LG UHD OLED TV Price Falls Once More

The price of OLED TV by LG Electronics is falling fast. The 55inch flat UHD OLED TV (55EF9500), released last month, fell to $3,999 in 3 weeks, a 27% decrease from the initial $5,499. This price decrease is much faster than that of LG Electronics’ curved model of 55inch UHD OLED TV released in April.


Samsung Electronics’ 55inch SUHD TV, UN55JS9000, showed approximately over $2,500 price difference in comparison with 55EF9500 between the 1st week and the 2nd week of September. However, in the 3rd week, UN55JS9000 and 55EF9500 each showed 4% and 15% of decrease rate to record $2,497 and $3,999 respectively, with approximately $1,500 difference. This is the highest reduction rate for LG Electronics’ OLED TV.


lg oled tv price fall


In addition to the price reduction, LG Electronics is marketing their products aggressively. They are in the process of installing OLED TV this month in 39 key airports in 23 countries including the US, Germany, and Russia, with plans to install approximately 200 units of OLED TV by the end of October.

[IAA 2015] Audi and Porsche, Propose Future Models of Smart Car

At IAA 2015 (September 17 – 27), Audi and Porsche presented OLED lighting and display equipped vehicles.


In the past, Audi has proved OLED technology’s excellence through diverse models and demonstrations, including introduction of ‘swarm’ in 2013 with its 3D OLED car rear lighting panels. At this motor show, Audi revealed Audi e-tron quattro, the first concept car with Matrix OLED technology. As well as the Matrix OLED lighting, interior OLED display was also applied to the concept car. Audi explained that the Matrix OLED lighting, which was applied to the rear lighting, can continuously change lights and does not cast shadow. Full OLED interface was also applied to the car and all functions required in driving can be control by display touch. Audi revealed that they will gradually apply these technology to next generation Audi series.


Porsche presented their first four-seat electric sports car Mission E as a concept model. The instrument cluster for this concept car is displayed virtually in OLED. The menu can be activated through buttons on the handle. It can also be automatically activated as the cluster’s eye tracking system can perceive the driver’s attention. The display also follows the seat position and body attitude of the driver in what is known as a parallax effect; the display moves according to the driver’s posture for easier viewing. Porsche revealed that Porsche Car Connect technology will also be applied which will allow the user to control key functions of the vehicle through a smartphone.


As OLED using lighting and display are actively applied to smart cars, attention on the automotive OLED is also increasing. At the National Research Development Industry General Workshop, held in July 2015, Samsung Display and LG Display each stated their thoughts on display that will be applied to future smart cars.


Samsung Display’s executive director Hye Yong Chu asserted that smart is display’s future, including smart car. She also explained that for the actualization of smart technology, other ancillary smart technology, such as eye tracking and voice recognition technology, are required.


Yoon Sooyoung, LG Display’s vice president, stated that automotive display can be used for CID, dashboard, cluster, and window, and that the development of transparent and flexible technology is necessary.


During the keynote session of IMID 2015, Munhyun Kim of Hyundai Motors revealed that OLED panels will mainly be applied to smart car compared to LCD as it can easily be flexible. He also added that the automotive OLED’s percentage within the total OLED market will increase, and anticipated that it will exceed 30% in 2017.



Porsche Mission E, Porsche Home page

Porsche Mission E, Porsche Home page

Q2 AMOLED Market, the Largest So Far

According to UBI Research’s Weekly OLED Analysis Report, Q2 AMOLED panels recorded the largest shipment and sales so far. With 56 million units, the Q2 shipment increased by 35% in comparison with Q1, and a 19% increase compared to the same period last year. US$ 2,800 million was recorded for sales, which is a 65% increase compared to its previous quarter.


Last quarter’s AMOLED market growth is due to Samsung Display’s AMOLED panel supply volume for Chinese set companies and increase in LG Display’s flexible OLED panel production for smartwatch.


Hon Hai Precision, Actively Participating in AMOLED Panel Business?

On September 9, Tera Semicon Corporation announced the agreement with Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision to supply AMOLED manufacturing equipment worth approximately US$ 79,000 million*. Tera Semicon mainly supplies OLED crystallization equipment for poly-Si and curing equipment


Hon Hai Precision is a world leading manufacturing company that began as an electronics component manufacturing company in the 1970s and became a contract manufacturer in the 2000s. Hon Hai Precision is better known to consumers as its subsidiary company as well as its trade name, Foxconn.


