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Samsung Display’s first slidable display was introduced!

Choi Joo-sun, CEO of Samsung Display Introducing a Slidable Display. Captured from Intel Newsroom Video

Choi Joo-sun, CEO of Samsung Display Introducing a Slidable Display.
Captured from Intel Newsroom Video

“Foldable is gone”

Samsung Display unveiled its 17-inch slidable display for the first time at the “Intel Innovation 2022” event held at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California on September 27th.

When Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger announced Intel’s strategy for the user experience and said, “Let me introduce our Korean partner.” Samsung Display CEO Choi Joo-sun made a surprise appearance at the venue.

CEO Choi entered the stage and held a tablet PC-sized device in his left hand. “A few years ago, I saw this device and thought it was a good solution to the portability of a large monitor,” Pat Gelsinger said. CEO Choi added, “At the same time as demonstrating the demo version, we are here to prove that Samsung Display creates an innovative form factor through collaboration with ecosystem developers in software and hardware.”

Samsung Display's 17-inch Slidable Display Before Expansion(Left) and After Expansion(Right). Captured from Intel Newsroom Video.

Samsung Display’s 17-inch Slidable Display Before Expansion(Left) and After Expansion(Right). Captured from Intel Newsroom Video.

CEO Choi stated, “We sometimes need a big screen.” He went on to remark, “We will show you magic.” He then stretched the screen by pulling the slider display by hand. The 13-inch display screen has grown to 17 inches. It is a display for PCs that is applied with flexible OLED (organic light emitting diode). “Foldable is gone.” he declared and concluded that, “Slidable displays will meet the needs of large screens and portability.”

Gelsinger also introduced ‘Unison’, a software that can share information between smartphones and laptops using a slidable display. Unison supports both Android phones and iPhones.

This Year’s OLED Mass Production Capacity Substrate Area is Expected to be 47.3 million ㎡

According to the ‘2022 OLED Components and Materials Report’ recently published by UBI Research (www.ubiresearch.com), a company specialized in OLED market research, the substrate area of ​​the total OLED mass production capacity in 2022 is expected to be 47.3milion ㎡. In 2022, the LTPO TFT line and EDO’s 6th-generation rigid OLED line, which Samsung Display invested in to supplement the idle capacity of the A3 line, are scheduled to be operated. In 2023, LG Display’s E6-4 line and BOE’s B12-3 line Line, Samsung Display’s 8.5G IT line are expected to be put into operation in 2024.

As for the substrate area of ​​small OLED for smart watch and smartphone, the line capacity for rigid OLED in 2022 is 5.29 million ㎡, accounting for 24.8% of the market share. Rigid OLED investment is not expected in the future. In 2022, the capacity for flexible OLED is 15.3 million ㎡, accounting for 71.5% of the total. From 2024, part of Samsung Display’s A3 line will be converted to an IT line, and the mass production capacity is expected to decrease. The line capacity for foldable OLED is expected to reach 0.79 million ㎡ in 2022 and 1.52 million ㎡ from 2023.       

Samsung Display’s IT line capacity is expected to expand to 2.69 million ㎡ by 2025 as part of the A3 line is converted to an IT line in the first half of 2024. A new 8.5G line is expected to be operated in 2024. From the second half of 2023, LG Display’s capacity is expected to be 0.75 and 0.52 million ㎡, respectively, with the E6-4 line operating and BOE’s B12-3 line operating.

OLED line capacity for TV is not expected to change until 2026 unless additional investment is made. From 2022, LG Display’s mass production capacity is 20.3 million ㎡, accounting for 85.5% of the total. Capacity is expected to increase further depending on whether additional customers are secured in the future. Samsung Display’s capacity is 3.3 million ㎡ and BOE’s is 0.13 million ㎡, accounting for 13.9% and 0.6% of market share, respectively.

Meanwhile, the ‘2022 OLED Components and Materials Report’ published this time dealt with the latest OLED industry issues analysis, development of components and materials for foldable devices, industry status, analysis of mass production capacity of OLED panel companies, and major component and material market forecasts. It is expected to help parts and materials companies to understand related technologies and predict future technology directions and markets.

▶ 2022 OLED Components and Materials Report Inquiry

[UBI Research China Trend Report] Chinese Panel Makers’ Total Shipments of OLED Panels for Smartphones in the Fourth Quarter of 2021 Increased by 26% Compared to the Third Quarter

26% Increase in Total Shipments of Chinese OLED Panels for Smartphones in the Fourth Quarter compared to the Third Quarter

 

According to UBI Research’s ‘February 1st China Trend Report’, total shipments of OLED panels for smartphones by Chinese panel makers in the fourth quarter of 2021 were 44.8 million units, a 26% increase from 35.57 million units in the previous quarter. By company, BOE shipped 20.9 million units and occupied a 46.7% share, followed by Visionox with 9.7 million units, EverDisplay Optronics with 5.5 million units, CSOT with 5.5 million units, and Tianma with 3.1 million units.

 

By substrate, flexible OLED panel shipments were the highest for BOE with 20.9 million units, followed by CSOT with 5.5 million units, Visionox with 4.7 million units, and Tianma with 3 million units. BOE’s panel shipments increased the most compared to the previous quarter with an increase of 5.3 million units, followed by Visionox by 1.9 million units and Tianma by 1 million units. CSOT’s panel shipments decreased by 300,000 units from the previous quarter.

In the field of rigid OLED panel shipments, EverDisplay Optronics shipped 5.54 million units, a decrease of 80,000 units compared to the third quarter, but maintained the No. 1 position in rigid OLED panel shipments with a market share of 52%. Visionox, in second place, shipped 5.04 million units, up 43% QoQ, chasing EverDisplay Optronics. Tianma’s rigid OLED panel shipments were 120,000 units, accounting for only 1%.

The details can be found in the UBI Research China Trend Report, and inquiries can be made on the UBI Research website.

SDC, 4Q2021 The Highest Smartphone Shipments 125 million units, Highest market share of flexible OLED 50.1%

According to UBI Research Weekly Report, Samsung Display’s OLED shipped 480 million units in 2021. The highest number of shipments were in the 4th quarter at 133 million units and the second highest was in the in 3rd quarter at 129 million units.

Samsung Display OLED application products shipped in 2021 were smartphones, watches, tablet PCs notebooks and TVs. OLED for TVs started shipment in the fourth quarter of last year. It was the first OLED for TV shipment in eight years since 2013 when they had discontinued mass production.

Samsung Display OLED for smartphones shipped 456 million units, which was 94% of the total shipments. OLED for watches shipped 14 million units, just 2.9% of the total shipments.

OLED for notebooks had the most significant growth in 2021. 5 million units were shipped, representing a 2.5 times higher growth than the 1.9 million Tablet PC units shipped.

According to a quarterly analysis of Samsung Display smartphones shipments in 2021, 125 million units were shipped in the fourth quarter, showing the highest performance. This is mainly due to high shipments to Apple in the fourth quarter for OLED for iPhone. In 2021, 102 million units of OLED for iPhone were shipped and 45.4 million units were supplied to Apple in the fourth quarter. Therefore, the market share was the highest at 50.1% in the fourth quarter for flexible OLED shipments.

Flexible OLED and rigid OLED shipments were 190 million units and 257 million units respectively in 2021. The annual shipment market share was 41.6% and 56.5% respectively. Foldable OLED shipments were 8.7 million units, a market share of 1.9%.

 

[2021 Visionox Technology Innovation Conference] Chief Executive Officer Zhu Xiujian, “We will provide the ultimate experience through form innovation, basic performance enhancement, and function integration”

At the Visionox Technology Innovation Conference in 2021, Zhu Xiujian, Chief Executive Officer of Visionox Technology Product Engineering Center, gave a presentation on OLED industry trends and Visionox’s advanced technology exploration.

In the OLED industry trend, Chief Executive Officer Zhu emphasized, “Flexible OLED is expected to occupy more than 30% of the panels for mobile devices after 2023, and cost reduction is the only way to expand the market.”

In the OLED technology change for mobile devices that followed, “From 2011 to 2018, a full screen with a notch or a narrow bezel became a trend, from 2019 to 2020, we pursued morphological differentiation such as camera pop-up, punch hole, U-notch, and under panel camera,” he said. He also announced, “After 2021, basic performance such as high refresh rate and low power consumption has been strengthened, and more differentiated technologies such as foldable and advanced UPC are being developed.”

