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Ways Electron Co., Ltd.--Ready to Go! Mini LED Vehicle Display Market Demand will Usher in Large-scale Growth


In the first half of 2023, vehicle export volume reached 2.14 million units, up 75.7% year-on-year, surpassing Japan to become the world's largest auto exporter, which is another milestone after auto production and sales of China reaching the world's first.

With the continuous development of the new energy auto industry, China has the world's largest new energy auto market, which is bound to drive the development of the upstream and downstream industrial chain of related automobiles. Among them, automotive electrification and intelligence have become the general trend of industry development, and intelligent cockpits put forward new requirements for vehicle display, stimulating the innovation and iteration in this field.

In the field of vehicle display applications, Mini LED technology has become a popular choice in recent years. Mini LED technology is about to emerge in vehicle display market after gradually increasing in large-screen TVs, notebooks and other terminal fields. However, unlike consumer electronics, vehicle display has challenges such as difficult design, high reliability requirements, and long test cycles etc. There are not many Mini LED industry chain companies that currently layout automotive products. Besides, only a few suppliers can provide products which could meet vehicle regulations properly.

During the Shanghai Auto Show at the beginning of the year, a number of car companies showed new cars equipped with Mini LED backlight display, making Mini LED vehicle display attract attention. Whether could enterprises seize the opportunity of Mini LED vehicle display, the key lies in the intelligent decision-making and technical reserves.


The Rapid Growing Demand for Mini LED in Vehicle Market

Mini LED ,a popular new backlight technology, without changing the display structure of the backlight module (providing light) +LCD(displaying image), improves contrast, brightness, color restoration and other effects by reducing the backlight LED Chip size and shortening the Chip pitch.

As a leading domestic vehicle display manufacturer, Ways Electron Co., Ltd.(hereinafter referred to as the “Ways”) said in CINNO interview : "Mini LED technology has been rapidly penetrated in the field of TVs and displays. The vehicle display market outside the consumer field will also become an important application market for Mini LED. We are waiting for the time of that large-scale outbreak.


It is worth noting that in 2023, there are already a number of new vehicle models equipped with Mini LED displays. Lincoln new-generation Navigator released in April, equipped with dual 23.6-inch curved 4K ultra-high-definition Mini LED displays, realizing a maximum brightness of 1000nits, and the picture is still clear under strong light with 85% NTSC wide color gamut. The L7 model released by Li Auto in February adopts a Mini LED backlight display on the safe driving interactive screen located above the steering wheel. On July 31, BYD's high-end car brand "Yangwang" latest model Yangwang U8 luxury version is equipped with a 23.6-inch Mini LED dashboard and Mini LED co-driver entertainment display.

Last November, General Motors unveiled three future models, the Cadillac LYRIQ, the Cadillac CELESTIQ and the Buick Wildcat concept electric vehicle, all of which use ultra-long Mini LED backlight vehicle display. As early as the beginning of 2022, the Mini LED backlight vehicle display was adopted by the Mercedes-Benz pure electric vehicle VISION EQXX, which is a 47.7-inch integrated display with 8K resolution and more than 3,000 local dimming zones, becoming one of the benchmarks for the high-end of new energy vehicles.

According to incomplete statistics, up to now, Mini LED vehicle display has been applied in Li Auto, SAIC Roewe, Great Wall Motor, NIO, Cadillac, Rising Auto, Mercedes-Benz and other well-known brands on the latest models.  In the future, General Motors, Ford, BMW, Volvo and other car manufacturers will also join the application of Mini LED vehicle display. The market demand for Mini LED backlight vehicle display is growing rapidly.


Vehicle Display Technology Trend

According to CINNO Research data, the total delivery amount of global vehicle display panel in 2022 is about 192 million pieces. Driven by the trend of new energy and intelligent cockpit, the demand for vehicle display continues to grow steadily. The global vehicle display panel delivery amount is expected to reach 200 million pieces in 2023. That number is expected to rise further to 267 million pieces in 2030.

