Apple has announced that it will begin manufacturing its displays. And will specifically use microLED technology. Also, that is known as mLED or μLED. But what does this type of technology consist of? Some already define it as the next revolution in screens; not for nothing: only in South Korea (home of Samsung and other companies of the same caliber) has the number of patent applications for this technology doubled during 2017.
The screens of your mobile phone, computer or TV manage to broadcast images. But each of them does so in a different way: one using plasma technology. And others using LCD or OLED, among other techniques. microLED is necessarily a type of technology that replaces all the previous ones.
microLED, the display technology of the future
In general terms, we could define it as a micrometric scale LED display, as its name suggests.
A micrometer is one-millionth of a meter (0.000,001 meters). In other words, one-thousandth of a millimeter (0.001 mm). That does not mean that each LED is the size of a micrometer, of course not (a human hair has a diameter of about 70 or 80 micrometers).
The fact that they are micrometric scale LEDs means that they can be measured in this unit. The LED can be 2 microns, just as it can be 200 microns. So, depending on the type of device used (in a mobile phone, for example, the LED should be closer to 2 than 200 microns).
What is the exact size of each LED? That is something that is jealously guarded by the manufacturers because none of them have spoken of specific numbers. Each of these micrometric scale LEDs acts as a pixel, so we finally have an image with a very high resolution.
Like OLED technology, it does not require backlighting (each of the small diodes of which it is composed emits its light). So, achieving two main things: a saving of energy (and therefore economic. So that it becomes ideal for portable or portable devices) and conservation of space. As it does not require a feedback layer. That is an off LED does not consume power. Also, this also makes for a purer and blacker black.
What is microLED and why can it be the next revolution of the screens
microLED uses a layer of inorganic materials, more specifically gallium nitride (GaN), which in turn eliminates the need for a polarization and encapsulation layer, such as OLED displays so that the thickness is further reduced.
No images retained
By using inorganic materials that increase the lifespan of the display, the typical problems of OLED displays (and also present in other previous technologies) are eliminated. After displaying the same high-contrast image for a long time, the same model that was shown for a long time is burned and almost permanently displayed.
On microLED displays, the screen does not get stained (burnt), so there is no image retained, or at least not as soon as on OLEDs. In fact, the time it would take for a microLED screen to leave a retained model would be directly proportional to the screen life improvement factor.
MicroLED screens on the market?
At the moment there are no microLED displays on the market, but Samsung could launch the first one this year. It has already been presented to the public, but it is not yet available for purchase, at least until August of this year. Its price is unknown, although as it is a new technology that has not even begun to be exploited, it is assumed that it will be within reach of a few.
It is a 146-inch (3.7-metre diagonal) screen, The Wall, with virtually no edges. That gives a lot of room for the professional sector. And this low size means that thanks to the form factor that can be achieved. And because it has no edges, it is possible to create huge screens, such as the wall.
Samsung Introduces MicroLED: Blacker Blacks and Borderless Screens
Apple, for its part, could have its first product ready in about two years among the major manufacturers investing in this technology.