Finally, the Chief Executive Officer mentions form innovation, basic performance improvement, function integration and advanced technology innovation for Visionox’s product innovation solution, full screen and various folding technologies for shape innovation, visual experience and low power consumption with improved pixel structure and color performance for basic performance improvement, cost reduction through layer integration, fingerprint recognition or touch pressure sensing technology for functional integration, and advanced technology In Innovation, he finished the presentation by mentioning micro LED and saying that it will provide optimal solutions to users.

LG Display named Huawei flexible OLED supplier for new smartphone P40 Pro

LG Display is the top OLED company with a monopoly market in the production of OLED panels for TVs, but the performance was low in the flexible OLED market for smartphones until the first half of 2019.

LG Display built a flexible OLED line after Samsung Display and focused on panel sales, but failed to supply flexible OLED by pushing BOE to Huawei’s P30 Pro model in 2019. However, in the second half of 2019, it succeeded in supplying panels to Huawei for Mate30 Pro, and began supplying flexible OLED for iPhone to Apple.

Huawei’s P40 Pro shipment target is 12 million units, and LG Display is expected to supply 50%. The variable is a new coronavirus. It could change Huawei’s smartphone launch schedule and volume.

Huawei is highly dependent on domestic demand, and coronaviruses can reduce shipments by more than 10%.

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.

Changes in OLED panel market for smartphones

According to the ‘2018 1Q AMOLED Display Market Track’ published by UBI Research, OLED panel shipments for smartphones are projected to grow at an annual average growth rate of 15.8%, from 450 million units in 2018 to 850 million units by 2022. This is a 9.6% decline from the CAGR 25.4% expected in the fourth quarter of 2017.

<Shipment forecast of OLED panel for smartphones >

The reason shipment forecast of OLED panels for smartphones is declined compared with 4Q,2017 is because smartphone trends have been reflected recently. The smartphone market is sluggish due to the prolonged replacement period of smartphones and the lack of new technology. In addition, the average size of smartphones has enlarged faster than expected, and the size of smartphones is expected to increase gradually with the anticipation for the launch of foldable OLEDs, leading to a slowdown in the shipment growth.

For flexible OLED, ASPs have risen due to the lack of supply, caused by mainly dependent on Samsung Display, and Chinese set makers are burdened by its high prices. As low-priced full-screen LCDs are emerging, it is forecasted that demand for rigid OLEDs will decline since Chinese set makers are adopting more LCDs than OLEDs in rigid smartphones.

Panel makers in Korea and China have aggressively invested in the Gen6 OLED line in 2016 and 2017. Starting this year, however, they are reviewing the investment and operation time frame of mass production lines, with looking into the smartphone demand. As OLED panels for smartphones account for more than 90% of the total OLED panel market, it is an important factor for the investment flow of panel makers.

Meanwhile, ‘2018 1Q AMOLED Display Market Track’ is based on the market performance data and projected system that UBI Research has accumulated over 15 years. It consists of 8 (eight) modules in total: Panel cost analysis, Market forecast, Supply and demand analysis, Market performance (sales), Competitiveness analysis of panel makers, ASP, Supply chain analysis and investment & Mass production line status.

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.

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>

 

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>

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.

Stretchable OLED commercialization is on the rise

Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics have steadily been releasing smartphones and smart watches using flexible OLED since 2013, and electronics companies in China have begun to put out one of them. In particular, Apple, the leader in the smartphone industry, is also seeing the launch of iPhone with flexible OLED, and the flexible OLED market is expected to grow further.

The shape of the flexible OLED was expected to be changed to foldable and rollable beyond the bendable. Recently, however, the display industry has surpassed this trend and has been focusing on the development of stretchable OLEDs.

<Development Roadmap of OLED, Source: Ubi Research>

A stretchable OLED is a type of a flexible OLED that is finally evolves, which means OLED having elasticity as like rubber band.

 

Samsung Display unveiled this stretchable OLED at SID 2017. Samsung Display’s stretchable OLED is 9.1 inch and implementable both convex and concave shapes. At the time, Samsung Display announced that it realized the world’s first technology to maintain the existing image quality while increasing the screen size to 12 mm in concave mode.

<9.1 inch stretchable OLED displayed by Samsung Display, Source: Samsung Display>

LG Display will also develop the stretchable OLED. LG Display announced on June 6 that it will develop backplane and photoluminescence materials, devices, and process source technologies with elasticity of more than 20% for a total of four years through a consortium with Korea University.

 

In addition, LG Display has developed flexible plastic substrate materials, flexible wiring materials and transparent electrode materials, stretchable organic light emitting materials, and flexible encapsulates, they will also acquire essential process technologies including thin film transistors (TFTs) and process architectures that enable low-temperature processing.

 

At present, stretchable related technology is not yet applied to production, or elongation is only about 5%, and the number of repeated stretching is limited. In addition, most of the source technology is in overseas, it is expected that Samsung Display and LG Display will be able to secure technological gap with latecomers.

Stretchable OLED is free of form restrictions and expected to produce applications in new areas when applied to a variety of applications such as smart phones, tablets clothes and human skin when they are commercialized.

OLED Encapsulation, TFE is the Top Trend

  • Expected application of TFE to all edge type and full screen use flexible OLED
  • PECVD manufacturing equipment, 62% of total encapsulation manufacturing equipment market

According to 2017 OLED Encapsulation Annual Report published by UBI Research, of OLED encapsulation technology, TFE (thin film encapsulation) will be applied to approximately 70% of total OLED panel in 2021, and become the key encapsulation technology.

OLED display trend is heading toward minimizing bezel for full screen actualization from edge type, and flexible OLED is being considered as the most optimal display for full screen. As such, Chinese panel companies, as well as Samsung Display and LG Display, are concentrating on flexible OLED mass production line investment rather than rigid.

Flexible OLED must be thin and bendable; glass using frit encapsulation Is not suitable and TFE (thin film encapsulation) or hybrid encapsulation must be applied. TFE is a structure that is formed via laminating thin inorganic and organic materials. In the early stages of development, it had 11 layers of complex organic and inorganic material deposition with low yield. However, it now has been reduced to 3 layers and greatly improved productivity, yield, and cost and it is being applied to most of flexible OLED.

<Thin film encapsulation development history, 2017 OLED Encapsulation Annual Report>

Hybrid encapsulation, which uses barrier film, is being applied to some flexible OLED. However, due to the high cost of barrier film and relatively thick thickness, recent investment is focused on TFE application.

According to UBI Research analyst Jang Hyunjun, TFE encapsulation is expected to continue to be applied to edge type and full screen type flexible OLED panel, and related manufacturing equipment and material market will carry on their growth.

The report explains that TFE’s key manufacturing equipment are inorganic material forming PECVD and organic material forming ink-jet printer. In particular, PECVD is used in inorganic material film formation of hybrid encapsulation as well as TFE. Therefore, PECVD market is estimated to record US$ 6,820 million in 2017-2021, and occupy approximately 62% of the total encapsulation manufacturing equipment market.

<PECVD manufacturing equipment market volume, 2017, 2017 OLED Encapsulation Annual Report>

The report includes encapsulation related key manufacturing equipment and material market in addition to encapsulation development history and trend, and key panel companies’ trend.

Samsung Electronics’ Display Business Recorded Operating Profit of 1.71 Trillion KRW in Q2, 2017

Samsung Electronics announced that it reached sales of 61 trillion Korean won and operating profit of 14.07 trillion Korean won, and the display business recorded 7.71 trillion won and operating profit of 1.71 trillion won, through the Q2 2017 Earnings Conference Call on 27th. Its display business has recorded more than 1 trillion won in the black, for 4 consecutive quarters since Q3 2016.

 

According to Samsung Electronics, its earnings for Q2 2017 has increased compared to the previous quarter due to the expanded sales of flexible OLED panels and high value-added LCD products.

 

The OLED division saw its earnings improvement on the back of flexible products sales increase due to the expanded sales of major customer flagship models, and accounted for low 60% of sales. The LCD division also improved earnings by expanding the sales of high value-added products, mainly UHD and large TVs.

 

The OLED division is expected to see sales growth for the second quarter of this year due to the expanded supply of flexible products compared to the last quarter. However, there will be fiercer competition with LTPS LCD in the mid to low-end market and a risk of cost increase resulting from ramp-up of new capacity lines. Accordingly, Samsung plans to improve profitability by aggressively responding to major customer demand through stable ramp-up of new lines and improving product mix.

