Japan Display, to aim to mass produce flexible and glass AMOLED for mobile device

At the Display Innovation 2014 (FPD International) held in Yokohama, Japan from October 29 2014, Japan Display (JDI) unveiled the flexible AMOLED panel for the first time.

The flexible AMOLED panel which was presented this time employed WRGB method with PI substrate, and it is 5.2inch (FHD, 423PPI) TFE (thin film encapsulation) applied panel with the thickness of 0.05mm.

It is a new AMOLED panel released after a year and a half since the glass type 5.2-inch FHD AMOLED panel was made public on March 2013, and it demonstrates JDI’s will of business on the AMOLED panel for mobile device.

Company official from JDI OLED R&D group said, the precise time cannot be provided but they are preparing for the mass production of AMOLED panel for mobile device and the product targets are set for both flexible and glass types.

JDI is developing AMOLED panel for mobile devices at the Gen6 LTPS line of Ishikawa.

141029_Japan Display, 양산 목표는 mobile용 flexible과 glass AMOLED

< 5.2- inch flexible AMOLED panel presented by Japan Display>


SEL, ceaseless efforts to develop AMOLED

Having the limelight as unveiling the foldable AMOLED panel and 8K AMOLED panel for the first time at SID 2014, SEL’s technology innovation continued at this Display Innovation 2014.

The 5.9 inch foldable AMOLED display got bigger by the 8.7-inch this time, exhibited together with various products including the 27inch multi-OLED display, 2.8-inch super high resolution AMOLED panel of 1058ppi, 13.3-inch 8k(661ppi) AMOLED panel, and 3.4-inch panel for the smart watch.

Especially the 8.7 inch foldable AMOLED display drew much attention as employing the touch sensor and the 27-inch multi-OLED display which was produced by combining four of 13.5-inch AMOLED panels applying the transparent bezel technique, suggesting the probability to be the new alternative for the large area AMOLED as it is possible to produce larger than 27-inch size.

In addition, the AMOLED panel for the smart watch attracted attention as using the self-developed bendable battery.

141029_Sel 발전의 끝1141029_Sel 발전의 끝2


<Transparent bezel of 3.5-inch AMOLED and 27-inch multi-OLED display combining those>


EverDisplay, to become the first Chinese company to mass produce AMOLED


EverDisplay (EDO) began the pilot production of 5.6 inch FHD AMOLED panel in October. The FHD AMOLED (1920 x 1080) panel that EverDisplay began to trial produce is a model for the 4G flagship phone using LTPS TFT with the resolution of 394ppi. The thickness and weight is 0.66mm and 12.9g respectively.

Already in the second quarter of 2014, EverDisplay was seeking customers as they succeeded in producing the 5 inch, 5.5 inch, and 6 inch HD panels. At the conference held at Shenzhen in September, they announced the success of producing the 5.6 inch FHD AMOLED panel for the first time and unveiled the panel at the same time. In addition, the 5.6 inch and 1.63 inch AMOLED panels for the wearable device were presented simultaneously.

The 1.63 inch AMOLED panel is 31.28mm x 34.78mm with the resolution of 320 x 320, 277ppi. The feature of the AMOLED panel for the wearable device that the EverDisplay revealed is that it has the same size and resolution with the Galaxy Gear 2 released by Samsung Electronics early in 2014.

EverDisplay aims to succeed in mass-producing the HD AMOLED panel in the fourth quarter of 2014 and the FHD AMOLED panel in February of 2015. If EverDisplay starts to mass produce in the fourth quarter of 2014, they will be the first Chinese Display company to implement the business. And this first step of the Chinese company is not insignificant in the OLED industry which is led primarily by the Korean companies.

Established in Shanghai on October 2012, EverDisplay focuses on the production of small and medium sized AMOLED and it holds 4.5G LTPS TFT line at present.


LG Display, OLED will continue next year

LG Display is focused on the OLED business to take the lead in current market. At the Performance Presentation for 3Q held on October 22, 2014, LGD demonstrated its confidence on the OLED as the future industry-leading business.

Don Kim, CFO of LGD said, “LG Display is developing the OLED business bearing losses for the time being as we are convinced that OLED will be the industry of the future, and anticipate profits to improve next year in terms of OLED.”

