On May 27, 2019, the authorization conference for COMMON Cathode IC of Guangzhou SiliconCore (SiliconCore) was held at Hilton Hotel in Guangzhou. LEDinside, the LED industry research division of TrendForce was honored to have the chance to interview Mr. Eric Li, the President and CEO of Guangzhou SiliconCore on-site. During the conference, Guangzhou SiliconCore demonstrated the latest products of LED display driver IC based on Common Cathode Technology, including SCL8080 series and SCL8081 series. Combined with the control chip developed by SiliconCore, the driver ICs can perfectly solve various problems existing in the ultra-fine pitch display below P1.0, such as heat dissipation, design, uniformity and grayscale, etc., pushing LED video wall and digital display to develop towards the specification of P0.75, P0.6 or even smaller.
Guangzhou SliconCore COMMON CATHODE IC Authorization Conference
Guangzhou SiliconCore was established in Guangzhou in 2005, focusing on R&D, production and sales of LED display driver IC. The company has the world-class semiconductor digital and analog mixed-signal integrated circuit design technology, and has a number of international cutting-edge patents on driver IC design invention. The company has been dedicated in the LED field since 2008. In 2011, it invented the Common-Cathode Technology, which proposed high refresh rate, high grayscale, high density, low power consumption, low EMI, and no residual image. The chip-level technology solution has solved the problems, like heat dissipation, ghost image and low density, and break through the technical bottleneck encountered by common anode technology. This cutting-edge technology is suitable for ultra-fine pitch LED display with pixel pitch below 1mm, possessing with reshaping high-resolution, and leading the display industry toward premium quality.
The conference focused on the lLicensing of the patented common cathode driver IC technology of Guangzhou SiliconCore.. Shenzhen LPPDISPLAY, Shenzhen Darklight and Shenzhen LUXON obtained the license from Guangzhou SiliconCore. In addition, XinSheng ChangYing also obtained the agency rights of Guangzhou SiliconCore driver IC.
Guangzhou SliconCore and Shenzhen LPPDISPLAY
Guangzhou SliconCore and Shenzhen Darklight
Guangzhou SliconCore and Shenzhen LUXON
During the conference, Guangzhou SiliconCore specifically introduced the main advantages and characteristics of Common Cathode Driver IC to LEDinside, and shared their business strategy.
The Common Cathode Driver IC Will be the Main Solution for Ultra Fine Pitch Display
At the beginning of 2019, display manufacturers consistently promote ultra fine pitch display products below P1.0 by using 4-in-1 Mini LED or COB solutions. Some manufacturers already have had the capability of producing P0.93 LED display on a large scale.. The LED display industry has officially stepped into sub 1mm era. Guangzhou SiliconCore believes that this is in line with the display industry development trend. In the future, the pitch of display will be finer. As the cost declines, more applications will be created. For instance, in household appliance market and the market fields of more than 100 inches, LCD is difficult to achieve due to some technical requirements, and its cost is relatively high. LED ultra fine pitch display will absolutly dominate these markets. In addition, LED has a good chance to occupy the commercial display market. Generally speaking, with declining cost and better picture quality, there will be a huge market potential for LED ultra fine pitch display in the future.
However, there are several technical bottlenecks for ultra fine pitch display, especially in the field of driver IC. With the usage of common anode driver IC, the more the display pitch narrows, the less requirement of ultra fine pitch display can be met. For example, the heat dissipation problem is difficult to be solved, and the problem of excessive components also causes the difficulty of PCB design. Therefore, in the era of sub 1mm, the common cathode driver IC will become the main solution.
Highly Integrated Driver to Improve the Wiring Design, ZACH Technology to Solve the Problem of Non-uniformity at Low Grayscale
In terms of the display with pitch sub 1mm, excessive components cause small layout space and make PCB design quite difficult. Therefore, high integration solution becomes quite important if common cathode driver IC is adopted. Many components can be integrated into the driver IC to reduce the number of components and simplify the PCB design. In addition, the highly-integrated driver IC also solves the heat dissipation problem and savesenergy. Guangzhou SiliconCore's common cathode driver IC also integrates a high-speed clock to produce high grayscale. On the issue of non-uniformity at low grayscale, Guangzhou SiliconCore has developed ZACH technology, which can solve the problem. The product has been mass-produced since 2017 and Guangzhou SiliconCore is one of the few manufacturers having color correction technology at low grayscale in the world. In addition, for general problems, such as cross lines, caterpillar patterning and ghosting, etc., Guangzhou SiliconCore common cathode driver IC will be the best solution.
The Common Cathode Industry Chain is Maturing to Support the P0.x Era
Guangzhou SiliconCore has been engaged in the driver IC business after entering the LED industry. However, at early times, common cathode driver IC didn’t receive high acceptance because the industry was not mature enough. As the sub 1mm era of LED display arrives, the feasibility of common anode driver IC has been gradually limited, and problems such as heat dissipation, uniformity, and PCB design difficultyarise.. Hence, manufacturers have put their efforts to the common cathode solution. There are three main core technologies of the common cathode drive IC industry chain, including LED, power supply and PCB. At present, many LED package manufacturers have already introduced the LED products for the common cathode scheme; the power supply manufacturers have also introduced the corresponding power supply, such as the dual-circuit output power supply introduced by Megmeet; finally, due to the highly-integrated common cathode driver IC solution, the number of components can be sufficiently reduced and PCB design can be simplified. Therefore, the PCB players have also introduced products corresponding to the common cathode scheme. Thus, the common cathode industry chain is getting matured, and drives LED display to the sub 1mm era.
New Generation LED Link Protocol to Deal with Future Industrial Technology Bottlenecks
Simultaneously, Guangzhou SiliconCore will also launch a new generation of LED link protocol, because all the problems of ultra-fine pitch display could not be solved if only relying on the common cathode driver IC. SiliconCore took the example of the P0.9 pitch display product during the interview. The heat generated from the control chip and the driver IC is basically equal. While when it comes to P0.75 display product, the heat of the control chip exceeds the driver IC. It means that not only the problem of the driver IC shall be solved, but the heat problem of the control chip needs to be dealt with. As a result, Guangzhou SiliconCore also introduced a new generation of LED link protocol, which can better solve the heat dissipation problem by pairing with SiliconCore common cathode driver IC, and realize the coming era of ultra-fine pitch display.