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HiSilicon Display Chipsets Enable the Large-Screen Display Market to Flourish

1 The Future of Large-Screen Displays: Large Size and High Resolution

01 The deployment of high-generation lines enables manufacturers on the Chinese mainland to create larger panels.

[ShangHai, China, April 26, 2020]According to an IHS Markit report, global shipments of large-size TV panels numbered 287 million in 2019, which was a 0.7% year-on-year decrease. Shipment coverage reached 163 million square meters, with a year-on-year growth of 5.3%. Because of fluctuations in the price of panels and factory utilization, along with the decreased LCD production capacity of South Korean factories, it is predicted that global shipments of large-size TV panels will not see much room for growth in the next few years. Now, much of the world's panel production capacity has been transferred to the Chinese mainland, where 15 Gen 8.5/8.6 lines and 5 Gen 10.5/11 lines will be in mass production by 2022. Thanks to increasing production capacity and the improved cutting efficiency when producing large-size panels, it is predicted that the shipment area of panel factories on the Chinese mainland will maintain its high rate of growth, and the proportion of large-size panels will be further increased. This will accelerate the availability of larger panels on a global basis.

02 Now that 4K has become ubiquitous, 8K display is the next promising sector.

In 2019, 4K TVs accounted for about 45% of all worldwide sets, and this proportion was even higher on the Chinese mainland, where more than 70% of all TVs sold were 4K TVs. 4K's prevalence can be attributed to many factors, including the government's support for UHD displays, the increased production of 4K content, the upgrading of network transmission bandwidths, reduced costs due to upstream and downstream collaboration in the industry chain, and consumers' desire for better image quality.

As more and more people enjoy the improved viewing experience delivered by 4K, the large-screen display industry has already turned its attention to the next big opportunity: 8K. Large-screen 8K displays produce more detailed and smoother images than 4K ones. The deployment of an 8K ecosystem is well underway. Major TV brands have launched 8K TVs, and panel factories are accelerating the layout and cost optimization of large 8K panels. 8K production and live broadcasts have been used for large events, including sports matches. In the future, communication technologies such as gigabit optical fiber, and WiFi 6, will become even more powerful, and be able to achieve higher bandwidth and lower latency, further spurring on the development of 8K.

2 A Diverse Future for Large-Screen Display Technology

01 LCD and OLED remain the two mainstream display technologies.

The mature LCD industry dominates when it comes to large-screen displays. The OLED screen can deliver high-contrast, high-quality images thanks to its self-luminous feature. As the technology has matured, it has established itself as the go-to technology for large-screen applications. LCD and OLED now occupy over 95% of the large-screen display market. Derivative technologies based on these two will flourish in the next few years, as they compete with one another.

02 New backlight technologies dramatically improve the visual experience.

Since the beginning of 2019, many panel manufacturers and TV makers have launched solutions which enhance LCD panels with new backlights in order to compete with OLED panels. One of these is Mini LED backlight technology, which can be divided into two formats: passive matrix (PM) and active matrix (AM). The difference between them is that once the LED backlight source has been reduced, the AM Mini LED can be maintained with a PCB functioning as the backlight source, whereas the PM Mini LED is directly maintained using a TFT substrate. Both formats can achieve more refined backlight partition control than the existing solutions. The other is Dual Cell technology, where a layer of liquid crystal is added between the original backlight and the display panel. The sandwiched layer is used to control the backlight and enables more refined control over the partition.

During the 2019 and 2020 Consumer Electronics Shows (CES), Mini LED and Dual Cell both drew a great deal of attention. These technologies make it possible to achieve a contrast of 1000000:1 on an LCD, which is a promising development within the large-screen display field

03 Quantum dot technology empowers displays to present their true colors.

Technically, quantum dot technology is divided into two types: electro-emissive and photo-emissive. The former embeds quantum dot materials into pixels and uses electrical currents to enable these pixels to emit light. This makes it a kind of self-luminance format, but it is still an experimental type of display. The latter uses an existing backlight to excite a layer of quantum dot material to emit light, and is also a backlight technology. Quantum dot technology is popular because it delivers high brightness, a wide color gamut, and high saturation. It supports a high dynamic range (HDR) and a BT.2020 color gamut space, and also achieves low-power consumption and high luminous efficacy, which is increasingly important to TV vendors.