 

The LCD division is anticipated to be in a supply-demand imbalance due to set companies’ stock increase of panels and panel suppliers’ supply expansion, but premium TVs such as high resolution and super-size TVs are expected to continue to grow. Samsung has a plan to increase profitability by promoting yield and cost improvement activities and by expanding the sales of not only high value-added products such as UHD and large-size products but also differentiated design products such as frameless and curved products.

 

Samsung Electronics recorded sales of 93 million mobile phones and 6 million tablets in Q2 2017, and in the third quarter, the sales of mobile phones and tables are likely to increase slightly and remain flat, respectively quarter on quarter. The sales volume of LCD TVs is expected to reach 9 million units and grow at low single in the third quarter.

 

Samsung Electronics invested a total of 12.7 trillion KRW in its facilities in the second quarter, of which 4.5 trillion KRW were invested in the display. This year’s investment plan for facilities is yet to be determined, but investment is expected to increase substantially from last year, especially for semiconductors and displays. The display division plans to invest in production expansion to meet the increasing demand for flexible OLEDs.

 

Director Lee Chang-hoon of Samsung Display said, “The smartphone set makers’ OLED adoption will continue to increase with the constant strong demand for it. The current OLED line is being resiliently operated in line with market and customer needs”. He added “We will continue to use and operate OLED lines strategically in accordance with market demand and customer needs.”, and explained they are not considering the plan to further shift LCD lines into OLED.

How about the future OLED market performance?

At the seminar titled “OLED market analysis and the latest technology” host by the UBI Research at the FKI last June, the president, Lee Choong Hoon predicted the market through analyzing the OLED industry investment and mass production in the first half of 2017.

President Lee Choong Hoon emphasized that China will lead the OLED equipment market by 2021 due to increase in OLED demand of Chinese set makers. Accordingly, the Chinese equipment market is expected to account for about 48% of the entire equipment market in 2021, investing approx. US $ 40.5 billion.

It is anticipated that such movement of Chinese companies will affect the OLED smartphone market. In 2019, OLED smartphones will reverse the LCD smartphone market, accounting for 80% of the total smartphone market by 2021.

On the other hand, as for the flexible OLED, between 2017 and 2019, Samsung Electronics expects to invest heavily in BOE to be ranked second in the flexible OLED market, which should cope with the increasing demand on flexible OLED of Samsung Electronics and Apple.

President Lee analyzed that the premium TV market will be formed with larger than 65 inches as the 65-inch panels will be mass-produced at BOE’s Gen10.5 LCD plant from 2018. Consequently, panel makers without Gen10.5 will produce 65 inch panels on the Gen8 line in MMG (multi-model on a glass) method. On the other hand, LG Display is expected to continually produce TV OLED panel at Gen8, and since 2020 at Gen10.5 line.

According to ‘2017 OLED Manufacturing Equipment Annual Report’ published by the UBI research, from 2017 to 2021, it is anticipated that TFT equipment will account for 45% of the market share, followed by OLED pixel forming equipment 17%, encapsulation equipment 13%, cell equipment 13% and module equipment 12% respectively. As the demand on flexible OLEDs is expected to increase remarkably in the future, the market share of cell and module equipment will accordingly increase by 25% with high importance.

UBI Research , Published the Market Report on OLED Manufacturing Equipment

■The OLED equipmentmarket is expected to reach $84.9 billion in 5 years.

■Korean and Chinese panel companies will take over 90% of investment in panel equipment.

 

According to ‘2017 OLED Manufacturing Equipment Annual Report’ published by UBI Research, the entire equipment market of OLED is expected to total$84.9 billion(about 93trillion KRW) from 2017 to 2021. In 2017, $16.4 billion(about 18 trillion KRW) will be invested in OLED equipment.

The OLED equipment for the market analysis is largely categorized by process into 5 kinds of equipment; TFT, OLED, encapsulation, cell, and module. The investment costs including distribution equipment and test equipment of each process are calculated, and touch-related equipment is excluded from the market analysis.

Hyun Jun Jang, a senior researcher of UBI Research forecasts that the two countries will lead the OLED market due to the massive investment from both Korean panel companies occupying the OLED industry and latecomers Chinese panel companies.

According to this report, China and Korea will actively invest in OLED equipment from 2017 to 2017, showinga 48% and a 42% OLED market share, respectively. In particular, the two countries are expected to make the largest investment of $32.8 billion(about 36 trillion KRW) in 2017 and 2018.

Samsung Display has been expanding small and medium OLED lines to be applied to Galaxy series and Apple, and LG Display has been investing in both small & medium and large-size OLED lines. China’s BOE and CSOT are likely to invest heavily in OLED line because especially BOE has decided to invest more than 30K in small and medium OLED lines every year since 2017.

<left) OLED Equipment Market Share by Process,    right) OLED Equipment Market Share by Country>

From 2017 to 2021, itis forecast that TFT equipment, OLED pixel patterning equipment, encapsulation equipment, cell equipment, and module equipment will have a 45%, 17%,13%,13%, and 12% market share, respectively. In near future, the demand for flexible OLED will be likely to increase so that cell and module equipment will gain more importance having a 25% market share.

UBI Research holds the 1H Semester Seminar “OLED Market Analysis and Latest Technology Seminar (June 30, 2017 Federation of Korean Industries Head Office Building)

■ 2017 1H general review of the technical issues and the market of OLED industry.

■ 2H09 market outlook and change point forecast through 1H issue analysis.

UBI Research will hold the 1H semester seminar: OLED market analysis and latest technology seminar which will be able to forecast OLED market issues in the first half of 2017 and predict market outlook and change points in 2H07 on June 30 (Fri) at Yeouido FKI Conference Center.

It will be analyzed the technical issues and market in the OLED industry in the first half of the 17th year under the theme of “OLED Market Analysis and Latest Technologies”. In addition, it seems to forecast the 2H OLED market and change points for 2H through 1H issue analysis.

In this seminar, technology development status and prospects of TADF OLED, Soluble OLED, and Flexible OLED technology that are emerging as next generation OLED technology will be intensively introduced with the key experts in related fields. It will be a place to look at the latest OLED technologies and to see in advance how OLED future technologies will evolve.

▲ Market forecasts by analyzing OLED industry investment and mass production in the first half of 2017(Lee Choong-Hoon, representative of UBI Research), ▲ A new display paradigm ‘OLED'(Kwon Seong-Ryul, team leader of Dongbu Securities), will intensively analyze future display industry with the theme. ▲ Recent trends of TADF OLED luminescent materials(Prof Lee Jun-Yeob of Sungkyunkwan University), ▲ A New approach to improve OLED luminescence efficiency(Prof. Kim Jae-Hoon, Hanyang University), ▲ Development of Highly Efficient Multi-Functional Emitting Materials for Organic Light-Emitting Diode Application(Prof Jin Sung-Ho of Pusan National University), ▲ Flexible Display Technology Development Trends and Challenges(Prof. Lee Ki-Yong, Hanyang University), ▲Plane Source Evaporation for Very High ppi AMOLED (OLEDON/Prof. Hwang Chang-Hoon of Dankook University). With the theme of ‘It is time to challenge’ he will present the latest technology issues and directions for further growth of the display industry.

In this seminar, we will take a comprehensive view of the market and technology from the overall OLED industry, investment perspective, and economic perspective, it is expected to be a place where various high-quality information and networking exchanges will be formed along with domestic core experts, and the status and future of display technology can be forecasted.

Samsung Display, shows advanced product such as stretchable display in SID 2017

Samsung Display participates in ‘SID 2017’ exhibition hosted by the world-renowned Society for Display Experts ‘SID (The Society for Information Display)’ to show advanced future display products.

Samsung Display will exhibit advanced display products that have never been revealed before, such as a stretchable display and a non-eyewear 3D OLED at the LA Convention Center in Los Angeles on 23rd (local time).

Samsung Display participates in this SID 2017, and is showing the unrivaled display technology leadership and confidence by showing high-tech products and publishing outstanding papers.

Samsung Display unveiled a 9.1 inch stretchable OLED product with stretching screen.  The stretchable display is the next generation display technology that extends the screen flexibly, and it is considered to be the most suitable technology for wearable, Internet (IoT), AI (AI), and car display.

<source : Samsung Display>

Compared to the existing flexible OLEDs that can be deformed in only one direction, such as bending, folding, or rolling a screen, a stretchable OLED can be deformed in more than two directions.  This is a much higher level of implementation difficulty and is often referred to as the end point of flexible display technology in the industry.

