Yuanuniverse Fire VR head display products, and the underlying display technology is constantly evolving

Published on 9/27/2022   242 views   0 Comments  

Source:China Electronic News

Author: Gu Yue

Original title: LCD? OLED? Display Technology Strives for the Metauniverse

The concept of "meta universe" keeps the popularity of VR head display products high. With the continuous development of VR technology, LCD and OLED, as the underlying display technology support, are also evolving. At present, the two are trying their best to compete for the meta universe.

LCD's mainstream position has not been shaken

According to the current VR market application, most VR headwear devices use LCD screens.

According to IDC data, in 2021, the global VR head display shipments will reach 10.95 million units, of which Oculus alone will account for 80%. At present, only Sony Play Station VR is using OLED screens among the top 5 brands worldwide. Major terminal manufacturers such as Oculus, Pico, HTC and Value have adopted LCD screens in their VR products, including Oculus Quest 2, HTC Vive and focus3, DPPI Ultra all-in-one, Pico Neo3 and Value index. It is worth mentioning that Oculus Quest 2 and HT CVive, two popular products, gave up the OLED screen used in the first generation and switched to LCD.

In fact, most of the early VR headworn devices used ordinary LCD screens, which were gradually replaced by OLEDs.

"LCD technology has been very mature and can achieve very high resolution." Liu Tun, deputy general manager of CCID's Internet of Things Industry Research Center, introduced to the reporter of China Electronic News that, due to its slow response speed and other reasons, the user experience was poor, so VR products have not been really accepted by consumers.

According to Liu Tun, the response speed of an ordinary LCD is only 1/100~1/1000 of that of an AMOLED. When a user wears a helmet and has a relatively large head rotation, there will be an irreparable smear.

In practical applications, OLEDs respond faster than ordinary LCDs and can effectively avoid screen smear. As a result, around 2016, OLED technology tried to be used in VR devices and became the first choice of VR device manufacturers.

However, VR products using OLED technology at that time also had a fatal disadvantage: the screen effect was obvious.

Yang Tingting, general manager of display VR/AR BU of BOE Technology Group Co., Ltd., once told China Electronics News that glass based OLEDs are subject to the FMM (fine metal mask) process, and it is extremely difficult to achieve ultra small pixels. The low PPI (unit pixel density) leads to the obvious graininess of the screen, which affects the immersion and visual clarity of VR.

It is reported that the OLED pixel density has not yet exceeded 1000PPI, about 600. Samsung Display once displayed 806PPI and 1200PPI VR OLED panels in 2018, but failed to achieve large-scale production due to lack of large orders. LCD pixel density has exceeded 1000PPI. According to TCL Huaxing, the PANCAKE 1 screen released by Skyworth VR is TCL Huaxing's 2.1-inch 1512 PPI LCD-VR screen.

"If VR is to go to consumers as soon as possible, it should not only keep up with the technology, but also be low enough in cost." Gu Wei, founding partner of Weishi Consulting, a consulting service provider of the universe industry, said in an interview with China Electronics News that the problem of slow response of LCD has begun to be effectively solved while maintaining its cost advantage.

After 2018, the emergence of Fast LCD technology has made the balance of manufacturers tilt to LCD. The improved Fast-LCD technology uses new liquid crystal materials (ferroelectric liquid crystal materials) and overspeed drive technology to effectively improve the refresh rate to 75~90Hz. The response speed has been significantly improved, greatly shortening the distance with OLEDs, and has high mass production stability and yield.

Zhao Siquan, a senior analyst of IDC in China, pointed out to the reporter of China Electronics News that under the condition of meeting the technological progress, Fast LCD display technology, with its cost advantage, has a strong hold over OLED in the VR field. At present, Fast LCD, which has both effect and cost performance, has been widely used in mainstream VR head display products.

The pace of technological progress never stops

Today, consumers' demand for near eye displays is constantly upgrading, and LCD and OLED technologies have not stopped making progress. Mini LED backlight Fast LCD and silicon based OLED (OLEDoS) came into being.