Currently LGD is forming a market by exclusively supplying panels for OLED TV. Providing panels for OLED TV to Korea and China, LGD stated that it will expand the market, for instance, securing the Japanese customers in the future.

The technology developed to countermeasure the OLED TV is the QD LCD TV. The strategy in respond to OLED is one of main issues as Chinese companies have unveiled the QD TV and Samsung is expected to release it next year. Regarding this, LGD’s executive director of strategic marketing, Youngkwon Song said that the strategies for the OLED TV will not change by reason of the release of QD TV, and LGD will continue its fundamental competitiveness of OLED which are competitive price and design differentiation attained by constant strategy of removing BLU.

For the investment plan for 4Q, it is anticipated to reduce the investment cost compared to the amount of 3.5 trillion won of last year. Don Kim, CFO said that the investment on LCD will be limited while the investment on the distinguished products like OLED will be about conversion of existing fab.

Despite LGD is taking a favorable turn with small and medium size LCD panels at present, it is expected to continue the preparation strategy through OLED. But it is analyzed that the future plan using LCD is not stable due to the rapid increase of Chinese companies’ capacities and lowering of price.

LGD’s revenues in the third quarter of 2014 is KRW 6,547 billion, increased by 10% compared to the previous quarter, and the operating profit is KRW 474 billion, a quarter-on-quarter increase of 191%. The outlook is that it is due to the increase of the shipments in time with the release of the Apple IPhone 6.

‘The shipment for the third quarter was 9,654Km2 as expected and it was measured against the expected preparation for considering the tight demand-supply status’, said Don Kim, CFO of LGD. Furthermore, as per product, the sales percentage of mobile devices and tablets applying the small and medium panels were accounted for 19% and 12% respectively, a quarter-on-quarter increases of 3% for each.


LG Electronics, Now it is the Age of OLED TV

141021_LG전자, TV는 OLED시대1

LG Electronics presented a variety of products from TV to smartphone and smart watch at the Korea Electronics Show held from 14th to 17th October. The most prominent products among others were the OLED TV and newly released G Watch R. With five 77-inch UHD curved OLED TVs exhibited in panoramic array, the entry way attracted much attention from the visitors and at the exit, there was the G Watch R presented with the round display which represents the internal display of G Watch R. The LG Electronics’ view on the OLED was evidently demonstrated at the booth specifically designed the entrance and exit with OLED applied products.

One difference that the LG Electronics revealed at the Korea Electronics Show is no other than the attitude regarding the LG OLED TV.

Though numerous OLED TVs were exhibited at the IFA 2014, Germany in September, LG Electronics had somewhat passive approach as putting the phrase “The Future of TV” under every explanation of the OLED TV. However, after a month later at the Korea Electronics Show, the change was apparent toward more active way by arranging the large phrase of “Now, it is OLED age for TV” on the upper area of the booth with the 77-inch UHD curved OLED TVs.

141021_LG전자, TV는 OLED시대2.jpg


There’s a lot to be done for LG Displays to expand the age of OLED TV. As LG Display marked on the photo above for itself, the curved UHD TV will be another task to be tackled. It is anticipated to see the LG Display’s next movement until the “The Age of OLED for TV” after crossing mountains on its way.


[Analyst Column]For OLED Panel Late Starters, Securing High-Resolution Mask is Crucial

The Chinese display companies like Visionox, Tianma, etc. are preparing the development and commercialization of OLED panel with BOE at the head. To keep up with the present leading company, Samsung Display, these second movers must be equipped with both product quality and reasonable price.

As the front runners of OLED panel, Samsung Display is maintaining the exclusive market for rigid type OLED which is made of a glass, and LG Display is producing the plastic (flexible) OLED panel using PI substrate for mobile devices.

The OLED panel is produced in QD resolution as a mobile device changes to adopt a high-resolution, but it is not a real resolution but uses a pentile method. For Samsung Display and LG Display are the two leading companies of the OLED industry, the supply chain is very firmly structured. So the relatively latecomers in this industry have difficulties in getting good materials and components from the suppliers who have intimate relationship with these two companies from the materials to equipment and components providers.

