple announced a collaboration with Taiwan Semiconductor to invest in research and development for micro-LED panels for smartwatches. These components provide a low-power, lightweight alternative to typical LED or OLED displays. However, the manufacturing costs of these components are expected to be greater, and they will only be used in high-end Apple watches.
Market, By Region
The market for tiny LED displays in the United States is expected to exceed USD 26 billion by 2026, driven by increased demand for electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches. In 2017, over 12 million smartwatches were sold in the United States, and this number is expected to rise. The market share of these components will grow as they become more widely used in wearable devices.
The Asia Pacific micro-LED display market is expected to grow significantly over the projected period, owing to rising smartphone penetration in the region. Furthermore, the presence of multiple manufacturers in the region allows the transition from standard displays to tiny LED displays cost-effective for the producers. Electronic product makers including as Panasonic, LG, and Samsung are increasing their interest in the region, pushing panel manufacturers to engage in the building of facilities to create these components.
The micro-LED market was anticipated to be worth 50.30 million units in 2020, and it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 153.1 percent to USD 11611.88 million by 2026. (2021 – 2026).
Near-to-Eye (NTE) device will have the highest growth in coming years
By 2026, the market for near-to-eye (NTE) devices is predicted to account for the majority of the micro-LED display industry. The strong demand for AR/VR devices can be ascribed to the expansion of this category. In addition, NTE devices require brighter and more energy-efficient LEDs. Because micro-LEDs meet this need, the use of NTE devices is expected to develop at the fastest rate during the forecast period.
Consumer electronics vertical is expected to hold the largest share in 2027
During the projection period, Consumer Electronics is expected to dominate in terms of market share. A considerable number of start-ups with high R&D investments have emerged in the consumer electronics market. As a result of these advances, the micro-LED market is expected to rise significantly. One of the advantages provided by micro-LED is that there is an increase in demand for power efficient devices.
APAC is attributed to grow at the highest CAGR in overall micro-LED market during the forecast period (2021-2027)
In the total micro-LED market, APAC is predicted to develop at the fastest rate. The increased interest of electronic heavyweights in APAC in adopting micro-LED technology is predicted to drive the fastest growth of the APAC micro-LED market.
The first Micro LED commercial product, the Crystal LED display, was launched by Sony, which replaced the traditional packaged LEDs by Micro LED. These small-pitch LED video displays target the to-B market and both the costs and prices are far more expensive than what already exist. Technology immaturity, cost barriers and supply chain incompletion are three major hurdles in large-scale commercialization for Micro LED displays.
The developing mass transfer sector is the connection that connects the present LED industry and the mature display industry, and it can be the facilitator for establishing a new supply chain. Given that present LCD manufacturing is migrating to China for cost reasons and that South Korea dominates OLED displays, those who can react quickly enough to secure a key place in the shaped supply chain will profit from the next major opportunity. Traditional LED suppliers, display vendors, component providers, OEMs, and integrators are welcome to participate, as are newcomers who can contribute technology innovation, material improvements, equipment support, and business model revolution.
Distribution Chain Analysis
The Distribution Chain of the Global micro-LED Market is as in the below image
Though there are few players right now, there is a boom in development and research in the manufacture of tiny LEDs since the technology is deemed disruptive for the future of display technologies.
This has boosted the quantity of patents as well as market participant acquisitions of micro-LED developers/foundries. As a result, there is a moderate level of competitive rivalry, which is likely to increase over time.
Key Market Developments
- In January 2021, Sony Electronics, one of the leaders in consumer and innovative display technology, launched the modular Crystal LED C-series (ZRD-C12A/C15A) with high contrast and B-series (ZRD-B12A/B15A) with high brightness, the new innovation in premium direct-view LED display
- In December 2020, Samsung Electronics launched the groundbreaking 110″ Samsung MICRO LED display in Korea
- In January 2020, Samsung Electronics and Niio, one of the leading forum for new media art, collaborated to launch an open call competition to promote Samsung’s micro-LED display “The Wall”
ALLOS Semiconductors, Mikro Mesa Technologies, PlayNitride, Plessey Semiconductors, VueReal, and Ostendo Technologies are among the industry’s early adopters, with investments from ALLOS Semiconductors, Mikro Mesa Technologies, PlayNitride, Plessey Semiconductors, VueReal, and Ostendo Technologies.
Changchun Institute in China, the Industrial Technology Research Institute in Taiwan, CEA Leti, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, and III-V Lab in France are among the research institutes working on mass-production of these components. Intense competition characterizes the worldwide market, resulting in the purchase of minor firms by technology behemoths.
Key Market Players
Some of the Key Market Players in the Global micro-LED Market are
Plessey Semiconductors Ltd. manufactures and distributes electronic products. The Company develops and produces semiconductor products used in sensing, measurement, and control applications. Plessey Semiconductors serves customers in communications, manufacturing, health care, aerospace, and defense markets throughout the world.
Ostendo Technologies, Inc. manufactures semiconductor devices. The Company develops micro-LED based display technologies and products. Ostendo Technologies serves customers in the state of California.
Aledia develops light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The Company develops and manufactures innovative (LEDs) based on a 3D architecture using gallium-nitride (GaN)-on-silicon microwires, enabling production of LED chips at a cost less than traditional planar (2D) LEDs. Aledia conducts business in Grenoble, France.
ALLOS Semiconductors is an engineering and consulting company helping clients from the semiconductor industry worldwide to master GaN-on-silicon technology and unleash its benefits. ALLOS team’s success builds on its longstanding experience in the GaN-on-silicon space. They offer a complete set of services based on our unique and patent protected technology, which is made available to our customers through technology transfers and licensing.
glo AB provides electronic products and services. The Company designs and develops semiconductor light-emitting diodes at levels of brightness suitable for general illumination applications. glo serves customers worldwide.
Lumens.com, Inc. offers lighting, ceiling fans, and home accessories. The Company provides ceiling, wall and architectural lighting, floor and table lamps, fans parts and accessories, home and outdoor furniture, decor, gifts, and other personal accessories.
VueReal Inc provides electronic systems. The Company offers micro-led displays, sensors, and panels for television, laptop, smart phones, and other virtual applications. VueReal serves customers in Canada.
In 2020, the micro-LED market was estimated to be worth 50.30 million units, with a CAGR of 153.1 percent expected to reach USD 11611.88 million by 2026. (2021 – 2026).
The predicted penetration of micro-LED displays in NTE devices and luxury smartphones is one of the key reasons driving the micro-LED market forward over the forecast period. Similarly, the growing demand for wearable displays such as smartwatches and head-mounted displays (HMDs) is likely to provide attractive prospects for micro-LED market competitors. The lack of patents and a proper supply chain, on the other hand, is projected to limit market expansion.
- micro-LED – micro–Light Emitting Diode
- OLED – Organic Light-Emitting Diode
- HUDs – Head-up Displays
- VR – Virtual Reality
- AR – Augmented Reality
- LCD – Light Crystal Diode
- HMDs – Head-Mounted Displays