Hon Hai Precision has been consistently preparing for OLED panel production. Hon Hai Precision’s subsidiary company Innolux took over Chimei, which has technology to mass produce OLED, and in 2013 announced plans to establish OLED R&D center in LCD factory operated jointly with Sharp. Additionally, in September 2014, Hon Hai Precision mentioned that they will actively begin flexible AMOLED panel development aiming to mass produce in 2016.


This order for Tera Semicon Corporation is analyzed to be in consideration of Apple’s application of flexible AMOLED panel for iPhone series. Apple is Hon Hai Precision’s best client; of the total manufacturing products iPhone occupies 18% and iPad 17%.


At present, Samsung Display and LG Display are the only companies capable of flexible AMOLED panel mass production, with AUO and Japan Display perhaps joining the ranks in the next 2-3 years. With this Hon Hai Precision AMOLED manufacturing equipment order, heated competition for flexible AMOLED panel supply is expected.



*1 USD = 1,100 KRW

LG Display Opens 2015 Tech Forum in Collaboration with Other Companies

Source : LG Display

LG Display set out to discover new technology through open innovation in collaboration with other companies.


On September 15, LG Display invited top global display material and component companies to Paju factory and opened 2015 LG Display Tech Forum. The invited companies included Merck, Asahi Glass, and Sumitomo.


Under the heading of ‘OLED, New Opportunity and Challenge’, 13 key collaborating companies in material, process, glass, and circuitry sectors participated. They promised to share market trend, and LG Display’s OLED and LCD technology development direction and cooperate regarding future technology.


LG Display increased emphasis on OLED; LG Display revealed detailed business strategy for large and small size OLED, and discussed technology and products that should be developed together in collaboration with companies in each stage.


Additionally, LG Display newly established Technology Innovation Award for collaborating companies that contributed to LG Display’s product improvement with innovative technology. The award was presented to Asahi Glass for developing glass light guide panel used in thin panel actualization, and display material companies Merck and Nitto Denko.


LG Display’s CEO Han Sang-beom explained that LG Display could pave the way for OLED with world’s first technology due to much effort and enthusiastic corporation from R&D partners. He also entreated each company to continue to change and evolve through their own R&D competitiveness and creativity and lead the future display market.

AIXTRON Supplies R&D Encapsulation Equipment OPTACAP

On 9 September, AIXTRON, a deposition equipment production company, revealed that they supplied encapsulation equipment OPTACAP to a major Asian display maker.


OPTACAP encapsulation is a research equipment that handles substrates size of 200mm x 200mm. AIXTRON revealed that this was ordered in the third quarter in 2015 and is scheduled to be delivered in the first quarter of 2016. The OPTACAP’s PECVD technology enables the deposition of barrier film used in TFE process of OLED display, OLED lighting, organic photovoltaic and flexible electronic device.


CTO (chief technology officer) of AIXTRON, Andreas Toennis, said, “thin-film encapsulation is an essential step within the OLED manufacturing process. Therefore, we are delighted to be able to provide an innovative solution to the industry which delivers excellent barrier films at high throughput. Therefore, this solution contributes to a significant reduction of manufacturing costs for the critical encapsulation process step within the production of flexible as well as rigid OLED devices”.


In April 2015, AIXTRON acquired PlasmaSi, located in Silicon Valley in order to develop OPTACAP encapsulation technology.

General Class AMOLED Panel Estimated to be Extensively Supplied. How Will it Affect OLED Industry?

Only 2 models of smartphone with the general class AMOLED panel were released in the first 2 quarters of 2015. However, as 5 more models were revealed until August in the third quarter, it is expected that demand for general class AMOLED panel will gradually increase.


Currently 7 companies, including Samsung Display, are mass producing or aiming to mass produce small to medium-sized AMOLED panel of rigid type. China’s EDO or Taiwan’s AUO are believed to be producing in small quantity for samples. Other Chinese companies are also aiming to mass produce AMOLED panel but satisfying the current demand is analyzed to be difficult. At present, Samsung Display is the only panel company that can meet the demand for general class AMOLED panel by set companies. There is much interest in whether AMOLED industry can rebound with the Samsung Display’s movement in the second half.


