Flexible AMOLED battle, Who are going to win?

In 2013, the flexible AMOLED panel was mass produced in Korea for the first time in the world and the smart phone applying this technology was released. With the announcement of smart phones like Galaxy Gear and G watch R this year, the interest in flexible AMOLED industry is rising, developing actively in Korea, Japan, China and Taiwan.

As a front-runner, LG Display of Korea is mass producing the round type flexible AMOLED panel for G watch R along with the groundwork for the 5.5-inch flexible AMOLED panel to be employed on the G flex 2. In addition, the 18-inch flexible AMOLED panel was developed as a part of the national project. Samsung Display supplied 2-side 5.6-inch flexible AMOLED panel for Galaxy Note Edge and 2-inch flexible AMOLED panel for Gear S, and it is planning to mass produce foldable flexible AMOLED panel upon successful development.

The SEL’s research activities are most active in Japan. SEL drew a huge attention at SID 2014 as introducing the tri-foldable, book type, and 13.5-inch 4K flexible AMOLED panels using CAAS-OS backplane.

The Chinese companies BOE and New Vision Optoelectronics launched the flexible AMOLED panel at SID 2014, and as AUO showing the 5-inch flexible AMOLED panel and ITRI presenting the 6-inch foldable AMOLED panel at Touch Taiwan 2014, the companies of Taiwan also joined the development competition.

Accordingly, key companies are in the course of developing the flexible AMOLED panel but the TFT technology exclusively for the plastic substrate (high-resolution/Bezel, power consumption) must be developed intensively for the fabrication on the flexible device in bendable/foldable/rollable form. Furthermore, the technology to lower curvature and encapsulation technologies must be developed along with the miscellaneous flexible components and equipment design technologies.

141010_Flexible AMOLED 전쟁 앞으로의 승자는1

< Flexible AMOLED panel unveiled in 2014>



LG Chemicals to develop the world’s first 100lm/W OLED Lighting Panel


According to the LG Chemicals, it is about to take over the market as developing the OLED lighting to the level high enough to compete with LED for the first time in the world. In this context, the LG Chemicals announced the release of efficient and durable OLED lighting panel beginning from November.

Having the light efficiency of 100lm/W and long durability of 40,000 hrs., the OLED lighting panel that the LG Chemicals has developed this time is compatible not only with the fluorescent light (100lm/W, 20,000 hrs.) but also with LED light (Above 100lm/W, 50,000 hrs.). In particular, this technological development of the LG Chemicals is evaluated outstanding compared to the OLED lighting panel of major lighting companies with the efficiency of 60lm/W.

OLED lighting is the only light source in the form of plane, taking the center stage as ‘ecofriendly lighting’ which will lead the future lighting market for the features such as no dazzling or heat emission, and heavy metals like led, mercury, etc. While the LED lighting requires additional materials like a light guide panel, a heat sinking plane, and a lampshade when manufacturing a light equipment, the OLED needs no elements, ultimately saving the production cost. In addition, it is easy to install and its application range is divers as the thickness is 1/10 of LED and the weight is only 1/5 which could be another distinguishing property against other light sources.


In an attempt to popularized OLED light which has many merits as mentioned above, the LG Chemicals realized the technology to enhance user convenience and improved cost structure. First, it has completed the development of the ‘OLED lighting engine’ which is a module type product that anyone can use by plugging in and it is expected to be mass produced in the future.

* OLED lighting engine: Modulized product combining the OLED lighting panel with operation driver.

In addition, it is anticipated to be supplied with the price similar to LED when mass produced by applying differentiated OLED materials and improving the yielding rate. LG Chemicals plans to focus its business on the two primary lighting markets of North America and Europe with its distinguishing technologies.

To this end, LG Chemicals is devoted to build main global customers first, currently secured more than 50 companies including the biggest American lighting company like Acuity. Furthermore, it is planning to go into the automobile light markets which takes up to 20% of the entire lighting market for the expansion of OLED lighting application fields.


With a wide range of design applicability of recent OLED, it is favored in the automotive lighting apparatus markets and to go along with this trend, LG Chemicals is developing an automotive taillight applying the OLED lighting panel in cooperation with global automobile corporations in Europe, Japan, etc., intended to mass-produce in 2017.


Park Young-ki, the President of LG Chemicals said that “There is a large market potential for OLED lighting as it has many merits like quality lights, ease of installation, etc. different from the existing lightings” and added “The plan is to promote the lighting through the continuous R&D and mass-production investment equipped with our world class technology.”

According to the UBI Research, the market research company, the OLED lighting panel market is expected to record the drastic average annual growth of more than 100%, opening from the 2015 and reaching about 550 billion won in 2016 and 4.8 trillion won in 2020.


AUO, to focus on flexible AMOLED

Touch Taiwan 2014 was held in Taipei, Taiwan from August 27 to 29 with 430 material and equipment businesses including AUO and Innolux which are representative panel makers of Taiwan.


