Growth of High-resolution Displays Boosted by High-scan Driver ICs<br> -Kicking off the Golden Age of Diversified Displays-




Growth of High-resolution Displays Boosted by High-scan Driver ICs
-Kicking off the Golden Age of Diversified Displays-
  • Picture 1, Live demonstrations at 2020 Macroblock Symposium
  • Picture 2, Compare the visual performance of “enable” and “disable” the mini-LED backlight local dimming function (IC: MBI6322)
  • Picture 3, The mini-LED cabinet brings sophisticated image quality (IC: MBI5864)
  • Picture 4, 16-bit grayscale is the key to see more image details at low grayscale levels (IC: MBI5264)
  • Picture 5, The LED module with a 96-scan design achieves a 3,840Hz refresh rate (IC: MBI5268)
  • Picture 6, Comparing LED module backplanes of 128-scan design with 64-scan design (IC: MBI5268)
  • Picture 7, “LED Probe APP” makes it easier to quantify the visual performance of LED displays

The 2020 Macroblock symposium was broadcasted live on September 25th 2020 to communicate with customers worldwide. On top of the exciting speeches delivered by the various speakers and the insightful panel discussion between the industry leaders, Macroblock also announced the launch of a series of driver ICs for LCD and LED displays. The new series of driver ICs are launched to meet the increasing demand for displays with more sophisticated image quality as all of the new driver ICs can support high-scan designs. We can soon expect to see a boom in LED displays with pixel pitch of 2mm and below in the market. In addition, Macroblock also formally announced its new product line – the Full Array Local Dimming (“FALD”) mini-LED backlight driver ICs, which will be the key for Macroblock to enter into the consumer market.

Providing maximum support for up to 16-scan design
FALD mini-LED backlight driver IC – Realizing HDR by high-zone local dimming
Using mini-LED for backlighting can overcome the insufficient brightness problems caused by LCDs. The mini-LED backlighting design also enhances contrast level realizing HDR and improves image quality significantly. Taking the live-demo LCD panel as an illustration, for a given optical distance, the said LCD panel needs to use over 10,000 mini-LEDs for backlighting. If one were to use static driver ICs with 16 channels to achieve a design with over 400 zones of backlighting on the said LCD panel, he only needed to use 2 MBI6322 driver ICs instead of more than 30 static driver ICs of other brands. This is possible because MBI6322 driver IC supports a maximum of 16-scan design, effectively reducing the number of required components and simplifying PCB layout design, which is essential to meet the consumers’ requirements for high image quality and slim product design.

Apart from the MBI6322 driver IC for panel and notebook applications, Macroblock also has a comprehensive series of driver ICs for backlighting application on VR, TV, car displays, etc.

Providing maximum support for up to 64-scan design
MBI5864→the best solution for mini-/micro-LED direct view applications – realizing HDR by ultrafine pixels

LED direct view TVs have become the main focus in terms of product development in the LED display industry lately. Seeing the LED displays entering the consumer market means that the industry is another step closer to the goal of replacing LCDs with LED displays as mainstream indoor entertainment appliances. In 2007, Macroblock launched the first generation mini-/micro-LED display driver IC – MBI5359, which, together with the rise of mini-/micro-LEDs, caused mini-LED displays with pixel pitch of 0.9mm sprang up in the high-end display market in 2020.

However, as 8K resolution displays are becoming the new mainstream, going forward, LED displays must shrink the pixel pitch further. Taking an 138” inches LED display with 8K resolution for example, its pixel pitch must be 0.4mm. Such fine pitch displays call for technology breakthrough in terms of IC design by LED driver IC manufacturers. Therefore, in this year, Macroblock launches the second generation mini-/micro-LED display driver IC, the MBI5864, that features 64-scan, minimum current of 0.1mA, and low power consumption to reduce the surface temperature of LED displays when operating. It can also achieve 16-bit grayscale and 3,840Hz refresh rate that can truly unfold the outstanding visual performance of mini-/micro-LED displays. HDR can be realized by ultrafine pixels and that is exactly what high-end displays are looking for.

MBI5264→Enhanced immersive experience through virtual scenes
LED display applications have evolved from “mere display” to “part of the scene setting". They are widely used for stage design, museum exhibition, and even replacing green screens to become backdrops in the movie and TV industries. These are collectively known as the "immersive experience" which is meant to create a kind of fantasy world through the integration of virtual and real scenes and to improve viewers’ overall viewing experience.

MBI5264 meets application requirements of the “Extend Reality (XR)” as it is able to achieve 16-bit grayscale and 3,840Hz refresh rate with high-scan designs, supporting HDR and high frame rate (120P), and bringing about abundant image details, color depth, and high contrast. Just as the live demonstration of the LED cabinet with MBI5264 (figure 4) showed, one can see more image details at low brightness and the clarity is more superior to the control LED cabinet. This visual performance is similar to what human eyes can see and hence, creating a better immersive experience for viewers.

Providing maximum support for up to 128-scan design
MBI5268→targeting at commercial LED displays of pixel pitch 1.2mm to 2mm

MBI5268 is Macroblock’s latest driver IC that can support the highest scans (128 scans). Comparing with 64-scan driver ICs, MBI5268 driver IC can drive double pixels when using the same driver IC count or in other words, using 50% less driver ICs to drive equal number of pixels*. This helps to simplify the PCB layout design and decrease SMT risk. Besides, in response to the brightness limitation of high-scan designs, MBI5268 has a higher driving current that helps to maintain brightness level at 600nits for displays with pixel pitch 1.2mm to 2mm. Its “PWM Enhancement Function” and "Grayscale Boost Function" can improve EMI problems effectively and achieve better visual performance at 3,840Hz refresh rate. Therefore, MBI5268 is suitable for most of the indoor commercial LED displays and leading the industry by defining the new generation of commercial LED display with pixel pitch of less than 2mm.

*Compared to 32-scan design, MBI5268 can drive equal number of pixels with 25% less driver IC counts.

“LED Probe APP"–helping end users to determine visual performance of displays easily 
Other than developing display products, Macroblock also designed in-house an“LED Probe APP” to enhance user experience by solving the common problem of "how to determine the visual performance of LED displays?"

“LED Probe APP”allows users to measure refresh rate, color temperature and contrast of any given display. Users just need to open the APP and align their phone's screen with the display they want to test, and they can get the measurement results instantly. This APP is helpful to establish a baseline for judgment through quantitative data instead of human eyes only. 

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