Facing with the rapidly growing market, enterprises in the display industry chain, including panels, modules and LED, have taken action to increase R&D investment in the vehicle display market, especially for Mini LED backlight vehicle display products.

Zhao Jun, CEO of TCL CSOT, said in an interview: "The plan of the vehicle display has undergone great changes, mainly affected by new energy vehicles, but not limited to that. The vehicle display of traditional fuel vehicles has also changed. Changes include more screens, larger sizes, higher display quality requirements, and integrated touch and sensor functions. The overall appearance and quantity of display have been greatly expanded."

The technology development trend of vehicle display will continue to follow the direction of high resolution, large screen, intelligence, multi-screen, augmented reality(AR), curved surface design, energy saving and environmental protection, and optimization of interactive experience. Taking vehicle display module manufacturing enterprise Ways as an example, it has done a lot of innovation and exploration for the vehicle display market.


The development of intelligent cockpit super-large screen backlight module: With the development of LCD dashboard, networking functions, vehicle infotainment system IVI, ADAS driver assistance system, voice recognition, gesture recognition, HUD, AR, artificial intelligence(AI), hologram, ambient light, intelligent seats, etc., central control and dashboard displays will gradually be integrated. The number of vehicle displays will increase and be large-scale in the future. Ways is continuing to develop and debug large curved vehicle backlight display modules such as 36.5-inch, 48-inch and 55.8-inch.

The development of multi-screen fully laminated LCD display module: With the increase in the configuration and penetration of LCD dashboard, large-size central control, co-driver entertainment display, and rear entertainment display, the average number of displays in per vehicle continues to increase. Ways is vigorously promoting the development of multi-screen fully laminated LCD display module to adapt to the automotive industry trend and market demand. It has already mass-produced 12.3+12.3-inch dual-screens class and 12.3+27-inch dual-screens class.


The development of the Blue-light Mini LED light display module: With the popularity of the intelligent cockpit, the size of vehicle display is getting larger and larger. But the high energy consumption of the traditional full-light backlight module has become a problem, especially for new energy vehicles. So the new technology combines small-size Blue-light LED with fluorescent films to achieve better local dimming and lower energy consumption. Ways has developed a local dimming backlight display module that uses Blue-light Mini LED fully automatic die bonding technology to reduce energy consumption.

The development of active privacy backlight technology: European and American regulations have put forward the requirements of anti-interference display to reduce visual occupation and safety risks during driving. In the future, co-driver displays will have "privacy" features in order to avoid distracting the driver. Ways. is increasing the development of active anti-peeping backlight technology.


Mini LED is Laminating in the Car on a Large Scale

Compared with traditional LCD, Mini LED has the characteristics of ultra-high contrast, ultra-high luminance and wide color gamut. Compared with OLED technology, Mini LED has advantages in reliability, stability and ultra-high luminance.

Ways said: "Because the working temperature, market, product stability and reliability of vehicle displays are higher than consumer electronic products, limiting the large-scale development of OLED in vehicle displays. While Mini LED backlight display with the advantages of 'film-thinning, miniaturization, and local dimming zone increase', has the outstanding performance in display quality, saturation, contrast, etc. Also, it has high standards and requirements in terms of life cycle, product vibration resistance, high and low temperature resistance, safety, energy saving, etc." In addition, it has a cost advantage between traditional LCD and OLED, so it has become the choice of mid-to-high-end models of automobile manufactures.

Ways uses Mini LED technology to solve the problem of light pollution and realize local dimming. Realizing local dimming, by reducing the number of LED lights to reduce the power consumption and heating of the screen, it can better help the car reduce power consumption. "The concept of carbon peaking and carbon neutrality conservation is promoting the development of automobiles in the direction of power consumption reduction and lightweight." Ways told CINNO.


