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.

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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.

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LG Electronics to release the world’s first ‘Ultra OLED TV’

LG Electronics unveiled the Ultra OLED TV on August 25 at the Conrad Hotel in Yoido where Ha Hyun-hwoi, president of Home Entertainment (HE) and Choi Sang-gyu, head of Korea sales and marketing at LG Electronics were in attendance.

 

□ President Ha Hyun-hwoi announced a shift in generation

“The Ultra OLED TV is an epitome of TV technology combining the best display and resolution,” the president Ha Hyun-Hwoi said, adding that “The future OLED TV market will be expanded, leading the display technologies.” Regarding the curved surface of OLED competitive with LCD, he explained “The priority is given to the resolution of a TV” and “There is no distortion of color or change of picture quality in the curved surface of the OLED TV”. Saying that “OLED TV will play a role of a game changer replacing the LCD within 2-3 years with various merits like color reproduction rate, contrast range, viewing angle, etc.” he also emphasized “The next generation of TV market trend will led by the state-of-the-art premium Ultra OLED TV in existence”.

 

□ Concentration of hardware competitiveness and platform capacity of LG

The LG Ultra OLED TV provides the most lifelike graphic picture quality with ultra HD resolution of its unique WRGB technology and 33 million sub-pixels. For the characteristics of the self-lighting pixels, the indefinite contrast rate is allowed, reproducing perfect black color. With rapid response speed, it also reproduces natural image without any afterimages. This product is also equipped with a sound quality which is appropriate for the flawless picture quality. Designed with the world-renowned professional audio company Harman, it delivers balanced wide-range sound quality of exhilarating effects with multi-channel ultra surround technology. In addition, the sense of immersion and the aesthetic effect were maximized for the innovative design approaches of ultra slim curved screen and leaf-shaped stand. Due to its own attribute, there is no distortion or change of color in OLED TV watching from every direction. It can be installed on the wall depending on the surrounding environment and preferences. Loaded with innovative web OS, this product offers significant values more than the existing smart TV. The web-based smart TV is recognized as a new strong point of TV platform of reorganizing the smart TV market by the ‘simple usability’ through ▲simple transition ▲simple search ▲simple connection which is the essence of a TV.

 

□ Establishment of next generation TV market pioneering base

LG Electronics plans to lead the next generation TV market by securing medium-and long-term growth momentum through OLED TV. And through the continuous innovation in manufacturing technology, R&D, and investment on marketing, the OLED TV era is to be advanced and the OLED TV will be the new growth engine for display industries through the expansion of ecosystem. Established the OLED TV manufacturing line in major cities over the world from the last year, LG Electronics will release the Ultra OLED TV at the beginning next month in North America, Europe, etc. sequentially.

 

□ Presales to begin on 26th at LG Electronics distributors nationwide

LG Electronics will take pre-orders for 65-inch Ultra OLED TV (Model: 65EC9700) from the 26th to 29th of next month at the LG Electronics distributors nationwide. The 65-inch Ultra OLED TV will be sold at a price of 12,000,000 won through the cashback benefit. The delivery starts from the end of September. And LG will consolidate the lineup of the Ultra OLED TV as releasing 77-inch (Model: 77EG9700) model in the fourth quarter.

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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

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Samsung Electronics Released the ‘Galaxy Alpha’ Smartphone Equipped with Metal Frame

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The premium smartphone ‘Galaxy Alpha’ released on 13th of this month is the first to feature the specialized design approach with a metal frame.

According to the Samsung’s own website, the ‘Galaxy Alpha’ unveiled its new design approach applying metal frame material for solid finish.

The grip is emphasized measuring at just 6.7mm thick and the weight of 115g, and it comes with 4.7-inch HD super AMOLED (1280X720) display.

Samsung says that the Galaxy Alpha takes the Exynos 5430 and the model number is Exynos Modem 303 which is the Application Processor (AP) that Samsung developed independently with the world’s first 20nm manufacturing process and as a result the power consumption reduces to 25% compared to its predecessor based on a 28 nm process.

Also, the Galaxy Alpha has connectivity with the Samsung wearables such as Gear 2, Gear Fit, etc. and includes the latest features like ultra-power saving mode, finger print scanner, S-health, etc.

“Samsung always tries to provide consumers with a new product that they want,” said JK Shin, CEO and Head of IT & Mobile Communication at Samsung Electronics, and added “The Galaxy Alpha is a distinguishing device of combining beautiful and functional design with a unique user experience of Galaxy smartphone.”