Furthermore, the established companies are managing and controlling the ecology of the industries to exclude the rival companies, preventing suppliers from providing products to the competing companies or late starters. Due to these strategies, the new comers are unable to secure sufficient resources for the development.

A typical component is a shadow mask which is critical for high-resolution. Known as a fine metal mask, this mask is an essential element to produce a high-resolution OLED of RGB structure and the shadow mask made of about a 40um thin plate to produce the high-resolution OLED which is more than 300 ppi but it is hard to find suppliers for the late comers.

BOE is seriously reviewing the matter of developing the OLED of WRGB structure to solve the shadow mask issue. The WRGB OLED does not require a fine metal mask as it uses the emitting materials in layers. The WRGB OLED creates the white light and realizes colors through the color filter.

Tianma is in the process of developing the slot type mask splitting the shadow mask.


<Tianma, divided mask slot type>

Yi Choong-hoon /Chief Analyst / UBI Research / ubiyi@ubiresearch.co.kr

Samsung VS. LG, to take different OLED strategies

The separate OLED strategies of Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics drew much attention at the Korea Electronics Show 2014 held at Ilsan KINTEX from 14th October.


Samsung Electronics promoted the 105-inch bendable UHD TV with a curvature of 4000R as a major product and implied concentration on LED TV as not exhibiting OLED TV. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Note Edge and 4, and gear S were displayed intensely in the mobile section, suggesting that the mobile is taking the OLED oriented strategy.


On the other hand, LG Electronics received fervent response from the audience as exhibiting the five 77-inch Curved UHD OLED TV and advertised OLED TV providing customers to experience merits of OLED TV at the OLED TV zone set inside the booth. For mobile, only the G Watch R applying OLED was showed without any comment on the following product of G-flex.


This tendency of pursuing disparate strategies began from CES 2014 of this year. Starting from excluding OLED TV from the booth under the theme of World first curved UHD TV, Samsung has stated at IFA 2014 that the concentration is more on the LED not OLED in terms of TV for a while. With regard to mobile, active strategy was devised releasing the Galaxy 5, Galaxy note4, and Galaxy tap S with QHD AMOLED panel and Galaxy Edge with flexible display. LG lowered the price of the 55-inch Curved FHD OLED TV down to $4,000 and implemented dynamic promotion, announcing the release of 55-inch, 65-inch, and 77-inch curved OLED TV. And publicly mentioning the focus on the OLED TV business, LG has highlighted that it will lead the OLED TV market in the future.



 <LG Electronics’ 77-inch curved UHD OLED TV와 OLED TV Exclusive Booth>


<Samsung Electronics’ 105-inch bendable UHD TV and mobile booth>


LED TV emits three times more harmful blue light than OLED TV

141015_LED TV, 몸에 나쁜 청색 빛 OLED TV의 3뱁


The LCD emits 3.1 times more blue light than OLED, said Choi Dong-won, senior vice president of LG Display at the IMID Display Business Forum held at Ilsan Kintex.

Recently, the harmful aspect of the blue light is suggested in Japan including Europe and U.S. The blue light emits the high-energy light of 380~550nm wavelength. In May of 2012, the Harvard Medical School has announced that the exposure to the blue light at night may keep people up late as well as cause cancer, diabetes, or heart disease, and there was a research regarding the influence of blue light from LED on retina at Japan.

LG Display said that OLED TV emitted 1/3 of blue light than LCD TV, measured under the general household environment.

Mr. Choi also said that the blue light issue will be resolved as the blue light is proportional to the luminance and area, and LG Display manufactures OLED panel for the use of TV changes from 55-inch to 65-inch. He also added that OLED TV is appropriate for Curved TV as it is, unlike LCD, free of light leakage phenomenon.



Samsung Display, OLED is the best for mobile devices

Samsung Display proved that the OLED is the optimum display for a mobile device as launching the new function which is only available in the OLED at the IMID 2014 held at Ilsan, KINTEX.

Samsung Display introduced the ultra-power saving, color weakness, and super dimming which are the functions maximizing the merits of AMOLED.

