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Will small-pitch LED display cost continue to fall in 2024?

by | Apr 1, 2024 | Blogs | 0 comments

How much can the small-pitch LED Display market grow in 2024? Industry analysis believes that this mainly depends on the speed of cost decline. Especially If the cost of COB and MIP LED displays continues to decline, it will greatly promote the market share of small-pitch LED screens.

Development status of below P1.5 LED display screen Cost

According to RUNTO Technology data show that in 2023, the market trends of small-pitch LED screens in China focused on 1.5mm or less LED display.

YearMetricP≤1.5 Product DataOverall Market Impact
2022Average Price (per sqm)48,000 RMB
2023 Q4Average Price (per sqm)27,000 RMB42% decrease from early 2022
2022Market Share by Sales Revenue55.7%
2023Market Share by Sales Revenue61%Increased from 55.7% in 2022
2022Market Share by Shipment AreaApprox. 13.2%
2023Market Share by Shipment AreaApprox. 18.4%Increased from approx. 13.2% in 2022, 47% YoY growth in shipment area
2023Sales Area Growth (YoY)47%Driven by rapid price reduction
Market PreferenceP>1.5 products still have >80% market share by sales areaDespite the price of P≤1.5 being 6-7 times higher
2024 ForecastMarket Sales (RMB)11.2 billion19% YoY growth expected for P≤1.5 products
2024 OutlookGrowth TrendContinued significant growth in sales areaSupported by low prices and further price reductions

From 2022 to 2023, The price reduction of the P 1.5 LED display is the COB LED display. RUNTO Technology data show that the market penetration rate of COB LED display in the first three quarters of 2023 was 8.3%, 10.7%, and 14.4%, accelerating the trend of improvement is very obvious.

 Especially in the third quarter, the COB LED screen shipment area increased nearly 2.5 times year-on-year, almost explosive growth. This mainly stems from the rapid cost reduction of COB panels in 2023, the first three quarters, the average price of COB small-pitch LED fell by more than 30%. It is reported that in P1.2, P1.5 and other pixel pitch COB LED wall price rapidly approached the traditional SMD LED display, while the P0.9 LED display price was lower than the SMD LED display.

Why COB LED Display Prices Are Declining So Fast in 2023?

 There are two main reasons:

COB Technology Maturity

  •  COB technology has become more mature over the years. 
  •  Improvements in manufacturing processes have led to higher packaging yield rates and throughput.
  • Advances in materials, including miniaturization of LED chips and reductions in the costs of PCB and driver IC components. 
  • Scale increases in the COB walls, with early R&D costs being recouped. 
  • COB LED displays have fewer steps in the production chain and involve fewer companies in the end product’s creation, leading to certain cost advantages.

Introduction of MIP Technology

  • In 2023, it is considered the breakout year for MIP packaging technology, with a significant market entry. 
  •  From 2023 to early 2024, the industry saw nearly a tenfold increase in the types and brands of end LED screen products utilizing MIP technology. 
  •  MIP, as an upgraded technology that transitions traditional SMD products into the micro LED era for smaller dimensions. It offers several advantages: lower upstream process difficulty, downstream compatibility with existing SMD technology equipment and processes, and better alignment with LED packaging companies’ interests in the midstream. 
  • These advantages allow for rapid expansion and competitive production at lower costs, described by the MIP camp as “protecting the existing division of labor in the industry chain and achieving lower costs.”

DOITVISION believes that in 2024, the P≤1.5 LED display market share will change from a single COB LED display in 2023 to a competition between COB and MIP. Behind the price changes of small-pitch LED screens is the result of technological development

The development of LED technology reduces the cost of small-pitch LED screens

DOIT VISION COB LED Displa
DOIT VISION COB LED Displa

The development of LED display technology has entered a new phase, transitioning from a focus on increasing performance (which also increased costs) to a primary focus on reducing costs in the future.

COB (chip on board) technology

Over the past decade, COB technology has transitioned from a focus on technology peaks and minimum path to market products by 2022 and earlier to a focus on cost reduction for existing product lines after 2023.

COB technology

COB technology shortens the supply chain from LED wafer to complete panels, integrating packaging and the entire machine, resulting in a more streamlined manufacturing process and material savings. In theory, this offers COB LED display cost advantages without compromising picture quality or reliability, while increasing the involvement of end users in core technologies.

However, COB technology presents challenges in terms of technical difficulty and investment cost for small and medium-sized, second and third-tier LED display manufacturers. This is where MIP technology comes in.

MIP technology

The advantages of MIP technology lie in its significantly lower upstream transfer difficulties compared to COB, its adaptation to the existing industrial chain structure in the midstream and downstream sectors, and its compatibility with current SMD process equipment. This allows more second and third-tier brands to enter the high-specification LED display market without relying on COB technology.

Competition between COB and MIP technologies 

The competition between COB and MIP technologies is expected to be more intense than that between COB and SMD due to their higher degree of overlap, marking a shift in the competitive focus solely on cost reduction.

Cross-compatibility between different LED display technologies is increasing, not only in terms of target markets, but also in terms of technical synergies between them, such as MIP being a combination of micro and SMD; IMD LED technology being similar to a MIP, COB and SMD; and the common need of COB and MIP for new or high-precision PCBs, especially at P0.5 levels, where they face similar challenges in terms of mass transfer, defect rates and repairs.

New materials such as glass substrates are becoming applicable across different packaging technologies, illustrating the inevitable cross-referencing and integration between different LED direct-view technologies.

Top LED screen manufacturers’ attitude towards price reduction of small-pitch LED screens

The development of MIP technology does not mean that top LED display manufacturers that master COB technology will lose their advantages.

 In fact, top LED screen manufacturers such as Unilumin Technology, Alto Electronics, and DOITVISION have been paying attention to the development of the small-pitch LED screen market. They have first-mover advantages in the development of a series of LED technologies in the future.

For example, in terms of AM active drivers, glass substrates, TFT substrates, ultra-high-resolution color TV products, flexible small-pitch LED displays, transparent displays, surface coating processes and designs, there are no strict boundaries”.

These top small pixel pitch LED display manufacturers can accumulate more advantages in technology, process, and other advantages through R&D and investment in COB technology and large-scale manufacturing.

More industry experts believe that COB technology and MIP technology will coexist and complement each other for a long time in the future. Especially for above P2 LED displays, MIP has more advantages. However, after a real breakthrough in mass transfer, the advantages of high industrial integration of COB technology on ultra-fine pitches will be further enhanced: At that time, the two formed a complementary market.

In conclusion

In the small-pitch LED market in 2024, especially, the price of small-pitch LED screens less P1.5 will further decline. The protagonist of the LED display screen will also change from COB to the competition between COB and MIP. If you are interested in COB LED display, please feel free to contact us.

About the Author

Kris Liang

Kris Liang

Founder/LED display expert

Kiris Liang is the founder of Doitvision. 12 + years in LED visual industry. Full passion of LED, product designer & chief salesman. Looking for teammate of technical/ marketing / sales.

Connecting people relative with LED displays.

Email: kris@doitvision.net