It is expected that Samsung Display will increase operation rate of A1 and A2 rigid lines in the second half in order to meet the demand for general class AMOLED panel. Following this, emitting material companies’ sales increase is also anticipated and positively affect management of AMOLED industry’s ecosystem.


If the demand for general class AMOLED panel is higher than expected, there are some who believe that additional investment for A3 line could be for hybrid structure that can switch between rigid and flexible rather than flexible exclusive line.


There is much focus on how Samsung Display’s mass production and supply plans for general class AMOLED panel will affect the AMOLED industry growth.


General Class AMOLED Panel Applied Smartphone Released Until August 2015

OLED TV, Pay Attention to China and UHD

IFA 2015 that opened on September 4, closed its curtains on 9. This year’s IFA was similar to IFA 2014 in terms of diverse OLED TV exhibition, but when analyzed in detail there were several differences.


First, the emphasis on UHD TV greatly increased. The percentage of UHD resolution of exhibited OLED TV was approximately 71% in IFA 2013, and 70% in IFA 2014. However, in IFA 2015, the percentage increased to approximately 92%. If the main theme for IFA 2014 was curved OLED TV products, UHD was the keyword for IFA 2015.


Another important factor is increasing participation by Chinese companies. In IFA 2013, only Haier exhibited OLED TV but this increased to 2 companies, Changhong and TCL, in IFA 2014. In IFA 2015, 3 companies, Haier, Changhong, and Skyworth, presented OLED TV. It is estimated that the OLED TV exhibition attendance by Chinese electronics companies will continue to consistently increase.


There is much attention on how many more Chinese companies will participate with OLED TV in IFA next year, and whether a new keyword following UHD will appear. Although IFA 2015 ended, OLED TV market continues to move.


uhd china graph 1


uhd china graph 2


uhd china graph 3 2

UBI Research Organizes ‘2015 Display Printed Electronics Seminar’

The Opportunity to Understand Printed Electronics Technology

For That Competitive Edge in Global Display Industry




At present there is an intense competition within display industry between countries such as China with aggressive investment, and Japan that is looking for a comeback. For Korea to possess that competitive edge in display industry, a seminar is being prepared. This seminar will provide the opportunity to learn about printed electronics technology that is becoming a key technology and understand latest technology trend.


UBI Research (http://www.ubiresearch.co.kr, President: Dr. Choong Hoon Yi), an OLED specializing company, announced that the 2015 Display Printed Electronics Seminar will be held on October 7. This seminar will take place at The K Seoul Hotel in Seocho-gu in Seoul with a group of key experts who will discuss latest technology development trend in display based on printed electronics.


Printing process or solution process is a new production technology that is the center of much expectation around the world. Dr. Kyung-Tae Kang, the head of printed electronics center of Korea Institute of Industrial Technology, will examine the current printed electronics industry and propose its future. Dr. Kang is also a secretary for IEC TC119 which was established to respond to the printed electronics industrialization.


At this seminar, Professor Yongtaek Hong of Seoul National University will explain technological issues that need to be considered when producing ultra-thin transistor device using printed electronics technology. The printed electronics technology is receiving much attention as it can be applied to flexible elastic substrate, and low temperature process through large area is possible.


Dongguk University’s Professor Yong-Young Noh will give a presentation on printed electronics technology’s development trend and research content for flexible display development.


Also, Dankook University’s Professor Byung Doo Chin will discuss OLED RGB printing technology trend review for efficiency and stability improvement of small molecule and polymer OLED device by solution process, and high resolution OLED technology that can be actualized through inkjet printing. This OLED RGB printing technology based on printing process is a subject of active research as a replacement for the current vacuum thermal evaporation; pixel formation is difficult for large area through this evaporation technique.


Furthermore, essential topics on printed electronics are covered by industry’s top experts.

