Monitors With MiniLED Backlights Set To Hit The Market This Year
It appears that the monitor market will see some innovation soon, as AU Optronics, an important OEM manufacturer of LCD panels, has announced the production of monitors and panels with a MiniLED backlight. These monitors feature a backlight consisting of many different smaller LEDs, similar to the Full-Array Local Dimming technique that is being used on some televisions.
The production of MiniLED backlights and products was announced by Michael Tsai – president of the company – to AUO. At first, these panels will be used for high-end gaming monitors, and the CEO estimates that we’ll first start seeing consumer products with a MiniLED backlight in the fourth quarter of the year.
MiniLED is fairly similar to Full-Array Local Dimming and should increase contrast, HDR, and brightness in displays. Instead of using one large backlight, a MiniLED display consists of multiple smaller LEDs behind the panel, which can all be controlled individually. It’s important to note that MiniLEDs are not equal to MicroLEDs, where the pixels themselves serve as the LED. The latter, more refined, technology is still a couple of years away for entry in consumer products and should offer serious competition to OLED, which has organic self-illuminating pixels. MicroLED would offer a better longevity, as well as a higher brightness while maintaining the perfect contrast ratio that OLED has.
It’s still unclear at the moment which screen panels that AU Optronics is currently producing with a MiniLED backlight, nor are there any details such as screen size, refresh rates and the number of LEDs in the backlight. The company did show a number of working prototypes, including a 27″ 144Hz 4K monitor, a 15.6″ laptop panel with 4K resolution, a 6″ MiniLED LCD for use in smartphones and a smaller 2″ display for virtual reality and augmented reality headsets.
Nonetheless, we’ll likely start seeing product announcements of MiniLED displays by the popular screen manufacturers soon.