Samsung Electronics is at the forefront of transformative display technology, leading product innovation in the global television market for 17 years thanks to its industry capabilities and experience. The company is constantly changing the industry landscape with its new developments that allow you to experience the world in new ways.
Recently, Samsung raised the bar with the launch of the next-generation MICRO LED, a unique display technology that provides an unparalleled viewing experience. Samsung Newsroom sat down with Tae-yong Son, vice president of the MICRO LED team, Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics, to learn more about the development process of this display.
The intrinsic details of MICRO LED technology
As customers continue to want higher-definition displays in their homes, TV manufacturers must use the latest visual technologies to create more advanced displays. MICRO LED meets this need and has a modular design that provides an optimal viewing experience. The ultra-customizable MICRO LED panels allow the shape, size, and proportion of the screens to be adapted to any space or environment.
In addition to an incredible number of size options, MICRO LED displays use compact LEDs less than 50 µm in size. Each LED emits light in three primary colors (red, green, and blue), resulting in stunning image quality without the need for a color filter.
“Traditional displays, such as OLED and LCD, have a filter and additional layers of materials on top of their light source that block or absorb some of this light and affect the viewing experience. well,” explained Son. “On the other hand, MICRO LED does not use layers of additional material, which guarantees unparalleled color reproduction.”
Another unique feature of MICRO LED is Samsung’s nanometer technology, derived from its experience as a leader in semiconductors. This allows the operating circuitry of the LED chip to be deposited directly into the glass, reducing any light loss that users may experience with conventional displays. In addition, inorganic LEDs eliminate the possibility of screen burn-in or permanent discoloration.
Pioneers of the next frontier of screens
The creation of MICRO LED marks a major advance in display technology. While the previous versions of the televisions were created and marketed through the collective innovation of the industry, the development of MICRO LED is very different: it combines years of extensive research and testing by Son and his team.
“We are determined to provide viewers with a high-quality viewing experience,” Son said. “As this is a new technology, there are many challenges to overcome. This project needs a brave ally to take risks: Samsung is that ally. “We hired excellent experts for the project and invested heavily in the success of the product, which went through a lot of trial and error.”
As the name suggests, a MICRO LED display consists of millions of LED units, the most basic but essential part of a display. To ensure maximum display performance, each LED unit is rigorously tested to the highest quality standards.
The substrate for the LED chips is built before the chips are carefully transferred to it, creating an integrated module. Once produced, the module is assembled into a display and undergoes over 600 hours of extensive reliability testing and stabilization procedures to ensure that the display provides an exceptional viewing experience.
Anak explained the precision required to place the LEDs, which made the process particularly challenging. “Imagine trying to place a small object, smaller than a human hair, in a certain position and angle. This action is repeated over half a million times. This is the process of placing the LED, considering that every placement should be passive,” he said.
To speed up this process, Samsung’s development team started looking for a new solution. Leveraging the company’s expertise in semiconductors, the team adopted techniques used to carefully place circuits in wafers of silicon and applied them to MICRO LED screens. After testing the method, the process is considered successful and commercially viable for future production.
“We have never lost sight of our goal of creating a revolutionary show. “We never lost faith”— Tae-yong Son, vice president of Samsung Electronics
The modular nature of the display poses another challenge for developers: How can they create a single, unified image without lines or frames? After years of refinement, Samsung has developed an advanced self-assembly method, allowing 49 separate modules to seamlessly integrate into a single, stunning bezel-less display.
“After six years and more than 200 iterations, we have perfected the technology that integrates each module to create MICRO LED displays of all sizes,” said Son. “Despite the obstacles we faced along the way, we never lost sight of our goal of creating a revolutionary show. We have no doubts that we can do it. ”
Start, iterate, change: A relentless quest for innovation
An attitude of understanding and relationship between developers is important during the development of MICRO LED technology. Son emphasized that “engineers must overcome the fear of failure and understand that it is part of the innovation process.” Recognizing that failure provides an opportunity for future success and innovation, Son and his team use their difficulties as motivation to keep improving.
“By embracing courage and curiosity as a culture, we can move forward, knowing that every challenge we encounter is a step in the right direction towards innovation,” explained Son. “Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our team, we have brought this revolutionary technology to life. Understanding the process of trial and error as a learning opportunity rather than an obstacle allows us to grow in our search for improvements in technology.
Bringing MICRO LED closer to consumers
While MICRO LED displays are poised to revolutionize the industry, their introduction to the market has some challenges: longer consumer adoption cycles, significant upfront investment, and the need to scale manufacturing processes efficiently. In addition to these factors, well-established alternatives such as LCD and OLED displays currently dominate the market, which makes the market entry of MICRO LED displays slower and more difficult.
“Engineers must overcome the fear of failure; It’s just part of the change process. “ – Tae-yong Son, vice president of Samsung Electronics
Despite this, the Son sees these challenges as opportunities. “The display market is always evolving and new technologies always take time to find their place,” said Son. “While adoption may be slow at this time, it reflects the typical incubation period for advanced technologies. “As we continue to innovate and reduce production costs, MICRO LED technology will become more readily available. to a wider range of consumers.”
To introduce MICRO LED displays to a mainstream audience, Samsung plans to invest in methods that can optimize manufacturing processes and effectively reduce costs, along with targeted marketing efforts to educate consumers about the unique benefits of MICRO displays. Although MICRO LED technology is still in the early stages of the market, interest is growing steadily. The 110-inch MICRO LED screens have been sold since their official launch. Likewise, the recently launched 89-inch version has been pre-sold in many countries around the world, indicating strong consumer demand.
“MICRO LED is the pinnacle of displays for residential consumers and will transform the viewing experience across multiple devices,” said Son. “From augmented reality to the next generation of wearables, this emerging technology underpins the vision we have for the future: an era of hyper-realistic viewing experiences, all powered by MICRO LED innovation.”