The product displayed this time, when the screen is pressed from above, the screen is dented like a rubber balloon, and then returns to its original flat shape.  On the contrary, when pressed from below, the screen stretched up and had the elasticity to recover.  Samsung Display has developed a high level of stretchable technology that maintains the original picture quality while increasing the screen to a depth of up to 12mm when the display is pressed through steady research and development.

In addition, Samsung Display will exhibit ‘non-eyewear 3D OLED’ products. This 5.09-inch product realizes a real-life image that looks a bit different depending on the viewer’s position on the display, and expresses a more realistic 3-D image.

Especially, due to the contrast ratio close to infinity of OLED, it shows more natural stereoscopic image than LCD product. This technology is expected to be utilized in various fields requiring 3D image technology such as 3D pop-up book, 3D game, VR and etc.

 

On the other hand, this exhibition will have booths that enable users to experience the OLED technologies of Samsung Display. Including 3.5-inch size, 858ppi optimized for VR devices, 120Hz for wearable and tablet OLED products for smooth picture quality are exhibited.

In addition, much improved image quality of OLED, HDR (High Dynamic Range) and low power consumption technology can be confirmed.  Samsung Display also offers a ‘Design Innovation’ corner that introduces the development of smartphone display design, a unique flexible OLED technology.

From round OLEDs applied to mobile phones for the first time in the world after the successful production of flexible OLEDs in 2013, to recent full-screen OLEDs with the highest picture quality rating of ‘Excellent A +’ from DisplayMate, an image quality evaluation agency, it is able to show the flexible OLED technology accumulated by Samsung Display at a glance.

In addition, a high-resolution 65-type frameless LCD curved TV that minimizes screen reflections by applying ultra-low reflection POL (polarizer) and achieves 100% color expression power (DCI-P3 standard), 34-inch QHD + (3440X1440) LCD curved monitor with 21: 9 aspect ratio maximizes information transfer efficiency and 27-inch FHD (1920X1080) LCD curved monitor capable of 144 Hz high-speed screen operation are exhibited as a product that embodies innovative technology

Meanwhile, a paper entitled “Extendable Screen with Stretchable OLED Display” of Hong Jong-ho, researcher of Samsung Display Research Institute selected as SID 2017 Distinguished Paper.

Tianma Unveiled the China’s First Panel Produced in a Gen6 LTPS AMOLED Production Line

On April 20, 2017, Tianma successfully turned on the China’s first panel produced in a Gen6 LTPS AMOLED production line in Wuhan, China. The investment in Tianma’s Gen6 was made starting from January 2016.

<AMOLED Panel produced in Tianma’s Gen6 LTPS AMOLED production line, Source: mp.weixin.qq.com>

Tianma built a Gen4.5 AMOLED pilot line for the first time in China, and is planning to produce small-medium sized AMOLED displays. Based on this, it unveiled a 5.5-inch HD on-cell rigid AMOLED panel for smartphone, a 5.5-inch FHD AMOLED rigid panel, a 5-inch FHD AMOLED panel, and a 5.46-inch flexible AMOLED at MWC 2016.
Tianma’s Gen6 LTPS AMOLED constructed this time will produce LTPS AMOLED for rigid OLED and flexible OLED to apply it to VR, AR-related devices, wearable devices, and foldable devices. Tianma expects to become a leading company in the AMOLED display field, thanks to this newly built Gen6 LTPS AMOLED production line.

<Tianma’s Gen6 LTPS AMOLED Production Line, Source: mp.weixin.qq.com>

Meanwhile, according to ‘2017 OLED Display Annual Report – Samsung Display’s Share in the Smartphone AMOLED Panel Market Will Reach 70% by 2020’ published in February 2017 by UBI Research, Tianma ordered 30K equipment for a Gen6 flexible AMOLED panel production line in Wuhan and will produce in the second quarter of 2018.

Is Samsung Display Moving To the Gen 7 for A4 Line?

Samsung Display’s ongoing extension of flexible OLED line is highly expected to move to the gen 7 production line.

An OLED specialized research company, UBI Research CEO Choong Hoon Yi(senior analysis) analyzed the names of Samsung Display’s plants have changed by generation so A4 line will be able to increase to the gen 7.

The OLED plants owned by Samsung Display consist of A1, A2, and A3. A1 line is the gen 4 plant, A2 is the gen 5.5, and A3 is the gen 6 plant. LCD’s 7-1 line that is being recently converted is reportedly named A3E which is the follow-up of A3.

Therefore, the CEO Choong Hoon Yi forecast A4 will become the gen 7 line, in light of this trend.

To this end, he looks squarely at some issues to overcome. Firstly, it needs to secure excimer laser, the prerequisite for LTPS-TFT and doping apparatus because production equipment still remains the gen 6. But, Yi thought there is no problem in securing equipment and developing process up to the gen 7, as Samsung Display has been operating the gen 8 LTPS-TFT to produce 55-inch OLED panels for TV.

In addition, he analyzed it would be also possible to manufacture the FMM of the gen 7 half, required for the OLED deposition process. Samsung Display’s sole supplier of FMM, DNP made an investment in manufacturing facilities last year. Although the details of investment haven’t been well-known, it already has a stepper that can manufacture a mask of gen 7 half.

Lastly, when it comes to the validity of investment in Samsung Display’s gen 7, a differentiated production strategy is a key issue, according to Yi. Recently, companies that got into the business late are investing in the gen 6 OLED line, and in a few years their equipment productivity will be as good as Samsung Display’s. In his point of view, it is very meaningful to invest in the gen 7 line in order to stand out from new comers once again.

Samsung Display is already building various portfolios such as foldable OLED, COP(chip on plastic)OLED, and OLED with 800ppi high-resolution even at the R&D stage. The addition of the gen 7 production strategy to its R&D strategy incomparable with late comers will further raise its competitiveness.

[Finetech Japan 2017] LG Display OLED, more than 50% of the total revenue in 2020

At the keynote session of Finetech Japan 2017 held in Tokyo Big Sight as from May 5, LG Display’s CTO, Kang, In Byeong said, “LG Display OLED accounted for 10% of the total sales revenue in 2016, but is expected to increase more than 50% in 2020.”

<LG Display, Kang In Byeong CTO>

Currently, large OLED accounts for the majority of LG Display OLED sales. OLED TVs in application of LG Display’s large OLED are positioning as in the premium TV market leader, with approx 80% market share of the 65-inch large TVs priced higher than$ 3,000, and nearly 100% of the 55 inch large TVs higher than $ 2,000.

He said, “While 10 years taken for LCD to achieve more than 80% of market share, two years for large OLED, whose price is falling much faster than LCD. On top of it, OLED attempts to generate a premium markets with high-value-added products such as wall paper, crystal sound OLED, roll-able, transparency and signage. Also OLED for mobile device has been equipped with high competitiveness in application of a flexible design, and market demand has been significantly increased. Consequently LG Display is undergoing active development and investment.” He emphasized that the ongoing challenges will bring the LG Display’s OLED sales result in 2020 up to more than 50% of the total.

LG Display is investing in both the Gen8 large OLED mass production line and the Gen6 plastic OLED mass production line to meet the growing demand for large OLED and plastic OLED (flexible OLED). Regarding future mass production capacity, CTO, Kang said, “In 2020, large OLED production line capacity will be 6 times as big as that of 2016, and for plastic OLED 14 times.”

CTO Kang lastly addressed that the future OLED strategy of LG display is to produce large OLED wider than 77 inches, implement 8K and develop application for high-value-added product market. As for mobile device OLED, UHD resolution, DHK power consumption improvement and distinctive design are the key elements as well as flexibility that can increase the OLED performance and investment efficiency to differentiate from LCD and domineer the next generation display market.

Through the Finetech Japan 2017 keynote, LG Display once again emphasized that OLED is the key instrument to lead the display market in the future. Based on the large OLED technology, LG Display will continue to lead the display market by expanding its scope to mobile device OLED.

Softly bending OLED lighting like a paper, Development of Roll-to-Roll manufacturing technology

<Shin Kwon, Senior researcher of Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials (KIMM) & OLED production Roll-to-Roll production equipment, source: KIMM>

Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials (KIMM hereafter, Cheon-Hong Park, the president of KIMM), the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning-affiliated developed the 300mm grade of Roll-to-Roll manufacturing technology that allows to produce flexible OLED* by simple process with GJM Co., Ltd (Mun-Yong Lee, CEO) for the first time in Korea.

