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New Vertical-Stacking MicroLED Tech Could Make Ultra-Small Display Sizes

New Vertical-Stacking MicroLED Tech Could Make Ultra-Small Display Sizes

by Low Boon ShenFebruary 9, 2023
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New Vertical-Stacking MicroLED Tech Could Make Ultra-Small Display Sizes

Widely regarded as the ‘holy grail’ of display technologies, there’s one major technical issue that currently prevents MicroLED from dominating the display market: size.

New Vertical-Stacking MicroLED Tech Could Make Ultra-Small Display Sizes

Image: Younghee Lee (MIT News)

Researchers over at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has designed a new fabrication technique that can massively shrink the MicroLED panels into literal microscopic sizes. The technique is called ‘vertical stacking’, and it’s pretty self-explanatory. A MicroLED panel is functionally similar to an OLED panel, but since it doesn’t contain organic elements (hence the ‘O’ in OLED), burn-in will not occur in these panels.

In case you need more details on how it works: a typical display panel contains pixels – and with each of them comprises of three subpixels: Red, Green and Blue (some panel types uses fourth subpixel but we won’t discuss that for simplicity’s sake). All three subpixels sit next to each other and when they’re viewed far enough, human eyes won’t be able to tell it apart and will blend them together to form the white color when all three are evenly illuminated.

The currently limitation of MicroLED is its low yields as you go higher in terms of pixel density, and that’s why you are only seeing MicroLED in huge panels such as Samsung’s The Wall. The latest version of Samsung’s MicroLED, named CX, still have size limits on 50 inches. This technique from MIT however, will put all the subpixels behind one another and makes pixels much tighter and prevents a ‘screen door’ effect which happens if the pixel density is too low for the naked eye if viewed too close.

What does that mean in practical terms? With researchers achieving pixel densities of up to 5,000 ppi (pixels per inch), this technique meant it’s possible to put MicroLED displays on small form factors such as VR devices, researchers say. For reference, a typical desktop monitor has the pixel density of ~160 ppi, and smartphones usually exceeds 400 ppi, which makes it almost impossible to discern individual pixels even when you’re looking at it extremely closely.

Of course, this is still in the labs and we’re possibly still years away from mainstream MicroLED adoption, and besides, the cost and cooling challenges could be something to be aware as well. Still, if you’re patient enough, this panel may be the be-all-and-end-all of all displays.

Source: PC Gamer | MIT News

Pokdepinion: The development pace of MicroLED sure has picked up a lot in recent years. 

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Low Boon Shen
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