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HC SemiTek ships miniLEDs to Innolux, LG

China-based LED chip maker HC SemiTek has shipped miniLEDs to Taiwan-based Innolux for making a 55-inch flexible AM (active matrix) fine-pitch display and to LG Electronics for producing its so-called 163-inch Micro LED modular TV, according to industry sources.

The 55-inch flexible AM fine-pitch miniLED display can be mosaicked into at least a 110-inch screen, and Innolux plans to start volume production in first-quarter 2020 to compete with OLED panels, the sources cited Innolux as indicating. SemiTek entered into a strategic partnership with Innolux in 2019, the sources said.

LG unveiled its Micro LED modular TV featuring a pitch of 0.93mm and contrast of 150,000:1 in September 2020 and will launch it in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East markets for use in convention centers, lobbies of hotels and exhibition halls.

While SemiTek began to use 3x6mil miniLEDs in fine-pitch displays in first-quarter 2020, 5x10mil is the mainstream size for volume production for the time being, the sources noted, adding HC SemiTek is also undertaking trial production of miniLED for backlighting.

SemiTek estimates the global market value for fine-pitch miniLED displays at US$550 million in 2023, equivalent to using 3.5 million 4-inch miniLED epitaxial wafers, the sources said, adding production for miniLED-backlit TVs in 2023 is estimated at US$8.2 billion, with 20% attributable to production cost for miniLED chips.

SemiTek plans to invest CNY1.393 billion (US$206 million) to set up an R&D and production base for mini/microLED and GaN chips, with annual production capacity of 950,000 mini/microLED wafers for the former, the sources said. SemiTek has issued new shares worth up to CNY1.5 billion for private placement.