Engineering 101

Microdisplays industry mixing technical innovations

“A CAGR of more than 100% is expected in microdisplay modules for emerging applications, to reach a market value of $4.2bn,” said Zine Bouhamri, PhD, Technology & Market Analyst, within the Photonics, Sensing & Display division at Yole Développement (Yole). “That is of course if the use cases are found, and if the technologies can deliver on their promises”.

For the past few years, AR headsets have been a dream, with no credible alternative but to use microdisplays. A big microdisplay development effort has been observed for such applications in the consumer market, mainly for OLED-on-Si and microLEDs. But in the meantime, LCOS and DLP have the lion’s share. For major brands, AR would trigger the next consumer electronics revolution. But, at the end of the day, it remains a dream.

There is still the need to find a compelling use case to convince the consumer. Yole’s analysts assume that this will eventually happen, but device maker OEMs will need to step up their game. With the 2023 target in mind, Yole shall expect better use case demonstrations over the next couple of years. Were that to happen, analysts expect the microdisplay module market for AR headsets would grow at a 110% CAGR until 2025, to reach $1.8bn.

In this context, Yole investigated disruptive technologies and related markets in depth, in order to point out the latest innovations and underline the business opportunities. Released today, the Microdisplays – Market, Industry and Technology Trends 2020 report gives detailed analysis of key applications requiring microdisplays, related industrial, technological ecosystems, future trends and evolution of application landscapes.

Including technical analysis of microdisplay technologies, associated roadmaps, market forecasts for microdisplay modules per application, supply chain, recent progress and future trends, this study aims to understand the status of the microdisplay technologies. It also gives insights into microdisplay modules volumes and values by application.

What are the economic challenges and technical issues of the microdisplay industry? Who are the key players? How are they competing with one another? What innovative technologies are these companies working on? What are the pros and cons? What are the development paths chosen by each technology? What are the applications driving their region of interest? Yole has revealed its vision of the microdisplay industry.

As analyzed by Yole’s team in the new Microdisplays – Market, Industry and Technology Trends 2020 report, another major trend from which microdisplays could benefit stands in the automotive sector. Yole points out the autonomous driving and also the increased levels of autonomy.

According to Eric Virey, PhD Principal Display Market and Technologies Analyst within the Photonics, Sensing & Display division at Yole: “To that end, cars have ever more displays, while more safety is also required. HUDs can help join both worlds. Traditional solutions are too limited for increased FOV and display of information.”

New projection technologies are required, alongside innovative optical components, to be able to provide useful, convenient, and safe heads-up displays while occupying as little volume as possible in the car. The first of these modules has just been released in the newest Mercedes S-Class.

For Zine Bouhamri: “As we are seeing the first models using a projection microdisplay, we expect the microdisplay module market for automotive HUDs to grow at a 107% CAGR until 2025, to reach $285m”.

The endgame, be it for headsets or HUDs, is obviously true 3D displays. But this is a longer play as Yole does not expect that to reach significant volumes within five years at a reasonable level of performance.

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