 

The Printed electronics research laboratory of advanced production equipment research center in KIMM succeeded in applying traditional Roll-to-Roll printed electronics technology to the OLED production process. Using Roll-to-Roll vacuum evaporation equipment, it is possible to produce flexible OLED products inside a single chamber as evaporating OLED light emitting organic layer and metallic electrode to roll type film in order. Available OLED products consist of many organic, inorganic layers of 1~hundreds nanometer (nm) level of thin and each layers are manufactured through vacuum thermal evaporation process.

 

Producing the flexible OLED display must go through complicated processes until now. The method that has been used so far is that attaching a film on the glass plate and passing it over the evaporation process to produce OLED, and then separating a film from the plate. The one-side curved display of smart phone screen which was launched by Korea conglomerate was made in the same manner of process which is attaching a film on a glass plate or coating and then circulating evaporation equipment to produce OLED and separating OLED from the glass plate. There were demerits of the need for adding additional process of attaching and detaching a film as well as for various additional evaporation equipment upon necessary steps.

 

Applying the currently developed technology, it is possible to produce OLED with ‘multi-layer evaporation’ process that evaporates organic layer and inorganic layer sequentially on top of a film after letting a roll type film which is rolled inside a vacuum chamber flow. The time and facilities required for production are greatly reduced, therefore, not only large companies but also small and medium-sized enterprises can produce flexible OLED.

 

This OLED producing method is expected to be used in the lighting industry first since it can be produced by surface unit unlike point unit of the existing LED, and be possibly made in any desired shape due to its flexibility.

 

Shin Kwon, senior researcher of KIMM explained “With Roll-to-Roll vacuum evaporation equipment, it can be used for continuous production of flexible OLED which is notable display for the next generation. Especially in the display industry, it is a key technology to secure the technology gap feasible to contribute to gain supremacy over China from its rapid pursuit while Korean R&D is stagnant.

 

Also added “we are under development of fine pattern mask align technology which allows to produce individual pixels Red/Green/Blue used in actual display product. When it’s completed, it can be applied to the high resolution display and is a strong technology differentiated from Fraunhofer in Germany and Konica Minolta in Japan developing similar technologies.

 

This task was conducted for the leading study sponsored by the ACE*** program which is a technical business support program of KIMM, and has been conducting with GJM Co., Ltd. with a support of the economic cooperation business of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy since Oct. 2015. GJM Co., Ltd. as a hidden champion holding core technology in OLED, recently made a delivery performance in Taiwan, Japan, and China and is pushing ahead with full-scale equipment commercialization.

What is the future of OLED?

Choong Hoon Yi, president of UBI Research made a keynote speech with a theme “The Future of OLED” at ‘The 3rd OLED Korea Conference’ hosted by UBI Research for two days from March 8 to 9.

Choong Hoon Yi, president of UBI Research stated “100-inch rollable wall TV is the future of OLED”. “human eyes have a wide viewing angle so even if display covers the whole wall, there is no discomfort. Glass substrate OLED may be difficult to carry, and accordingly rollable display can be rolled up and delivered like a carpet.” he added.

He also predicted “plastic substrates and printing process for price cut will be suitable for rollable display. TFT and pixel production techniques made by Solution process will be a key to future technology”. If a speaker is built in rollable display, and a correspondence between the person and sound on the screen will represent a perfect display.

Choong Hoon Yi said the reasons for the success of OLED can be found out in the mobile market.
Firstly, 4K contents to be used for future TVs will be used in smartphones, and smartphones will also use 4K resolution.

Second, Apple will release the OLED iPhone this year, and there will be an Apple effect because Samsung Display is building the A3 line for Apple to produce 200 million 5.5-inch OLED displays.

Third, Chinese market accounts for 40% of the global smartphone market, and Chinese set companies have been rapidly increasing the release of smartphones.

Lastly, a flexible OLED to cover the full screen smartphone will have no home button and feature wide screen to satisfy visual functions, and its strengthened security system that reads fingerprint and pattern can be applied.

For the four reasons above, he expected OLED will be key in the future mobile market.

Meanwhile, he expected the shipments of OLED panel will be 1.7 billion in 2021, and the sales will amount to US$ 75 billion. Korean display companies will represent more than 80% of the total market in 2021, and China will take up 10~15%. In addition, he forecast that display panel companies will make a new investment in flexible OLED which will account for 70% of the total OLED market.

OLED panel for automotive display to be applied from 2018/The core issue is for its life-time extension.

OLED panels are expected to be used in automotive displays joining to mobile devices and TVs.

It clearly revealed that the flexible OLEDs are becoming the flagship product for automotive display in CES2017 through the Chrysler’s conference as pre-event. (website: https://www.olednet.com/en/ces2017-media-day-chrysler-potal/)

According to the “Automotive Display Report – Application & Market Trend Analysis and the Market Forecast” published by Ubi Research, OLED panels are expected to be applied to automotive cluster and CID in earnest from 2018. It will be applied to premium cars first under flexibility and superiority of image quality.

Car manufacturers are attempting to differentiate themselves with the concepts of environmentally friendly, connected, smart, and autonomous driving, and thus the interface inside the vehicle is also changing. There might be a limit to the existing analogue methods since various information must be transmitted and processed especially, as developed connected, smart car, and autonomous vehicle.

Therefore, the role of display in automobiles is becoming increasingly important and the area of display is gradually widening. Especially, since the cluster and CID have many curved surfaces, it is difficult to apply a square display to a large area and accordingly, the importance of a flexible display is emphasized.

The automobile manufacturers show great interest to the AMOLED panel since it can provide high visibility to the drivers and it is flexible and applicable to any part of the automobile based on its fast response speed, wide viewing angle, high color reproduction rate and contrast range. It is under joint development with major panel makers.

However, there is a problem that the lifetime of the AMOLED panel is still insufficient for application to automobiles. According to the analyzing report, the lifetime of the AMOLED panel has met about 50% as compared to the requirements for the car display. The most important issue is securing lifetime for the AMOLED panel usage.

According to the report also, the automotive display market will grow at an annual average of about 17%, reaching US $ 25,000 million by 2022, and it forecasted that the AMOLED panel market will account for about 20%.

<Automotive display market share forecasting in 2017-2022>

[CES2017] Media Day: Meeting of the Prestigious Automaker and the Great Display Manufacturer

Chrysler held an event to introduce its next-generation concept car “POTAL” at the Pre-CES 2017 show, Pre-CES2017Media Event.

Chrysler classified the space where humans will live in the future into three; family, job and vehicle, and named vehicles a “Third Space”. Future drivers can do a variety of activities inside vehicles thanks to autonomous driving.

The interior design of “POTAL” is very simply organized. The steering wheel is designed to have storage space in dashboard. The high-mount instrument panel display is positioned on the top of the dashboard to have high visibility. ‘Connected’ interface is applied between display and the surrounding environment including driving information. There is another display underneath the dashboard.

The displays on the interior front of “POTAL” prepared to open the new era of future vehicles consist of AMOLED. A ‘high-mount’ AMOLED display is flexible OLED, and a display underneath is a 12-inch glass AMOLED. Both displays are supplied by Samsung Display.

At many car shows, the concept cars with curved displays have been introduced so far, but this show might be the first time to exhibit flexible OLED directly.

Flexible OLED used for ‘POTAL’ is so reflective to minimize the loss of information against light coming in from the outside, and its background is black to have optimum visibility.

The prestigious automaker and the great OLED manufacturer meet and create a new technology.

Flexible OLED provided by the world’s best mobile display company, Samsung Display is not expected to be used in the f motor industry or a while. Apple will apply flexible OLED to iPhone in earnest, and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. will also use flexible OLED entirely for the next-gen Galaxy S8. Accordingly, the on-going flexible OLED line also lacks a capacity to respond to the smartphone market. Samsung Display’s flexible OLED is expected to continue a shortage of supply until 2019 so that the world’s best luxurious instrument panel will be supplied by 2020.

AMOLED panel for smart phones, just around the corner of 100million-unit shipment in a quarter

According to UBI Research, the shipment amount of AMOLED panel for smart phones in the 3rd quarter of 2016 was announced to be counted as 96million units.

It is the figure increased for 103% compared with the last quarter, and increased for 148% compared with the same period of last year, and it renewed the quarterly highest shipment amount once again, after the last quarter.

