Recent trademark filings suggest that LG may be developing Micro-LED screens for smartphones and other devices. The three filings have been made with the European Union Intellectual Property Office on March 20, for the brand names XμLED, SμLED, and XLμLED. “μ” is the symbol for micro, meaning that the names of the brands translate as XMicroLED, SMicroLED, XLMicroLED. The filings were revealed by Dutch website GSMinfo (via GSMArena).
Each patent filing has a fairly long list of intended goods and services. The first two listed uses are for mobile phones and smartphones, while computers, smart glasses, fitness trackers, and wearable computers are also listed.
It would not be surprising if LG was developing Micro-LED technology of its own. LG is a heavyweight when it comes to large panel displays and as recently as last year, it was investing in increasing its production of OLED panels for smartphones. However, Micro-LED has a number of advantages over existing display technology – such as being able to produce a brighter display and being more energy efficient – and it is expected to be the next big thing in the industry.
Micro-LED works fairly similarly to OLED. They both use self-emitting diodes which can produce deep blacks and high contrast ratios. However, the material used to create the pixels is different. Micro-LED uses an inorganic gallium-nitride compound, while OLED uses organic compounds.
LG’s rivals have already been making moves in the Micro-LED market. Samsung has been actively pursuing the technology and has unveiled a huge Micro-LED TV called The Wall, set to be released commercially at the end of the year. Recent reports have suggested that Apple has been developing Micro-LED displays for use – at least initially – in its wearable products.
However, as of yet, Micro-LED display for smartphones are purely hypothetical. While these filings don’t necessarily tell us that LG is definitely working on developing Micro-LED displays for mobile (or even Micro-LED screens at all), they could be the first sign that the company is thinking about developing the technology.