[IFA 2015] The Return of the OLED King

Samsung Electronics, the current global leader of smartphone market share, challenged Apple to dominate smartwatch market with Galaxy Gear 2 armed with latest functions.

 

The exterior of Gear 2 changed to round type. Previous Gear copied rectangular fashion watch, but Gear 2 returned to the classic design.

 

Galaxy Gear2, IFA 2015

Galaxy Gear 2, IFA 2015

 

Gear 2 has the most basic circular shape, but the rotating bezel within the simple design boasts the perfect blend of digital and analog. The rotating bezel design used in stop watch in quality sports watch was applied to add a touch of analog. At the same time, the smartwatch has the digital side from the jog dial used in quality vehicles, merging the analog with digital.

 

Smartwatches until now had to be touched to change screen. However, Gear 2’s rotating bezel allows the screens to be changed easily through dial rotation.

 

Galaxy Gear 2, IFA 2015

Galaxy Gear 2, IFA 2015

 

Gear 2 applied flexible OLED produced by Samsung Display same as Gear with its 1.2inch size and 360×360 resolution. Compared to competitors’ 1.3inch, it might feel smaller but has the highest resolution; Samsung Electronics used a smaller display with better expressiveness. Particularly, absolute black, one of the advantages of OLED, is actualized with this product. The quality of black in previous Gear fell short and the screen wallpaper showed hints of blue. The new display shows that it is of OLED leader, Samsung family, with its brilliant colors using latest OLED materials.

 

Gear 2 also uses Tizen OS and firmly differentiated itself from other products. In fact, other products employed Google OS and had a problem of basically being the same under the different exterior leading to no particular differentiation factors for the consumers.

 

However, deserving the title of the leader of the smart device, Samsung Electronics utilized independently developed Tizen and boasted totally different interior.

 

Galaxy Gear 2, IFA 2015

Galaxy Gear 2, IFA 2015

 

Samsung Electronics is investing much effort in Gear 2 promotion; with the exclusive booth, visitors can examine diverse forms of Gear 2.

 

Galaxy Gear2 Booth, IFA 2015

Galaxy Gear2 Booth, IFA 2015

[IFA 2015] OLED TV’s Advantages from Skyworth’s Point of View

In IFA 2015 (September 4-9), Skyworth exhibited 65inch 4K OLED TV in 3 curved and flat sets each in order to emphasize OLED TV’s advantages. Skyworth presented an interesting booth by providing a large screen in the middle of the booth for the visitors to experience OLED TV playing the F1 racing game.

 

OLED TV is the best TV to show video with fast movements as it has fast response time of u/sec. As the video is not delayed, the viewers can enjoy the contents without afterimage. This fast response time cannot be actualized in LCD TV.

 

Skyworth booth, IFA 2015

Skyworth booth, IFA 2015

[IFA 2015] Thin Panel Thickness, No Longer Limited to OLED

The thinness of OLED panels, achieved as OLED does not require backlight, is known as one of the big advantages of OLED. However, at IFA 2015, Sony proved that LCD can also be as thin as OLED.

 

The product, Perfect Wall-mounted 4K UHD TV, is an LCD TV but the thickness is mere 4.9mm. Compared to LG Electronics’ latest OLED TV’s 4.8mm, the thickness difference practically nonexistent.

 

Sony Perfect Wall-mounted 4K UHD TV, IFA 2015

Sony Perfect Wall-mounted 4K UHD TV, IFA 2015

 

In order to develop ultra-thin LCD TV, Sony placed backlight on the base and used glass type light guide.

 

Sony Perfect Wall-mounted 4K UHD TV, IFA 2015

Sony Perfect Wall-mounted 4K UHD TV, IFA 2015

[IFA 2015] Panasonic OLED TV

Panasonic that used to lead Japanese electronics industry with Sony is focusing more on OLED TV industry. Until IFA 2014, Panasonic exhibited self-made OLED TV using oxide TFT and solution process OLED technology. However, since CES 2015 Panasonic presented LG Display’s WRGB OLED panel applied OLED TV. It is unusual to introduce OLED TV through IFA 2015 when Panasonic is only selling TV domestically and stopped TV business abroad. According to Panasonic the company is planning to mass produce within 2015.

 

OLED TV revealed in IFA 2015 is a CZ950 model with 4K resolution. It is interesting to note that special material is used to cover the back of the set to give a furniture look.