The person in charge of UBI Research mentioned that “The output of flexible AMOLED panels for Galaxy Note 7 was reduced compared to the plan due to the discontinuation of the production of Galaxy Note 7, however, the increase in shipments of AMOLED panels for China and Galaxy s7 series is seemed to play a important role in the increase of shipments in the third quarter.”

Currently, Samsung Display occupies more than 91% of the AMOLED panel market for smart phones, and Chinese panel makers such as BOE, EDO, Tianma, and Visionox are conducting mass production with small quantities.

In addition, Apple is expected to apply the flexible AMOLED panel to some models of the iPhone to be launched in 2017, therefore, future AMOLED panel market for smart phones will be increased continuously.

UBI Research expects that the annual shipment amount of AMOLED panel will form the market volume as about 1.4billion units by 2020 with the average annual growth rate of 41%, and flexible AMOLED panel among them will account for about 61%.

Smart Phone AMOLED Panel Shipment Forecast, Source : UBI research

BY HYUNJUN JANG, HANA OH

Visualization of display for mirror-less automobiles, Green light to OLED display

After Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport did pre-announcement of legislation about partial revised plan of ‘Regulations on the performance and standards of automobiles and auto parts’ on the 7th, interests in ‘mirror-less automobiles’ having not side mirror (rearview mirror) are getting hot. This is a method of securing eyesight through display screen in the car after installing subminiature camera to car front and rear and also front doors of both sides, and solving blind zone problem which was the defect of existing side mirror and improving fuel efficiency and designs are expected, even though there are problems on functional errors and design development.

Thus, display for mirror-less automobiles is getting attentions as a drive of new market in display market for automobiles. Display fields for automobiles belongs to the industry to which creating high added value is expected because further customization is required compared to mobile and TV. So LGD or SDC panel enterprises are developing products for market penetration, and two companies are known as setting up policy of progressing differentiating strategies differently from Taiwan, Japanese companies by focusing on Flexible OLED especially.

Flexible OLED has thin, light characteristics and a nature to be able to bend, so it is favorable to mirror-less automobiles requiring new designs from free installing aspects. Also, mirror-less is being evaluated to be suitable to the display for automobiles because it can implement high visibility with very fast speed, contrast range, and wide viewing angle. On July 1st last year, Continental Corporation, auto parts supplier, revealed the possibility of better eyesight provision even in dark situations or the rain while introducing several merits of mirror-less automobiles to which 2 OLEDs were applied through its homepage. In addition, Alfred Eckert, Director of the Advanced Engineering department in Continental’s Chassis & Safety Division mentioned “The effects of unwanted optical phenomena such as glare and weak light can also be compensated”

<Mirror-less concept car to which 2 OLEDs were applied> (Source: www.continental-corporation.com)

Samsung Electronics is recently propelling automobile electric apparatus business in earnest by taking over Harman, US automobile electric company, and the industry foresees that competency of Samsung Electronics’ OLED and semiconductor would make great synergy effect to electric apparatus business. Furthermore, they lighted up goals such like securing world 30% market share in display for automobiles based on OLED display in 2018, and achieving 2 trillion won in sales.

In this way, OLED display is expected to play core roles in expanding business to electric field industry from electronic/display industry, and it is anticipated that OLED could be a new dynamic to growth of display industry.

BOE’s Decision to Invest 46.5 Billion Yuan in Flexible OLED Line

According to a radio and TV source of Mianyang in Sìchuan Province, BOE has decided to invest 46.5 billion yuan(about 7.8 trillion KRW) in Gen6 flexible AMOLED production line.

BOE plans to begin construction in December 2016 and produce the items from 2019, and its capacity is 48K per month. It is expected to be used for producing high-end smartphones. BOE is carrying out 45K investment in Gen6 flexible AMOLED in Chengdu, and as part of this extension it is scheduled to put additional investment.

The investment in OLED has accelerated recently. Chinese panel companies including Visonox and EDO as well as BOE have decided to put investment in the production line of Gen6 flexible AMOLED panel and establish more lines.

BOE’s Gen6 flexible AMOLED panel production line where the investment has been decided or is still ongoing accounts for 75% of 120k that is total capacity of A3 Line, Gen6 flexible AMOLED production line of Samsung Display. If other Chinese panel companies’ investment that has been already decided or is ongoing is combined together, the investment exceeds Korea’s flexible AMOLED panel production capacity, even allowing for Samsung Display and LG Display’s additional investment.

With China’s active investment in flexible AMOLED panel production line, Chinese AMOLED panel market is expected to grow rapidly.

OLED enabling various styling and designs is perfect to lighting for automobiles

Applications of various lighting such as LED and OLED etc. have been expanded so as to implement unique designs and diversified functions of own brand by each automotive company as well as developments of automotive industry including smart-car and connected-car etc. are being made at the same time. In this regard, Center Head Ju Jae-young of Korea Photonics Technology Institute stated current situation by saying “Lighting for vehicles belongs to the business which expects profitability, but it is not easy for late starters to break in because entry barrier is high from characteristics of automotive industry. Ultimately, whether to stimulate purchase desires is important.” Also, he counted ‘styling possibilities’ as one of successful LED lighting by saying “The reason of getting more popularity of LED than existing halogen and HID is derived from the fact that LED has strong points in designs.”

And then, the Head forecasted like “The exterior deco of lamp market for automobiles overtook the interior deco market from the start of 2013, and 3.1B USB market will be made in 2019 by achieving annual 11.6% growth in average to 2019 from 2014,” and said “The exterior deco market will grow up over 15% annually, and DRL (Daytime Running Lamp) and Head lamp are leading market due to their high growth rates.”

Besides, Center Head Ju Jae-young stated “In order to enter market by OLED, it has to stimulate purchase desires with new designs which do not substitute LED simply,” and added “There are possibilities if designs are unique, and stimulate sensitivity like Fun- VII concept car of Toyota or lighting of Chrysler having been disclosed to the public in 2013.”

<Fun Vii Concept Car of Toyota Source: Toyota official homepage>

<Floating island bezel unveiled from Chrysler, Source: www.metrododgedeals.com>

Like this, OLED is thin, light and can be bended characteristically, and has strong points such like free designs are available, so it is getting a lot of interests as next-generation illuminants including indoor lighting etc. as well as lighting for vehicles. According to 2016 OLED lighting annual report having been published in August 2016 by UBi RESEARCH, it explains that OLED lighting is known to display same performance with LED in R&D levels regarding characteristics of brightness and lifetime etc. as eco-friendly lighting and having high energy-efficiency, thus OLED seems to have sufficient competitiveness only if requested brightness is satisfied along with each automotive company.

Samsung, Despite the Favorable TV Sales in Q1, Display Still in Deficit

Source = Samsung Elec.

Samsung Elec. today announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2016. Samsung’s revenue for the quarter was KRW 49.78 trillion, an increase of 5.7 percent YoY, while operating profit for the quarter was KRW 6.68 trillion, an increase of 12 percent YoY. In the company’s earnings guidance disclosed on April 7, 2016, Samsung estimated first quarter consolidated revenues would reach approximately KRW 49.0 trillion with consolidated operating profit of approximately KRW 6.6 trillion.

The first quarter saw overall earnings growth led by the early launch and successful sales of the flagship Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, improved memory product mix, expanded 14nm supply of System LSI products and increased sales of OLED panels.
Overall earnings of the Display Panel business decreased due to a sharp decline in LCD panel earnings although earnings of OLED panels improved mainly driven by the Galaxy S7. The LCD business experienced temporary yield issues while adopting new process technology as well as TV panel price decline.

The IT & Mobile Communications (IM) Division saw a substantial earnings improvement both YoY and QoQ mainly driven by the early launch of Galaxy S7 and its strong sales and improved cost efficiency through the streamlining of mid-to-low-end smartphone lineups. Although the company had a one-time royalty settlement expense in the quarter, the impact on operating profit was equivalent to less than 1 percent of IM revenue.

The Consumer Electronics (CE) Division achieved significant earnings growth YoY led by expanded sales of premium TV models such as SUHD TV and Curved TV in developed markets, and also a notable sales increase of premium home appliance products in North America.

In the second quarter, the company expects its solid performance to continue led by steady earnings in the Mobile and Semiconductor businesses plus improvement of the CE and Display Panel businesses.

The IM Division is expected to secure solid earnings by expanding sales of the Galaxy S7 along with strong profitability of mid-to-low-end products. The CE Division expects to see improvements as seasonality should improve air conditioner sales, while flagship SUHD TV sales are expected to increase.