The advantages of quantum dot technology lie in its ability to enable other display technologies to produce colors more effectively. For example, a relatively mature quantum dot film (QD film) technology has been widely applied to LCD and OLED series, including QD-LCD and QD-OLED. With more advanced materials emerging, real electro-emissive quantum dot technology will almost certainly become a reality.

04 Laser technology has obvious advantages when it comes to ultra-large displays.

Unlike flat panel displays, laser display technology has no limitations in terms of screen size and location. It can provide obvious benefits in both the ultra-large screen display market (display size > 100 inches) and the public display market due to its cost effectiveness. According to data from All View Cloud, the application of laser displays in the large-screen market has maintained an annual growth rate of more than 120%. Laser display technology is currently undergoing a series of technical transformations, including the popularization of 4K, the upgrading of light source from monochromatic to bichromatic or trichromatic, and the application of wide color gamut technology. With the rise of holographic displays expected in the future, laser technology will have even greater room for growth.

05 Micro LED technology shows great potential.

Micro LED technology is considered to be the most promising next-generation display technology. It outperforms the current iterations of LCD and OLED technologies in terms of brightness, contrast, color reproduction, refresh rate, power consumption, and ambient temperature. Currently, LED mass transfer and silicon-based direct growth LED are the two most common ways of implementing this technology, and both of these are primed for breakthroughs. Micro LED has started to be used in mini-screen displays, and is generally expected to branch out into medium- and large-screen displays.

3 Impressive HiSilicon Chipsets for Large-Screen Display Technology

The performance of large-screen displays hinges on its two display chipsets, a timing controller (TCON), and a source driver. The TCON provides the panel timing drive signal, converts the data format, and performs key PQ operations. The driver handles digital-to-analog conversion and provides drive voltage for pixels. The performance of these components directly affects the final image quality and product reliability.

HiSilicon (Shanghai) entered the display chipsets field in 2016 and by 2020, it had already released many industry-leading product series. Its products cover 4K/8K resolution, 60 Hz/120 Hz refresh rate, and mini-LVDS/P2P interfaces, and they have gained a reputation for their extraordinary quality.

01 Higher definition

Resolution improvement is the main factor driving the upgrade of display technology, and definition is the direct result of a product's resolution capabilities. HiSilicon TCON chipset's super clarity function produces the truest 4K effects on 4K displays and greatly boosts the definition of non-8K video sources on 8K displays, enabling consumers to experience the breathtaking effects made possible by resolution improvement.

02 Algorithm-level optimization for brightness restoration

Luminance, contrast, and color performance are important metrics for measuring the quality of displays. The TCON chipset's Hi-Imprex 3D image quality engine maximizes display technology advantages and performs scenario-based, algorithm-level optimization, to further improve image quality and smoothness.

03 Low-power consumption and high reliability

The structural design of a display system is complicated. Electronic components, including chipsets, are crucial, but they are also relatively fragile, and vulnerable to interference from external environments and internal structures. Devices which use HiSilicon's TCON and source driver are able to greatly lower their power consumption, and can reduce the heat generated by the chipsets, improving both stability and peripheral components. Thanks to HiSilicon's R&D experience within the industry over the past decade, and its strategy of closely cooperating with the upstream and downstream partners, its TCON and Driver chipsets have amassed a good reputation for their high reliability.

As large size and high resolution become the key considerations for large-screens, display technologies will become more diversified. HiSilicon will continue to refine its display chipsets, helping large-screen display manufacturers to achieve unparalleled display effects and create unrivaled visual experiences for consumers.