Pro Display XDR highlights potential of mini LED

Apple’s unveiling of the US$4,999 Pro Display XDR display device is paving the way for suppliers of LED-backlit products to renew their efforts to cut into the niche display market, according to sources from Taiwan’s LED supply chain makers.

The 32-inch Pro Display XDR (Extreme Dynamic Range) comes with a 2D backlighting system utilizing a total of 576 blue LEDs that allows for unmatched light control compared with white LEDs. The display also has 12 controllers to rapidly modulate each LED to produce an extraordinary contrast, a foundation for XDR, the sources said.

While Apple did not call the backlighting system mini LED technology, the sources indicated that the design of the superbright arrays of LEDs as demonstrated by the Pro Display XDR is regarded as “mini LED-like” technology.

The Pro Display XDR is built using LED components from Japan-based Nichia, LED backlit unit from Taiwan’s Radiant Opto-Electronics, display panels from LG Display, and TCON (timing controller) ICs developed in-house at Apple, the sources indicated.

With its traits for multi-area local dimming to produce high contrast as OLED panels can do, mini LED backlit-display products can be further optimized to compete with OLED-based devices in the niche display market, commented the sources.

More traditional LCD panels makers are developing mini LED technology as the development costs for this technology are much lower than those for OLED technology, said the sources.