The Display Panel segment is expected to see earnings improvement compared to the previous quarter as LCD profitability is forecast to rise on stabilized TV panel yields and improved demand and supply conditions.

For the Display Panel business, OLED earnings are expected to improve due to growth driven by an increase in flexible and high-resolution panels. LCD panel profitability is expected to improve in the second half driven by high valued-added products amid better supply and demand conditions.

For the IM Division, the company expects the sales of flagship products to increase YoY, especially with strong demand for flagship products such as the Galaxy S7 and new model launches in the second half. In addition, the company will continue to manage cost efficiencies by streamlining its smartphone lineups.

For the CE Division, the company will focus on profitability by increasing premium products such as SUHD and Curved TVs. With the Olympics and other global sporting events forecast to drive global demand for large-size TVs, the company expects strong improvements in operating results YoY.

Meanwhile, capital expenditure (CAPEX) for the first quarter was KRW 4.6 trillion, which includes KRW 2.1 trillion for the Semiconductor business and KRW 1.8 trillion for the Display Panel business. The annual plan for CAPEX has not yet been confirmed but is projected to increase slightly compared to last year’s CAPEX based on various business opportunities. CAPEX for the Display Panel segment may increase as the company sees strong market demand for OLED panels. DRAM CAPEX will remain flexible based on supply and demand conditions but is expected to be lower than 2015.

The Display Panel segment posted KRW 6.04 trillion in consolidated revenue and KRW 0.27 trillion in operating loss for the quarter.

In the first quarter, shipments of OLED panels improved from the previous quarter, driven by launches of new high-end smartphone panels and strong demand for smartphones in the mid-to-low-end space. Conversely, the company’s LCD panel shipments decreased, affected by weaker demand during low seasonality.

Looking ahead to the second quarter, for OLED panels, Samsung hopes to actively address demand for new products and expand its customer base, while focusing on improving profitability of LCD panels by increasing shipments of strategic premium products such as UHD and large-size panels.

In 2016, the company expects OLED demand will continue to rise helped largely by growth in the mid-to-low-end smartphone segment while the LCD market will continue to be over supplied. In this market, Samsung hopes to actively address demand for new products, increase sales of value-added products and reinforce its leadership by developing new panel applications.

The IM Division – comprising the Mobile Communications and Networks Businesses – posted KRW 27.60 trillion in consolidated revenue, a 6.6-percent YoY increase, and KRW 3.89 trillion in operating profit for the quarter, a 42-percent YoY increase.

While smartphone and tablet demand saw a slight QoQ decrease due to seasonal effects, overall operating profit for the Division increased. This increase was largely due to the early launch and strong global performance of the flagship Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, as evidenced by robust sell-out figures and low inventory levels compared to their predecessors. A streamlined mid-to-low-end smartphone lineup also contributed to improved profitability.

Looking ahead to the second quarter, while demand for smartphones and tablets is forecast to remain flat due to continued weak seasonality, the worldwide rollout of the latest flagship models as well as an increase in shipments of the mid-to-low-end Galaxy A and J series are expected to help the company maintain robust sales momentum and profit.

As for the year ahead, Samsung anticipates softening demand in the smartphone market and negative growth in the tablet market. The company will reinforce its leadership in the premium smartphone segment on the back of the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, while continuing to increase volume and improve profitability in the mid-to-low-end segment. In addition, the company will continue to expand the Samsung Pay service to global markets and look into new business opportunities.

For the Networks Business, the company will seek growth through the continued rollout of 4G LTE services in new markets around the world, including Southeast Asia.

The Consumer Electronics Division – encompassing the Visual Display (VD), Digital Appliances (DA), Printing Solutions and Health & Medical Equipment (HME) businesses – posted KRW 10.62 trillion in consolidated revenue and KRW 0.51 trillion in operating profit for the quarter.

In the first quarter, TV market demand decreased YoY due to weak seasonality and economic downturn in emerging markets. Earnings for the VD Business showed significant growth YoY, led by increased sales of premium products such as SUHD and Curved TVs.

For the appliances business, earnings improved compared to the corresponding quarter last year, led by continued growth in the North American market and increased sales of innovative premium products such as Chef Collection refrigerators and the Activewash™ washing machine.

In the second quarter, TV demand is expected to slightly increase riding on sports events such as the Olympics. The company plans to further improve profitability by continuing to focus on the new and improved SUHD TVs with the world’s only cadmium-free Quantum dot display, while also increasing sales of premium products such as UHD TVs and Curved TVs.

Digital appliance demand is expected to rise due to seasonal growth for air conditioners, despite global market uncertainties. Against this backdrop, Samsung aims to increase profitability by expanding sales of innovative premium products such as a newly launched air conditioner and Family Hub Refrigerator. Additionally, the company expects to improve performance by expanding its enterprise business including built-in kitchens and system air conditioners.

[Lighting Japan 2016] Yamagata University Develops Low Cost Flexible OLED Encapsulation

Innovation Center for Organic Electronics in Yamagata University in Japan discussed low cost flexible OLED encapsulation in Lighting Japan 2016 conference. Existing flexible OLED encapsulation mainly used hybrid encapsulation structure that forms multi-layer thin film passivation layers on top of OLED, and then applying adhesive organic material and laminating gas barrier film. The encapsulation structure presented by Yamagata University forms, of the hybrid encapsulation structure, thermoset resin and barrier film above OLED without multi-layer thin film passivation, and laminate at approximately 130 °C. Yamagata University announced that they were successful in transparent flexible OLED panel development on January 13 using encapsulation, and that this panel will be presented in Printable Electronics 2016 in Tokyo from January 27.

 

The OLED panel to be exhibited is a leaf shaped of 45 mm width, 110 mm length, weighs less than 1.2g, and 250 um thick transparent film substrate that can be folded.

 

According to Yamagata University, if the newly developed encapsulation is applied, the OLED lighting panel price can be reduced as passivation layer is not used. Also, Yamagata University revealed as it can satisfy both transparent and flexible categories simultaneously, it is estimated that it will become a key technology in future transparent flexible OLED lighting development.

Low Cost Flexible OLED Encapsulation, Yamagata University

[Analyst Column] LCD Industry Administration to Worsen after 3 Years

Choong Hoon Yi, Chief Analyst, UBI Research

 

 

BOE is intending to carry out a large amount of investment in order to operate Gen10.5 LCD line from 2018. Meanwhile, key set makers including Apple, Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, and Panasonic are devising strategy to move from LCD to OLED for smartphone and premium TV displays. As such, it is becoming more likely for the LCD industry to be in slump from 2018.

 

At present, the area where LCD industry can create profit is LTPS-LCD for smartphone. The forecast smartphone market for this year is approximately 15 billion units. Of this, Samsung Electronics and Apple are occupying 20% and 15% of the market respectively. OLED equipped units are less than 2 billion.

 

However, from 2018 the conditions change greatly. Firstly, Apple, which has been using LCD panel only, is estimated to change approximately 40% of the display to OLED from 2017 earliest and 2018 latest. Apple is testing flexible OLED panels of JDI, LG Display, and Samsung Display, and recommending them to invest so flexible OLED can be applied to iPhone from 2017. The total capa. Is 60K at Gen6. As new investments for Gen6 line of Samsung Display and LG Display are expected to be carried out from 2016, supply is theoretically possible from 2017.

 

Source: UBI Research Database

Source: UBI Research Database

 

If 5inch flexible OLED is produced from Gen6 line, under the assumption of 50% yield at 60K capa. 65 million units can be produced annually, and approximately 1 billion units if the yield is 80%. If Apple’s iPhone shipment in 2017 is estimated to be around 2.7 billion units, within the 50-60% yield range approximately 25% of the display is changed to OLED from LCD, and if yield reaches 80% around 40% will change. The companies that are supplying Apple with LCD for smartphone, LG Display, JDI, and Sharp, are expected to show considerable fall in sales and business. These 3 companies could be reduced to deficit financial structure just from Apple’s display change

 

Furthermore, as Apple is not producing low-priced phones, under the assumption that future iPhone could all have OLED display, Apple could cause the mobile device LCD industry to stumble after 3 years.

 

Samsung Electronics also is gradually changing Galaxy series display to OLED from LCD. Of the forecast 2015 shipment of 3 billion units, 50%, 1.5 billion units, has OLED display, but Samsung Electronics is expected to increase flexible OLED and rigid OLED equipped products in future. Particularly, as Apple is pushing for flexible OLED application from 2017, Samsung Electronics, whose utilizing OLED as the main force, is estimated to increase flexible OLED usage more than Apple. It is estimated that all Galaxy series product displays will be changed to OLED from 2019.

