switch pro, mini LED
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Switch Pro, the next generation game is on the way. Gamers are expecting a perfect user experience on the display screen, be it a fluid character movement or a colorful simulation. 

Nintendo is adopting the latest Mini LED technology for the new game display. Aside from cooperating with Innolux, the strategic alliance of Elan and Macroblock are also joining the game. This will be their first business success since cooperating into producing micro LED, mini LED backlighting and fine-pitch LED last August.

Mini LED, by its name has smaller chip sizes ranging from 100 to 200um, so more chips fit in the display screen creating better resolution and higher contrast. The increased mini LED units require stronger LED driver IC and PCB to support its operation, driving the business in these industries.

Mini LED drives related industries – LED driver IC and PCB 

The number of mini LED units fitting the display screen is multiple times larger than conventional LCD (Liquid Crystal Display), the distance between the chips is closer. To control for the chips and precise light dimming,  stronger LED driver IC and PCB are in need.

Macroblock, a LED driver IC designer, uses local dimming techniques, instead of global dimming originally used for traditional LCD to achieve higher image quality. Thinner and lighter PCB is realized through dynamic scanning designs to increase image contrast.

Elan electronics holds many patents and techniques in touch screen IC designs. They supply the T-CON in this cooperation.

Mini LED is the latest trend for display

Mini LED is the current trend this year, with the new iPad Pro coming in January and the new Apple laptop in Q2 all adopting this technology. It serves as a pre-stop before Micro LED with chips sizes smaller than 100um, can be widely produced.

Despite a higher cost for production, the inorganic Mini LED is preferred over OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) for gaming due to a longer lifetime. Mini LED costs can be reduced through advancing chip production and enhancing PCB and driver IC.

It is predicted that Mini LED backlighting costs can decrease 15-20 % per year, hitting lower than OLED production by 2022 according to a TrendForce report. More about different display comparisons can be found on the LED inside.

Under the coronavirus pandemic, Nintendo Switch sales reached 10 million a year. Until last September, the total sales had reached 68 million. The gaming product cycle usually lasts over 5 years. It is a booming market and Switch Pro will likely be one of the main contributions to Elan and Macroblock businesses for the next few years.

2021 will be the year of Mini LED

Since Sony released PS5, and Microsoft released the Xbox Series X last November supporting 4K resolution with a fast refresh rate. Nintendo is joining the league in bringing the Mini LED technology with Switch Pro.

As mini LED is about to bloom in 2021 with high luminance and high contrast, users can surely be visually satisfied from the quickly rising niche technologies.