Announcing the company’s UHD curved LCD TV full lineup from 42-inch to 85-inch, public information display, displays of various applications, and high resolution LCD panel and AMOLED panel for mobile, the most crowded booth was obviously AUO.


The AUO released AMOLED panels are the same ones unveiled at the SID 2014 which are 5.5-inch FHD panel, 5.7-inch WQHD panel, 5-inch flexible AMOLED panel, and 1.6-inch AMOLED panel for smart watch.


AUO manufactures the AMOLED panel in RGB (side by side) method. Despite the recent announcement of mass production plan for 5.7-inch WQHD panel, the mass production scheme of AMOLED panel for the use of mobile is delayed due to yielding issues.


The 1.6-inch AMOLED panel of AUO is produced in small quantity, supplied for ASUS’ smart watch. The resolution is 320×320, 227ppi. According to the person in charge of AMOLED, the AUO is capable of producing thin AMOLED panel less than 0.45mm by applying in-cell touch panel with the technology in its possession.


One thing to notice is that the AMOLED TV was not exhibited. AUO demonstrated the AMOLED panel of ink-jet printing method at SID 2014. About 80 engineers are developing the OLED TV in Gen6 R&D line located at Longtan. The investment stagnates as the growth of OLED TV market slows.


Given the latest concentration on flexible AMOLED team from the OLED researchers of AUO, it is expected that the flexible AMOLED is to be included in the AMOLED investment plan for 2015. There is much attention towards the development of AUO that is a relatively newcomer in AMOLED industry.



Samsung to decide, OLED or LCD?

At the keynote presentation given at the IMID 2014 held in EXCO, Daegu on the 27th, Park Dong-geun, the president of Samsung Display announced that the price of display decreases gradually and the color sense, curved design, and flexible display become more important as the technology develops. AMOLED has an excellent color expression for its adobe of 97% compared to 74% of LCD and its outdoor visibility is 1.7 times higher than LCD. Samsung Display highlighted the superiority of AMOLED over LCD with the application of the diamond pixel structure considering the retinal system of human eye, super dimming technology allowing users to use the cellphone in the dark environment without getting any light pollutions, and ultra power saving mode.

Though Samsung Display produced the OLED TV in RGB + FMM method previously, the mass production is currently ceased for the large area yielding issues. The alternative way would be using WOLED + CF method of LG but it takes a long time to mass produce and there is even a patent issue.

Due to the high price of OLED TV, Samsung Display will concentrate its business on the LCD TV for a while. Samsung’s concern for the TV business is expected to grow as the price of LCD will increase as well if applying a new technology like QD.



LCD TV with QD or OLED TV, what would be Samsung’s choice?

At the comprehensive workshop of the 9th Display National R&D Investment Program held on August 20, KH Kim, executive director of Samsung Display stated his view on the future of display for TV.


Kim is expecting that despite many advantages of OLED TV, it is likely to take some time to open a market considering price competitiveness. He also added that accordingly Samsung display will work on developing technologies of color reproduction range, slim and improvement of contrast range for LCD for a while, leading the market and the business will focus on not OLED but LCD in the years ahead.


In the year of 2012, the OLED TV market was dominated by either Samsung or LG, and now only LG is taking vigorous efforts to open OLED TV market. Under this circumstance, the price of the 55inch FHD curved OLED TV has decreased from initial $15,000 to $3,000 but still it is twice more expensive than the 55inch FHD LCD/LED TV, falling behind in price competitiveness.

140821_QD를 적용한 LCD TV와 OLED TV, 삼성의 선택은


Who has a key to OLED, JDI or JOLED?

As participation of Taiwanese and Chinese enterprises in OLED panel business, which is dominated by Korea, is taking place, the Japanese government begun its active involvement in the OLED business. “Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ),” a private and public fund led by the Japanese government, established Japan Display Inc. (JDI) by gathering a display team with Sony, Hitachi and Toshiba who have mobile display technologies to save the uncompetitive display industry of Japan. A mission of JDI is to produce LCD and OLED for mobile devices.

Last month, INCJ set up JOLED with JDI, Sony and Panasonic for the OLED production and each OLED related department of the companies will be united in January 2015 to manufacture over medium size OLED.

Considering the process of JDI and JOLED establishment and future trend of technology, Sony is expected to be responsible for core technology and play the key role. Sony is the only OLED maker as well as mobile device and medium size monitor in Japan. All these items have LTPS TFT and RGB OLED structure using vacuum evaporation method. Also, the OLED TV by Sony is composed of oxide TFT and WRGB OLED structure. Sony is not manufacturing the OLED panel for mobiles and TVs but is certainly a leading company who owns all the technologies.

The OLED developed by JDI is 5 inches and uses LTPS TFT and WRGB OLED technology. It is considered that Sony’s technologies made JDI possible to develop the OLED panel in such short period.