 

 

Under these assumptions, of the estimated smartphone market in 2020 of approximately 20 billion units, Samsung Electronics and Apple’s forecast markets’ 7 billion could be considered to use OLED.

 

Samsung Display is strengthening supply chain of set companies using their OLED panels. Samsung Display is supplying OLED panels to diverse companies such as Motorola and Huawei as well as Samsung Electronics, and also expected to supply rapidly rising Xiaomi from 2016. If smartphone display is swiftly changed to OLED from LCD from 2017, Chinese display companies that are currently expanding TFT-LCD lines are to be adversely affected.

 

Additionally, in the premium TV market, LG Electronics mentioned that they will focus on OLED TV industry at this year’s IFA2015. As a part of this, LG Display is planning to expand the current Gen8 34K to 60K by the end of next year. Furthermore, in order to respond to the 65inch market, Gen9.5 line investment is in consideration. In the early 2015, Panasonic commented that they were to withdraw from TV business but changed strategy with new plans of placing OLED TV on the market in Japan and Europe from next year.

 

As Samsung can no longer be disconnected from the OLED TV business, there are reports of investment for Gen8 OLED for TV line in 2016. Although OLED TV market is estimated to be approximately 350 thousand units this year, in 2016, when Panasonic joins in, it is expected to expand to 1.2 million units. The OLED TV’s market share in ≥55inch TV market is estimated to be only 4% but in premium TV market it is estimated to be significant value of ≥10%.

 

 

 

 

If Samsung Display invests in Gen8 OLED for TV line in 2016, from H2 2017 supply to Samsung Electronics is possible. As OLED Gen8 line’s minimum investment has to be over 60K to break even, it can be estimated that Samsung Display will invest at least 60K continuously in future.

 

Under these conditions, LCD industry can only be in crisis. Firstly, it becomes difficult for Sharp to last. Sharp, which is supplying TFT-LCD for Apple’s iPhones and LCD for Samsung Electronics’ TV, will lose key customers. Secondly, BOE, AUO, and JDI, the companies selling LCD panels to these companies, are not ready to produce OLED and therefore damage is inevitable.

 

BOE is carrying out aggressive investment with plans to lead the display industry in future with operation of Gen10.5 LCD line. Therefore, from 2018, as the main cash cow items disappear, administration pressure could increase.

[Analyst Column] Korean Display Industry Is On Descent

Dr Choong Hoon Yi, UBI Research Chief Analyst, ubiyi@ubiresearch.co.kr

 

The analysis of 2015 2Q results of Samsung Display and LG Display shows clear indication that Korean display industry is on descent.

 

[2015 Q2 Korean Display Total Sales Analysis]

According to the results announcement of the 2 companies, the total of 2015 Q2 sales is approximately US$ 11,000,000,000. Compared to the total sales in 2013 Q2 which was US$ 13,000,000,000, Korean display industry trend is exhibiting clear downward tendency.

0812 graph1

 

2015 Q2 Korean display sales records -4% QoQ, and 8% YoY.

0812 graph2

 

 

The main reason for the decrease in sales is Samsung Display’s deterioration of earnings results. While LG Display’s sales of the past 3 years remain fairly consistent but Samsung Display’s sales is gradually decreasing.

0812 graph3

 

 

 

[2015 Q2 Korean Display Total Business Profit Analysis]

Connecting the high points of the total of 2 companies’ business profit reveal that the business value is worsening as the trend moves downward. This also is much contributed to Samsung Display’s business profit decrease.

0812 graph4

 

 

[Samsung Display and LG Display Sales Analysis]

According to the earnings announcement of both companies, Samsung Display and LG Display recorded sales of approximately US$ 5,500,000,000 and US$ 5,600,000,000 respectively. LG Display is maintaining higher sales results compared to Samsung Display for the past 5 quarters. Each company’s QoQ showed to be -4% (LGD) and -3% (SDC) and YoY to be 12% (LGD) and 5% (SDC). The simultaneous decrease of QoQ sales of both companies demonstrates that the Q3 sales could also fall.

 

0812 graph5

 

0812 graph6

 

 

[Samsung Display and LG Display’s Competitiveness Analysis]

Looking at the profit/sales graph of Samsung Display and LG Display, it is apparent that Samsung Display showed superior competitiveness until 2013 Q3, but since then LG Display averaged higher.

 

 

[Conclusion]

The reason for the downward trend of Korean display industry is analyzed to be the fall of display panel price due to the Chinse display companies’ mass production through aggressive investment. Particularly, in or after 2017 when China’s BOE is estimated to begin Gen10.5 LCD line, LCD panel price will fall even more rapidly. This is forecast to lead Korean LCD industry to suddenly lose competitiveness. For Korean display companies that have immense LCD sales to show positive growth, it is time to expand OLED business that can be differentiated from Chinse display companies.

 

The only solutions for Korean display industry are OLED investment in large scale and conversion of LCD line to OLED line. At the time of BOE’s Gen10.5 line operation, Korean display companies also should respond with Gen6 flexible OLED investment and early establishment of Gen8 OLED line.

[Analyst Column] LG Display Q2 Earnings Analysis and Signification of Flexible OLED Investment

Dr Choong Hoon Yi, UBI Research Chief Analyst, ubiyi@ubiresearch.co.kr

 

On July 23, LG Display announced its earnings results at LG Twin Towers in Yeouido, South Korea. LG Display reported that their Q2 sales recorded approximately US$ 5,700,000,000 with business profit of approximately US$ 420,000,000.

 

Although sales fell by approximately US$ 260,000,000 (-5%) compared to the previous quarter, it was an increase of US$ 620,000,000 (12%) compared to the year before. Business profit showed approximately US$ 210,000,000 decrease (-34%) QoQ, and YoY US$ 280,000,000 increase (206%).

 

0805 graph1

 

LG Display’s sales and business profit of Y/Yo (green line) showed U shape of trend of growth in previous 5 quarters but this quarter recorded a fall. It is analyzed that the growth could slow down from 2H 2015.

 

The drop of the LG display’s Y/Yo growth in this 2Q is much attributed to smartphone market’s slow down and TV market reduction. It is also estimated the panel price reduction due to Chinese display companies’ aggressive investment is reflected.

 

0805 graph2

 

 

For LG Display to stop the degrowth, mass production of products that are differentiated from competition, is urgently needed, away from LCD panel that is LGD’s current major business.

 

On the day, LG Display’s management announced approx. US$ 900,000,000 investment for Gen6 flexible OLED line in order to lead flexible OLED market. The investment location is Gumi factory. Investment location is Gumi factory with the initial investment of 7.5K. It is expected world’s second flexible OLED exclusive line will established following Samsung Display. It is anticipated that up to 15K will be established for this line.

 

Considering last year’s LG Display’s business profit was approx. US$ 1,100,000,000, the US$ 900,000,000 flexible OLED investment is very large. The investment decision must have been very difficult. However, the reasons for LG Display’s drastic flexible OLED exclusive line investment are because companies that produce LTPS-TFT LCD (LGD’s existing main market) is increasing, and because Samsung Display is already monopolizing rigid OLED market and therefore difficult to secure market share.

 

LG Display’s CFO Kim Sang-don explained that flexible OLED Gen6 line investment was decided at the board of directors meeting on July 22, and was made official on the morning of July 23. Kim added that the decision was reached so that LG Display can lead the OLED business in terms of technology and to occupy initial market in foldable and rollable technologies. He also commented the monthly capa. of the flexible OLED line will be 7.5K.

 

Regarding large area OLED panel, it was emphasized that this year’s panel production target remains to be 600,000 units and 1,500,000 units next year, same as the ones announced during the Q1 earnings results presentation. It was also revealed that 34K, approximately 9K higher than current capa., will be in operation in 2016. Addressing the concern of oversupply of next year’s 1,500,000 units while the OLD TV market is still small, LG Display suggested the solution of increasing the demand by active promotion from the second half of this year.

 

 

 

Despite the fall of mid to large size panels’ sales price, from the enlargement of sets and AIT technology applied sales performance, the business profit of approximately US$ 4,000 million was recorded. This is a 34% decrease compared to the previous quarter but a 199% increase from the same period in 2014. LG Display estimates that the sales will increase in the third quarter due to seasonal factors and panel’s enlargement trend.