Under the trend of intellectualization, the configuration and use of large-screen and multi-screen vehicle displays make the lightweight of vehicle displays, especially structural parts, an important link affecting the realization of vehicle lightweight. It is reported that Ways uses lightweight materials such as magnesium aluminum alloy and structural parts with integrated moduling process. This can significantly reduce the overall weight of structural parts while ensuring the load-bearing strength and stability in the mode of large-screen and multi-screen configuration. It has gradually become the main solution for lightweight in the field of vehicle display.

In the process of Mini LED laminating in the car, the two factors that car manufacturers are currently concerned about are the vehicle regulation requirements and cost of vehicle regulations. In this regard, Liu Yushi, director of CINNO Research, believes that if the solutions provided by suppliers are innovative and differentiated, and have good competitiveness, then automobile manufacturers may relax cost control appropriately. In fact, compared with cost, automobile manufacturers pay more attention to suppliers' vehicle-regulation certification and technology accumulation.

It is understood that Mini LED backlight vehicle display needs to be certified by vehicle regulations, the traditional certification cycle is about 1 year, and Mini LED is a new display technology, the certification cycle is 16~24 months, so the automotive automobile manufactures will be more rigorous when choosing Mini LED technology suppliers.

If we just look at the Mini LED industry chain, the number of upstream and downstream enterprises is very large, while the number of companies that layout Mini LED vehicle displays is rare at present. The reason is about the time-consuming and strict requirements of vehicle product verification and only a few manufacturers with regulation certified product supply capabilities, such as BOE, TCL CSOT, Innolux, IVO, Ways, Hgctech-lighting, Longli Technology, Hiway , Skyworthdigital, etc.

At present, domestic manufacturers have the ability of the whole industry chain in the field of Mini LED display, and the cost of Mini LED display products will be further reduced through collaborative development. "New display technologies such as Mini LED are still in the early stage of introduction in vehicle display applications, and with technological innovation and product cost reduction, Mini LED vehicle display product delivery will maintain rapid growth." CINNO Research noted.

As a leading enterprise in vehicle display modules, Ways has continuously increased investment in technological innovation, patent application and mass production capacity in response to the good development trend of Mini LED technology in vehicle display applications. Ways told CINNO: "Ways entered the field of vehicle display in 2008, and began to lay out Mini LED vehicle display applications three years ago. At present, we have been able to successfully develop ultra-large screen Mini LED, curved and special-shaped integrated backlight modules, and has obtained fixed orders from well-known domestic and foreign car companies, such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Ford, GM, BYD, etc., and nearly ten orders have been introduced into mass production from the second half of 2023.

According to CINNO Research survey data, the top three automotive backlight module companies in the world in terms of vehicle backlight module delivery in 2022 are Wai Chi Holdings, Ways and Yongsheng-world. "Strive for the company's market share to exceed 20% in the next few years." Ways revealed their goals.

According to the market public information, Ways raised 534 million yuan in 2020 for the expansion of the factory in Kunshan Development Zone, of which the Kunshan plant covers an area of 55 acres, and project involving “Backlight Production Factory Expansion” and “Newly Input of Decorative Panel Factory” covers an area of 60 acres. The “Lightweight Vehicle New Display Module” project in Huai'an covers an area of 100 acres and will start construction in the fourth quarter, and the government reserves 100 acres of land for Ways.

At present, Ways has invested more than 100 million yuan per year in talent introduction and R&D, in addition to Mini LED technology, Ways also invests in HUD, OLED 3D curved lamination, and vehicle aerial display. In addition to the vehicle display backlight module market, Ways continues to provide VR backlight display modules for world-famous social platforms, and at the same time actively explores the incremental market of game consoles to maintain the healthy and sustainable development of the enterprise.

For the industry is more concerned about when the Mini LED vehicle display application will really increase, Ways believes that 2023-2025 will be a key period. Large-scale laminating in car is only the beginning of the application of Mini LED technology. Next step multi-dimensional and multi-scenario competition will emerge in technological innovation, cost optimization and software and hardware synergy.

The article comes from CINNO: