Cost to be obstacle for 4K resolution
Samsung Electronics was developing the technology to keep the distance between pixels to early-0.5mm for MicroLED TVs that are under 100-inch in size.
This has allowed the company to reduce the distance between pixels by over 10% __ the distance between pixels for its 110-inch MicroLED TV was 0.63mm.
Samsung’s LED chip __ each one acting as one pixel on the MicroLED TV __ is around 35x60 micrometer in size for the MicroLED TVs that will be under 100-inch in size.
The South Korean tech giant had previous said in January that it planned to launch a 99-inch MicroLED TV between March and April this year, starting with South Korea. It had also said at the time that it plans to launch products in the 70-inch to 80-inch range within the year.
However, as of October this year, Samsung is yet to even launch a 99-inch MicroLED TV model.
The company is likely aiming to reduce the distance between pixels for the smaller TV model to realize a 4K resolution on them, as it did for the 110-inch model.
Last year in December, Samsung had said its 110-inch MicroLED had over 8 million pixels, which means the TVs had 4K level resolution.
This is needed as TVs need to support 4K resolution to enjoy videos from Netflix and YouTube.
For MicroLED TVs to keep their high resolutions, the LED chips must be placed more closely together on the screen.
This process increases the cost of manufacturing the TV. For example, one error during the transfer process __ where the LED chips are placed on the substrate __ out of the 8 million pixels could cause Samsung to swap 80,000 pixels.
This means the smaller the TV screen, the yield rate will likely become lower.
Samsung is likely delaying the launch of the 99-inch MicroLED due to this cost issue.
For most consumers, a smaller screened TV means a reduced price tag. The 110-inch MicroLED TV retailed for 170 million won in South Korea.
However, it could be that Samsung is in now rush to launch more MicroLED TVs as the market is yet to open for them and there is plenty of time for it to secure profitability first.
The company moves around 50 million units of TVs a year __ the firm is aiming to only move up to 500 units of MicroLED TVs.
Meanwhile, Samsung’s TV business has requested Samsung Display manufacture low-temperature polycrystalline silicon (LTPS) thin-film transistor (TFT) for MicroLED TVs at the start of 2021.
The TFT will allow Samsung to control smaller LED chips of the TV and increase resolution.
Samsung had earlier requested Taiwan’s AUO for the TFTs but changed the supplier to Samsung Display as it believes it would be more difficult to control the former.