  • Technology Trend for Solution Process OLED Material (Dr. Jae-Min Lee, Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology)
  • Technology Trend for Electrode Material and Process for Printing (Dr. chan-Jae Lee, Korea Electronics Technology Institute)
  • Blanket Application for Printed Electronics and Development Status (Dr. Noh-min Kwak, RPE Corporation)
  • Printed Electronics R2R Equipment Technology Status


UBI Research will bring together top quality industry experts as speakers toward Korea’s leadership in display industry and host a place of networking where industry-academic professionals can meet. UBI Research seminars, previously held twice a year, will become a monthly event.


Seminar attendance application can be made through the UBI Research homepage (www.ubiresearch.co.kr).

Minus Growth for H1 OLED Material Market with Mere US$ 564 Million*

According to UBI Research, the 2015 H1 OLED material market recorded approximately US$ 564 million; this is a 14% increase compared to 2014 H2, but a 24% decrease against 2014 H1.


Despite reports that Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics are selling much larger volumes of flexible OLED applied Galaxy S6 Edge and OLED TV respectively compared to last year, the OLED material market is gradually stagnating.


The main reason for this OLED material market’s downward turn is Samsung Display’s operation level which remained stationary at 50% in H1. This led to stationary material usage compared to the year before. LG Display is producing flexible OLED and large size OLED panel for TV. However, approximately only 100,000 units of OLED panels were sold in H1 and material usage was also lowl. The current capa. is 34K but as the OLED material cost spent in H1 is approximately US$ 36 million, the operation rate is analyzed to be only 30% of the total capa.


The OLED material market is decreasing because the supply price is rapidly falling without increase in production volume. OLED material companies are frustrated at the 10-15% price decrease per quarter. At present, as the only clients are Samsung Display and LG Display, material companies are compelled to reduce the price as the failure to do so could lead toward the termination of business. OLED material companies spend several thousands of millions of dollars annually on development to meet constant improvement demanded by clients. There is much difficulty for OLED material companies as display companies continue with one-sided demands without compensation regarding development cost.


For OLED industry to maintain its continued growth, it requires more than success of panel companies. Material companies that play a pivotal part within the industry have to continue development and production of quality materials in order to create a healthy growth cycle. However, display companies are destroying the ecosystem.


What OLED material companies currently crave is for Chinese display companies to mass produce OLED panels as soon as possible.


* 1 USD = 1,100 KRW


OLED Material Market Revenue 2014 H1 – 2015 H1

OLED Material Market Revenue 2014 H1 – 2015 H1

[IFA 2015] The Return of the OLED King

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


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


Galaxy Gear2, IFA 2015

Galaxy Gear 2, IFA 2015


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


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


Galaxy Gear 2, IFA 2015

Galaxy Gear 2, IFA 2015


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


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


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


Galaxy Gear 2, IFA 2015

Galaxy Gear 2, IFA 2015


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


Galaxy Gear2 Booth, IFA 2015

Galaxy Gear2 Booth, IFA 2015

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

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


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

Skyworth booth, IFA 2015

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

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


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


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

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


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


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

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

[IFA 2015] Panasonic OLED TV

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


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


Panasonic OLED TV, IFA 2015

Panasonic OLED TV, IFA 2015


Panasonic OLED TV, IFA 2015

Panasonic OLED TV, IFA 2015


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

[IFA 2015] Directions for LG Electronics’ OLED TV?

During the media day event for IFA 2015 (September 4 – 9), LG Electronics introduced diverse products centering around OLED TV such as LCD TV, G4, and G Watch Urbane.


LG Electronics clearly confirmed that the ultimate TV for the company is OLED TV. At the company booth under the title of the Evolution of TV, LG Electronics revealed that the TV’s final destination is OLED TV.



LG Electronics, IFA 2015


At this exhibition, the OLED TV presentation theme returned to the flat design from HDT’s emphasis on black and previous curved design. Until now, curved design focused OLED TV were exhibited, but with the spotlight on flat design in IFA 2015, LG Electronics strongly hinted that future LG OLED TV will switch to flat products.


Competitors greatly improved contrast ratio through application of LCD TV and HDR. LCD’s basic contrast ratio is approximately 1,000:1, and in premium products currently being mass produced it has improved to 3,000:1. However, as OLED TV does not use backlight, the minimum contrast ratio is 100,000:1 with maximum of infinite contrast ratio. Through IFA 2015 LG Electronics is planning to actively release HDR technology applied products. In order to achieve this, the company will demonstrate HDR transmission with broadcasting companies such as BBC and publicize OLED TV’s black and white’s superiority over LCD TV.