Ultra power saving mode is a function structuring the screen with black and white as a grayscale display by activating only the parts expressed in white using the OLED feature of operating pixels separately. This function is not offered by LCD which requires to run entire BLU for only one pixel and it is useful in emergency situation as it is possible to use the smartphone up to 8 days with the 63% of battery.

Color weakness mode is a function enabling people with color vision deficiency to distinguish R and G clearly through the display by applying the technology of increasing or reducing the brightness of R and G pixel among the R,G,B sub pixels of OLED and it is also not available in the LCD which uses color filter.

Lastly, super dimming mode is a function providing a comfortable viewing experience without any distortion or dazzle in very dark environments. In the bed room environment, 1~2 nit is reported to be the best nit without dazzle, and while there is a dazzle effect for LCD even in the lowest 8 nit in the bed room environment, there is glaring for OLED that 2 nit is possible, allowing people to watch comfortably.

In addition, announcing the 14-inch AMOLED panel for tablet PC with the resolution of WQUXG, Samsung Display drew a great interests from the audience, attesting Samsung Display’s exceptional technology in mobile AMOLED.

 141016_삼성디스플레이, mobile 최고1

<Ultra Saving mode>

141016_삼성디스플레이, mobile 최고2

<Color Weakness mode>

141016_삼성디스플레이, mobile 최고3

<Super Dimming mode>


Korean Display Companies, need urgent restructuring!

As the sales of Korean display companies drop drastically, the business profits are under the serious situations.

In 2012 when Samsung Display was established, the sales was about 33 trillion won and 29.8 trillion won in 2013, reduced by 10%. And it is expected to be about 24 trillion won, decreased about 20% compared to the previous year. LG Display is undergoing the similar situation where the sales was 29.4 trillion won in 2012 and 27 trillion won in 2013, losing the amount of 2.4 trillion won. The prospected sales for 2014 is about 25~26 trillion won.

Samsung Display’s business profits recorded 3.2 trillion won in 2012 and 3 trillion won in 2013, but the profit of 2014 is not anticipated as it is only 140 billion won in the second quarter of the year. Meanwhile, the business profits of LG Display were 0.9 trillion won in 2012 and 1.2 trillion won in 2013, expecting 1.4 trillion won in 2014.

While the sales and business profits of Samsung Display are slumping, the LG Display is improving its business value as the business profit increases slightly despite the sales decrease.

But these companies are facing inevitable sales decrease due to the intense investments and panel cost reductions of Chinese display companies, and increase of the production costs, worsening sales conditions of Korean display companies. Moreover, it is even harder to secure competitiveness as the technology level of Chinese panel companies are getting closer to that of Korean companies.

The problem is the decrease in the business profit. In reality, Samsung Display maintains the 33,000 employees since 2012. Given that the sales has decreased by 30% from 33 trillion won to 24 trillion won, keeping the same number of employees implies chronic structure of restricting the improvement of business profit. In purely arithmetical terms, Samsung Display requires structural adjustment of about 10,000 employees. The situation is unfavorable with LG Display as well. LG Display has about 55,000 employees which is 20,000 more than Samsung Display. LG Display’s business profit for this year might be greater than that of Samsung Display but it is relatively in bad circumstances considering sales per individual.

There still is no element likely to appear in 2015 to enhance the sales and business profits more than 2014. The sales fall is expected as the price is continually decreasing without any additional investment, and there is a high probability of business profit drop. However, there is a chance to increase the sales and business profits if these companies secure a market for the expensive OLED panel.

For display companies, the only way to achieve business profits without restructuring is lowering the supply prices of the parts, materials, and equipment. The OLED material industry which is blossoming now is struck by the mortal blow of 50% decrease of OLED emitting materials and relevant materials compared to 2012. The price decrease range of materials is excessively severe compared to the price decrease of the panel. Some companies are reconsidering the business and the poor performances of those display companies are shaking the forward and backward linkages of the industries higher than the actual numerical value.

To save the entire Korean display industries, Samsung Display and LG Display must secure the sound financial structure through structural adjustments rather than requesting of cost reduction for the supplier unilaterally.

The collapses of Japanese companies resulted from retaining the employments in spite of sales aggravation must be taken as a lesson.