"Although Fast LCD has advantages, it also has some disadvantages. For example, due to the existence of the backlight layer, the display is prone to light leakage and other problems." Geng Yi, director of Optoelectronics Research Office of CCID Think Tank Institute of Integrated Circuits, said in an interview with China Electronics News that the combination of Fast LCD and Mini LED can not only solve the problem of light leakage, but also further improve the performance of Fast LCD in terms of high contrast, high refresh rate, high brightness, etc., supplemented by HDR function, will give better play to the requirements of near eye ultra clear and delicate image quality of VR products.

It is estimated in the industry that, in the VR field, with the support of MiniLED backlight technology, Fast LCD will occupy most of the application market in the future, and its share may reach more than 85%.

In order to improve the screen effect, OLEDs are also changing to silicon based OLEDs. Silicon based OLED innovatively combines semiconductor and OLED, and the display device adopts single crystal silicon chip substrate. Because silicon based OLEDs are evaporated on 6 inch and 8 inch wafers in a small area, the problem of evaporation uniformity to be overcome in OLED production is greatly reduced. Silicon based OLEDs have significantly improved both in brightness and pixel density. It is reported that the pixel density of silicon based OLEDs can reach 3000-4000PPI.

At present, silicon based OLEDs have quickly become the new favorite of near eye display devices such as VR. According to the Korean media The Elec, Samsung Display and LG Display are developing silicon based OLED and silicon based LED technologies. The Apple AR/MR head display, which is expected to be released next year, may use LG's silicon based OLED display technology. DSCC, a consultancy, predicts that by 2027, silicon based OLEDs will account for 48% of all AR/VR display shipments.

"However, the cost of silicon based OLEDs is relatively high." Liu Yushi, a senior analyst of CINNO Research, said in an interview with China Electronics News that, on the one hand, the cost of large-area silicon substrate is high, on the other hand, using smaller silicon chips requires more complex optical design, and the cost is still not low, so it will be mainly used for high-end VR products.

Liu Yushi pointed out that, with the development of technology and market, silicon based OLEDs will inevitably usher in an explosion when meeting the cost competitiveness.

Data source: CINNO Research

CINNO Research statistics show that the global market size of AR/VR silicon based OLED display panels will be 170 million dollars in 2021. In the future, with the development of AR/VR industry and the further penetration of silicon based OLED technology, it is estimated that the global market size of AR/VR silicon based OLED display panels will reach 1.67 billion dollars by 2025, and the average annual compound growth rate will reach 77.1% from 2021 to 2025.

Metacosmic display technology is not limited to one

Industry insiders believe that Fast LCD and silicon based OLED products will become two important tracks in the field of AR/VR head display.

A few days ago, in response to investors' questions about products and plans in the AR/VR and sensing fields, BOE said that the company's display solutions for VR/AR/MR smart terminals include high PPI, high refresh rate Fast LCD, ultra-high resolution, ultra-high contrast silicon OLED and other highly representative display technologies.

The companies under Aolaide and Vicino, such as Kunshan Mengxian, Xitai Technology and Hefei Shiya, have entered into silicon based OLED, and the investment scale of production line has exceeded 10 billion yuan.

Liu Honghui, the technical tutor of Microsoft Innovation Base, said in an interview with China Electronics News: "Next, with the advantages of cost performance and guaranteed production capacity, Fast LCD will become the main driver for the rapid development of VR industry. When the products are developed to a higher end, silicon based OLED may also be chosen as the leading technology."

In the interview, the reporter learned that from LCD, OLED to Fast LCD, to silicon based OLED, AR/VR has put forward higher requirements for display technology, and the display technology route is advancing step by step. Metacosmic display technology is not only VR form, but also includes AR, MR, horizontal, vertical, curved screen and even holographic projection of various shapes.

Gu Wei pointed out that more cutting-edge display technologies will be developed in the future, so the display technology of the meta universe will not be restricted to one type, but should be a multi technology parallel pattern.

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