 

Panasonic OLED TV, IFA 2015

Panasonic OLED TV, IFA 2015

 

Panasonic OLED TV, IFA 2015

Panasonic OLED TV, IFA 2015

 

Panasonic is also presenting OLED TV and LCD TV in darkroom to demonstrate OLED TV’s superiority in contrast ratio.

[LED/OLED EXPO 2015] Low Cost OLED Lighting Panel Production, QD Film Provides the Solution?

One of the reasons that OLED lighting is not becoming commercialized, despite its diverse advantages compared to other lightings, is its high price. The most fundamental way to reduce OLED lighting panel cost is investment in OLED lighting panel mass production line. Price reduction for components and materials is also an important factor.

 

The OLED lighting panel that is currently being mass produced has red/green/blue or yellow/blue stack structure. Also the use of tandem structure of more than 2 stacks to increase efficiency makes the process complex, lowers the yield, and increases the amount of materials used, and is becoming a key factor in increasing the production cost.

 

At LED/OLED Expo 2015, Cheorwon Plasma Research Institute (CPRI) displayed technology that produces white by applying light extracting film that contains red and green quantum dot (QD) material on blue OLED. CPRI forecasts that this technology of QD film applied blue OLED will be the solution for lowering OLED lighting panel production cost.

 

CPRI’s senior researcher Yong Hwan Yoo explained, “When QD light extracting film is applied to blue OLED, the evaporation processes are reduced compared to existing RGB or YB tandem structure OLED lighting. This could lead to production cost reduction as the yield increases and material cost decreases. If the QD purity improves, as well as blue material’s lifetime and efficiency, it is anticipated that the efficacy will match that of RGB or YB tandem OLED lighting panel.”

 

CPRI exhibited LED caps to be used for mascots at the opening/closing ceremonies of PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics, ultimately aiming for manufacturing them using OLED lighting panel instead of LED.

 

 

[LED/OLED EXPO 2015] O’CLESS Propels OLED Lighting Commercialization

At LED/OLED EXPO 2015 (23 – 26 June), HaeChan Design revealed that through OLED lighting specializing brand O’CLESS they are expanding into international market as well as within the domestic market in Korea.

 

HaeChan Design was established in July, 2013, and launched OLED lighting brand O’CLESS. O’CLESS is producing using the combination of LG Chem.’s OLED lighting panel, and their own designs and ideas.

 

In this exhibition, O’CLESS presented diverse lighting such as night light, portable light, stand light, mirror light, and rail connection down light. Particularly, smart system that can control down light using smartphone drew much attention from the visitors.

 

Seungchul Oh, the President of HaeChan Design, reported that they “began exporting to Japan and China following the domestic release in Korea”, and they are planning to “expand the market as a global OLED lighting specializing business once the new business establishment in Innovation City Chungbuk is completed”. Regarding the price issue, which is OLED lighting market’s biggest obstacle, Oh viewed future of OLED lighting market in a positive light: “P company’s night light is being sold for 200,000-300,000 KRW (200-300 USD) but even with application of OLED and Retinispora wood, O’CLESS’ product has competitive edge with approx. 100,000 KRW (100 USD). Although panel’s price is essential as design and practicality are more important in the lighting industry, application creation appropriate for the high cost of OLED is more important. OLED panel price has already fell considerably and will continue to do so and therefore can compete against LED or other lightings in terms of price.”

 

In February this year, HaeChan Design installed approximately 1,000 OLED desk lamps with LG Chem.’s OLED lighting panels in Seoul National University’s library. They also set up booths in 2014 LED/OLED Application & Technology Show and 2015 Kyunghyang Housing Fair, focusing on O’CLESS marketing.

 

O'CLESS Booth, LED/OLED EXPO 2015

O’CLESS Booth, LED/OLED EXPO 2015

[SID 2015] High Resolution OLED for Commercial Display Too! SEL Reveals 81inch Multi OLED Display

Commercial display is a display installed in public areas. With the advantage of being able to deliver various information without being restricted to a place or time, it is becoming a new display market.

 

In order to lead increasingly expanding commercial display market, key panel companies are leaning toward high resolution and large size panel exhibitions. Recently released commercial displays have enlarged the size by attaching small LCD panels in a tile style creating bezel between panels. In LCD sector, commercial display products with minimized bezel are being developed.