The Galaxy Alpha will be available at the beginning of September in over 150 countries sequentially.

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AMOLED manufacturing equipment market, expected to be about 36 trillion won from 2015 to 2020

According to an equipment report, “2014 AMOLED manufacturing Equipment Technology Analysis and Market Forecast (2015~2020),” published by a market research firm, UBI Research, the AMOLED manufacturing equipment market size will be about 36 trillion won from 2015 to 2020. Stepper appears to be the largest sector in the equipment market by forming about 10 trillion won and taking up about 30 % of market share. Evaporator will take 17% with about 6 trillion.

 

It is forecasted that Chinese makers will start to invest in AMOLED business. Predicted market size is about 6 trillion won in 2015. In 2017, full-scale investment on the AMOLED panel line for TV will be started. About 9.5 trillion won market will be formed and become the largest market size by 2018.

 

From 2015 to 2020, the market share of backplane manufacturing, encapsulation and OLED manufacturing equipment will be 69%, 17% and 14%, respectively, in the overall AMOLED equipment market.

 

In the overall AMOLED equipment market by country, Korean market size is expected to grow to about 20 trillion won taking up 55% market share for six years and it is analyzed that Korea will continuously lead the AMOLED industry.

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<2015~2020, AMOLED manufacturing equipment market>

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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.

 

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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.

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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>

KITECH, Developed the world’s first refining technology for organic light-emitting material using ILs for OLED TV

Dr. Taewon Kim’s team of photovoltaic energy convergence research group of Korean Institute of Industrial Technology (KITECH, President Yong-Soo Lee) developed an original technology to refine organic light-emitting materials in bulk for fine OLED TV at low price.

Dr. Kim’s team established a new concept for the refining technology by using Ionic Liquids (ILs), and it can solve issues of high cost·low yield rate arisen in production of the organic light-emitting material for the OLED TV.

Ionic Liquids are liquids that only consist of positive and negative ions at room temperature and stays in liquid form at high vacuum (~100℃) with almost no volatility. Recently, ILs became a future clean solvent in green chemistry field with a strength of good solubility for high molecular substance and a feature of metal salts.

Until now, ‘sublimation refining method’ has been used to get high purify organic light-emitting material by utilizing the difference of sublimation points between vaporization and solidification of a material. However, cons of this method are low yield rate and very high production cost because it is impossible to realize complete auto and continuous process.

To address this issue, Dr. Kim’s team started developing the large scale refining technology for the organic light-emitting materials at low cost since 2011 and applied for original patent in December, 2012. Their effort on verifying the possibility of the technology’s application produced this result in 19 months.

The key of the result is the application of the high purity refining technology on the organic light-emitting material for the OLED TV by focusing on the non-volatile feature of ILs at high vacuum·high temperature.

This technology uses a principle of separating impurities in the order of vaporizing the organic light-emitting material in a vacuum chamber; dissolving it in a liquid filter of ionic liquid; and recrystallizing supersaturated material in the liquid. It enables to get 99.95% of high purity organic light-emitting material through one refining process.

It is a completely new concept of large scale refining method based on the non-volatility characteristic of ionic liquid at high vacuum·high temperature.

The team is credited with the success of new technology development which can overcome the cons of the existing sublimation refining method including refinery yield rate, automation and continuous process of equipment, and efficiency of mass production. It is also expected to bring a huge cost reduction effect by recycling; collect and reprocess during refinery process, of the expensive but non-volatile ionic liquid.

According to “2014 OLED Emitting Material Annual Report Market Forecast (~2020)” by a professional OLED market research firm, UBI Research, the OLED emitting material market is expected to grow to 1.3 trillion won in 2017 from 2014 estimation of 543 billion won. Forecasted annual growth rate is over 30% and experts see that the growth will be much larger if large size display market including the AMOLED TV expends in full-scale.

Dr. Taewon Kim, said, “this technology increased the yield rate and decreased the production cost by more than 50%. And an ultimate goal is to reduce the current price by one tenth” and “technology development is in progress with companies.” He also said, “the success is a game changer with enormous potential to turn the OLED TV market-to-explosively grow” and “based on the low-cost and large scale refining original technology, domestic businesses will largely contribute to preoccupy the global market of forward-backward industry regarding the OLED TV.”

The team currently applied 16 cases for patent with related process․equipment technology in and out of the country and plans active technology transfer to related businesses.

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<Comparison of refining methods for organic light emitting materials Source: KITECH>