As commercialization of JDI’s OLED delays, the new JOLED was born. JDI, Sony and Panasonic joined it only for the OLED. JDI has the majority of the voting rights of JOLED, but Sony has a large portion of JDI shares. Thus, it seems that Sony will be the main party of JOLED.

Hence, Sony’s super top emission technology is expected to be applied to 10” OLED panel by JOLED. Sony’s oxide TFT and WRGB OLED technology applied large size OLED panel will be used for UHD high luminance product with super top emission structure. Production will be in Gen8 oxide TFT line owned by Panasonic.

It is difficult to commercialize ink-jet technology of Panasonic because characteristics of its luminescent materials do not reach that of WRGB materials. The OLED roadmap of Sony, however, has the flexible OLED using the OTFT and ink-jet technology. It may take time but flexible signage is expected to be seen at a very low price.



JOLED, the last bastion of Japanese OLED

140730612118The Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ), JDI, Sony and Panasonic have finalized an agreement on JOLED establishment by January, 2015 through an integration of OLED panel R&D organizations owned by Sony and Panasonic for mass-production, development and early commercialization of the OLED panel.

INCJ has 75% of JOLED’s voting rights. INCJ and JDI have agreed on making an investment in pilot line installation for mass-production.


JOLED aims to become a leading company in the OLED sector by collecting the technologies owned by Sony and Panasonic such as the OLED layer technology, oxide TFT technology and flexible display technology, and converging with JDI’s mass-production technology.

JOLED plans to develop the OLED panels for application section first, including tablet PC, note PC and signage for mass-production of medium and large size OLED panels. A future target of JOLED is mass-production of the flexible OLED.


Everdisplay, the first seller of AMOLED panel in China

Everdisplay announced that it has become the first seller of AMOLED panel with sales of HD AMOLED panel on its homepage on July 23rd.

According to a Chinese medium, ZOL, the specifications of the AMOLED panel sold by Everdisplay include 4.99 inches, 0.66mm thickness, and 10.2g weights with HD (1280×720) resolution and application of real RGB pixel structure. It also complies with NTSC standards, 100% color reproduction, and has 700Mw power consumption.

The sales of AMOLED panel by Everdisplay is expected to be an influential variable to the market of the AMOLED panel for mobiles which is currently dominated by Samsung Display.

Everdisplay plans to hold ‘2014 Everdisplay AMOLED new product launch and eye health protection symposium(2014和辉光电AMOLED新产品推介暨健康护眼研讨会)’’ and 5” HD AMOLED will be displayed.140729_Everdisplay5inchHDAMOLED


<Everdisplay’s 5” HD AMOLED panel unveiled on July 23rd, Source: Everdisplay>

LG Display forecasts blooming of OLED TV market in 2015

OLED TV market is expected to begin flourishing from the end of 2015.

At the presentation of LG Display’s performance in Q2 held on 23rd at LG Twin-Tower, Yeouido, an executive director of strategic marketing group of LG Display (LGD), Youngkwon Song, emphasized, “LGD is putting efforts to realize the economy of scale and to cut cost including lowering material cost regarding the OLED TV business” and “a significant condition will be developed by the end of 2015 and early 2016.”

Mr. Don Kim, the CFO and a senior vice president of LGD said that “from our point of view on the OLED, the current levels of expected performance and yield rate are at satisfaible level, but innovation in pricing is what we concentrate more” and “by the end of 2015 or early 2016, when the operation is in full capa., we can reach the economy of scale and bring a significant performance.” Mr. Kim also hinted a soon-to-be bloomed of LGD’s OLED TV market.

LGD started supplying panels for the OLED TV to major Chinese TV set makers and plans to operate M2 line for mass-production in this third quarter. It also continuously leads the OLED market with scheduled launch of 55”/65”/77” curved UHD OLED TV.

In the meantime, sales for Q2 in 2014 was 5.979 trillion won which is declined by 9% from the Q2 in 2013 but increased by 7% from the Q1 in 2014. And operating profit was recorded surplus consecutively for nine quarters at 163.1 billion won.

Will Everdisplay be the first small and medium AMOLED panel maker in China?

Everdisplay is expected to start mass-production in the fourth quarter of 2014.

According to OLED info’s interview with the marketing team of Everdisplay, Everdisplay will begin mass production in Q4 of 2014 and be the first AMOLED mass producer in China. An officer of Eerdisplay’s marketing team said, “it focuses on small and medium size display targeting smartphone, wearable device and automotive application and is developing a flexible OLED panel for the next generation production.” It showed that the mass-production will begin soon by releasing pictures of AMOLED panel prototypes in 5 inch (293 ppi), 5.5 inch (267ppi) and 6 inch (244ppi). Currently, Everdisplay plans mass-production in Gen4.5 LTPS line, which is under construction in Shanghai, China and capa. is 15,000 pieces per month based on mother glass.140716_ever


<Everdisplay’s 5”(293ppi), 5.5”(267ppi) and 6”(244ppi) AMOLED panel prototype, source : OLED-info>