 

However, 8K ultra high resolution commercial display has been produced without bezel through OLED. In SID 2015, SEL revealed world’s largest 81inch 8K OLED multi display that was produced by combining 36 13.5inch 8K flexible AMOLED panels.

 

The key technology is transparent sections of right and bottom edges of the panel. The FPC and scan driver sections of each panel are overlapped with corners of transparent edges (see below diagram).

 

SID 2015 커머셜 디스플레이3

 

 

Daiki Nakamura of SEL revealed that commercial displays of various sizes and shapes can be produced using flexible AMOLED panel and as it is suitable for applications on columns, commercial display can be a new market for OLED.

 

SEL had previously exhibited 27inch 8K multi OLED display using 4 13.5 inch 8K flexible OLED panels in Display Innovation 2014.

 

SEL’s 81inch 8K Multi OLED Display, SID 2015

SEL’s 81inch 8K Multi OLED Display, SID 2015

 

[SID 2015] Chinese LCD’s Continuous Evolution. OLED, What To Do?

LCD technology of Chinese companies is continually evolving. In SID 2015, BOE exhibited world’s largest 110inch 8K and world’s first 82inch 10K LCD panels. CSOT drew much attention with its world’s largest 110inch UHD curved LCD TV. By exhibiting ultra high resolution and large size LCD panel ahead of Korean and Japanese panel companies, CSOT aptly demonstrated that Chinese companies have caught up to Korean and Japanese technology skills.

BOE presented NTSC 99% 27inch QHD LCD panel, and CSOT showed NTSC 118% 55inch UHD LCD panel. Particularly, CSOT exhibited 4mm thick 32inch FHD LCD TV and 5.5 mm thick 4K curved LCD panel; this showed that LCD is able to catch up to OLED’s thinness and color gamut advantages. Thus, with LCD’s continuous new technology development and price competitiveness, LCD and OLED’s leadership competition will once again heat up in next generation display’

The current large area TV market is led by LCD and OLED is slowly expanding the market starting with premium TV. Even in premium market, with price competitiveness LCD is one step ahead with QD film applied LCD TV. Therefore, the technology development of LCD that is catching up to OLED’s advantages is expected to be a hurdle for OLED’s market opening.

Although LCD’s color gamut, thickness, contrast ratio, and response time is being continually improved and can approach to OLED’s level but cannot be equal to OLED in all areas. For example, if the thickness is reduced in LCD, the QD film application needed for increased color gamut is difficult. Even if panel with many positive traits altogether is developed, it is expected to take much time giving OLED chance to drop the price to LCD level. Therefore, reducing OLED panel’s price by OLED’s active investment and yield achievement is analyzed to be an essential condition for next generation display leadership.SID 2015 중국업체의 끝없는 개발 SID 2015 중국업체의 끝없는 개발2

[SID 2015] JDI’s Flexible White OLED Scheduler

Japan Display (JDI) revealed product level of flexible OLED exceeding the demonstration standard of OLED panel exhibition. JDI has been carrying out white OLED panel development for several years, and had shown 5.2 inch flexible AMOLED panel in Display Innovation 2014.

5.2 inch flexible OLED panel revealed in SID 2015 is similar to last year’s flexible panel. It is 5 inch FHD (423ppi) with 0.05mm thickness and pixel structure formed by combining white OLED and color filter. LTPS TFT was used for backplane.

Flexible OLED produced by Samsung Display and LG Display has RGB structure. While the resolution is FHD, as it uses pentile type drive the actual resolution is about 320ppi. However, flexible OLED revealed by JDI has white OLED structure, which is structurally similar to WRGB OLED for OLED TV currently being produced by LG Display.JDI1 JDI2

[SID 2015] OLED’s Endless Evolution. SEL Reveals 8K Foldable AMOLED Panel

During the author interview on 3 June, first day of SID 2015 Symposium, Japan’s SEL (Semiconductor Energy Laboratory) revealed 13.5 inch 8K foldable AMOLED panel and drew most attention in the room. During the last year’s SID, SEL showcased OLED’s most evolved product at the time with 5.9 inch foldable AMOLED panel and 13.3 inch 8K AMOLED panel.

The 13.5 inch 8K foldable AMOLED panel that was shown this year is a product that combined last year’s foldable and 8K technology. It utilized RGB laminated white OLED, RGB color filter, and top emission structure. Additionally, 664ppi was actualized through 3Tr+1C/Cell structure and external correction method.

SEL2 SEL1