LEDs Magazine News & Insights 17 Feb 2021 – Editor’s Column

Feb. 17, 2021

Welcome to the LEDs Magazine News & Insights newsletter for Feb. 17, 2021. Here in the US much of the country is frozen-in-place this fine Wednesday, and of course that’s not news to those of you readers that have Internet service enabling you to read this column and are located between Texas and Maine. Even with most people were working from home given the pandemic, this two-pack of arctic fronts has unfortunately taken dozens of lives and left millions without power, water, and more. Let’s hope we see some relief today.

So given the weather, we will start with a cold story today. OLED technology remains an enigma relative to lighting. The technology is just so beautiful and elegant. Yet manufacturing costs and performance issues keep it off the perennial hot lists and relegate it to niches. One of those niches is in the cold box, according to our Mark Halper.

Mark explains that the thin OLED panels could fit anywhere inside a refrigerator integrated into the surface and taking no space. Mark reports that the pleasing lighting could be effective against what the Urban Dictionary refers to as “Refrigerator Blindness.” We could get getter distributed lighting in our cold boxes. And OLEDWorks reminds that the panels would not generate heat as do regularly-used incandescent bulbs.

Of course, OLEDs have made a bigger impact in displays including a dominant position in mobile handsets. The technology is at the top of the list from a quality perspective in consumer TVs, although prices remain high. And as we have written, self-emissive or directly-emissive LED technologies are poised to take over as the industry evolves mini- and micro-LED technology.

In my coverage of self-emissive LED displays, I have praised the quality, lamented the cost, and struggled to come up with a name for the technology. Consumer Electronics giant LG may have come to the rescue. The company has coined the acronym DVLED for direct-view LED. LG is using DVLED displays in interactive high-end signage, video walls, and more — and someday in my living room.

Even legacy LED manufacturer Osram Opto Semiconductors has its eye on the mini/micro-LED market. Most of the space today is being served by manufacturers that specialize in just the epitaxial process and sell unpackaged chips to companies dedicated to display manufacturing. However, in a story about the evolution of Osram in the wake of ams acquiring the larger company, Mark Halper mentioned a planned investment in mini-LED manufacturing.

We have several things about to happen that I would really like to tell you about, but I can’t send you to a landing site for more details. Still, stay tuned for a couple of webcast announcements later this week with another deep ultraviolet (UV) dive.

Also remember that the Sapphire Awards submission portal is open. The clock is already counting down on the Early Bird deadline of March 1. Get those entries going.

You will find many more stories of interest in the body of today’s newsletter. And always feel free to contact me to discuss content we post or to pitch a contributed article.

- Maury Wright, (858) 748-6785, [email protected]