LG Electronics, IFA 2015



LG Electronics, IFA 2015




LG Electronics provided ‘perfect color’, ‘perfect black’, and ‘perfect angle’ as the superior characteristics of OLED TV. These advantages are inherent characteristics that LG’s WRGB OLED TV can provide that show excellence over LCD TV in any environment.


However, the OLED TV presented in this exhibition did not show much improvement from one in IFA 2014, leading to disappointment. It is a point of concern whether WRGB OLED TV has already reached its limitation.

Attention Focused on Silver Nanowire as Key Material for Display

At IPEC 2015 (International Printed Electronic Conference), held on September 1, Professor Sang-Ho Kim of Kongju National University announced that silver nanowire technology is in initial stages of commercialization and will become display market’s key material.


Kim reported that when the bending radius of flexible display is reduced, 2 key issues occur with silver nanowire used as TSP (touch screen panel) material. First, the wiring that are crossed when bending is loosened as can be seen in figure 1. Due to this effect the bending stability decreases.

Fig. 1, Source: Professor Sang-Ho Kim, IPEC 2015

Fig. 1, Source: Professor Sang-Ho Kim, IPEC 2015



Kim explained that this effect can be solved by welding the two wires as shown in figure 2 using thermal annealing technology, laser process, and IPL photo-sintering technology.


Fig 2, Source: Professor Sang-Ho Kim, IPEC 2015

Fig 2, Source: Professor Sang-Ho Kim, IPEC 2015



Another issue is a decrease in contact stability between nanowires at stress points when bending radius is reduced as shown in figure 3.


Fig 3, Source: Professor Sang-Ho Kim, IPEC 2015

Fig 3, Source: Professor Sang-Ho Kim, IPEC 2015



During the presentation, Kim explained that this can be solved through undercoating process. This process involves mixing 2 polymers with different Tg (glass-transition temperature) and layering it as in figure 4, and placing TSP on top.


Fig 4, Source: Professor Sang-Ho Kim, IPEC 2015

Fig 4, Source: Professor Sang-Ho Kim, IPEC 2015



Silver nanowire has benefit of being more flexible and less resistant compared to transparent electrode material, ITO. As such, it was spotlighted as TSP material most suitable for flexible OLED. Nonetheless, silver nanowire has been considered to fall behind ITO in panel mass production unit cost in display market.


However, haze effect which happens when sunlight is reflected off the silver nanowire TSP has been solved recently, and new touch technology that requires improved TSP functions, such as post-touch technology, has been developed. Accordingly, products that use silver nanowire are increasing despite the unit cost difference.


Kim reported that as TSP sheet resistance can be reduced through undercoating and welding technology and greatly increase bending stability, it is estimated that silver nanowire’s marketability will grow for flexible display.


Korea’s Large Area AMOLED Manufacturing Equipment Market To Record Approx. US$ 8,640 Million For Next 5 Years

According to UBI Research’s OLED Manufacturing Equipment Annual Report (published on August 31), the complementary investment market in Korea is expected to record approx. US$ 8,640 million between 2016 and 2020.


According to the report, once Chinese new LCD lines actively begins to operate, panels produced by Korea’s Gen8 a-Si LCD lines are estimated to fall behind in price competitiveness. Therefore, complementary investment should be processed to transform the a-Si LCD line to OLED line. The report estimated that if complementary investment for OLED is carried out, oxide TFT with less masks is the most suitable backplane structure. This has the advantage of utilizing the most of the existing a-Si LCD line. The report also forecast that future large area AMOLED mass production investment will mainly be complementary investment rather than new investment. Complementary investment signifies investing in evaporation and encapsulation manufacturing equipment while using the existing a-Si line backplane. New investment means investing from the backplane stage. The report analyzed that complementary investment will lead to the decrease of large area OLED panel’s production cost.


Investment cost comparison shows that approx. US$ 600 million is required for new investment in Gen8 Oxide TFT key equipment (20K). However, complementary investment requires approx. US$ 80 million and can save the investment cost by approx. 7 times compared to the new investment.