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[UBI Research China Trend Report] Will BOE Provide UPC Panel with Transparent PI Substrate to Oppo?

BOE, the largest display maker in China, produces UPC (Under Panel Camera) panels with transparent PI substrates.

UPC is a technology that makes a full screen of a smartphone possible by placing the front camera under the screen. The UPC technology that is currently commercialized is a method of patterning the cathode electrode and changing the resolution near the camera. However, this time it is expected that a transparent PI substrate will be additionally applied to the UPC panel supplied by BOE to Oppo.

Existing transparent PI substrates had difficulties in mass production due to the high process temperature of LTPS TFT. Yet, the recent test results of the panels with the transparent PI substrate produced by BOE reached most conditions of satisfactory levels even at the LTPS TFT process temperature.

The UPC OLED panel with the transparent PI substrate developed by BOE is expected to be installed in Oppo’s upcoming products.

 

China Aims for the Foldable Phone Market with Multiple Foldable Phone Launches

Samsung Electronics widely successful release of its foldable phones, Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Flip 3 last year has risen expectations for establishing foldable phones into the mainstream. Chinese companies such as Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo are also releasing multiple foldable phones.

As the first foldable phone in China, Huawei has been releasing the Mate X series every year since its launch in 2019. The Mate X and the Mate Xs released in 2020 are 8 inches in size and folds outward. The external display is 6.6 inches with a resolution of 1148×2480 and an aspect ratio of 19.5:9.

Mate X2 was introduced in February 2021 with 8 inches for the internal display and the external display is 6.45 inches OLED with a resolution of 1160 x 2700 and an aspect ratio of 21:9. Colorless PI was applied to the cover window. Mate X2 folds inward instead of Mate X’s outward folding display.

P50 Pocket released in December 2021 is a clamshell phone similar to the Samsung Flip 3. The internal display is 6.9 inches with 120Hz refresh rate and an aspect ratio of 21:9. The cover window is 1.1 inches circular type.

Honor released a foldable phone, Magic V on January 10th 2022.

The internal display is 8 inches with 90Hz refresh rate and the external display is 6.5 inches with 120Hz refresh rate. The cover window is colorless PI. Both internal and external panels are made in BOE B11(Mianyang) line. The initial production is estimated to be 50,000 and the estimated total production volume is 100,000 to 200,000.

According to the sales result, the Visionox panel might be applied to the product.

Vivo is about to release a new foldable, the NEX FOLD. Vivo filed patents for NEX FOLD, NEX ROLL, and NEX SLIDE.

NEX fold’s internal display is 8.03 inches with QHD 120Hz and the external display is 6.53 inches with FHD 120Hz. Both internal and external display has the same refresh rate. The display panel is Samsung Display’s LTPO, and the cover window is planned to be 30 um thickness UTG.

It is planned to be released in March 2022, but no official announcement has been made.

Samsung Display is using UTG(Ultra Thin Glass) for the cover window and most Chinese panel companies are using Colorless PI. Many Chinese companies are introducing foldable phones, but durability issues are reported on many social network media posts. Chinese panel makers still have much to go in terms of quality in technology and production cost when compared to Samsung Display.

Announcement of sale of Samsung LCD P8-2 line

Recently, Samsung’s announcement of the sale of the P8-2 LCD line in Tangjeong was posted (announced on June 29).

Samsung has been steadily selling the old LCD line until recently, but since it has never posted a sale announcement, it is unusual to post a notice on the sale of this P8-2 line.

Prior to this, some facilities of the P8-1 line were converted to the newly invested QD display line, and only about 30K of TFT and 200K of CF out of all 200K-scale process equipment were sold to companies in China.

Shenzhen EFONLONG OPTRONICS DISPLAY CO., LTD, which acquired Samsung P8-1 line equipment, was founded in 2008 as a manufacturer of LCD modules , located in shenzhen, China. Hefengtai is known to attract investment from the government of Zhejiang, China, and install and operate a relocation facility in Zhejiang.

On the other hand, this P8-2 is known to sell the entire 200K-scale facility, and it is known that Samsung C&T is in charge of it, and the sale amount reaches 500 billion won.

Samsung is known to preferentially convert existing LCD facilities in line with the investment of QD Display, but due to the announcement of the sale of all volumes, it is expected that most of the investment facilities will be newly purchased in the future.

In view of this information, it is possible to carefully predict the possibility of a delay in the investment schedule of an additional 90K scale after the current QD display 30K investment or a change in the investment direction associated with QNED development status.

OPPO Launches All-round 5G Flagship Find X2 Series with Industry-leading Screen

OPPO unveiled its Find X2 series March 6, 2020 – a flagship lineup of 5G devices that delivers a powerful camera experience and battery life, with one of the most advanced screens in the industry.

In the 5G era, with the improvement of the network, users are now consuming content at a much faster rate and simultaneously have higher requirements for the content quality. Catering to these needs, Find X2 is equipped with a 120Hz QHD+ AMOLED screen, an all-round ultra-vision-camera system, the industry’s fastest 65W SuperVOOC 2.0 flash charging technology and the most advanced 5G mobile platform—Snapdragon 865. The Find X2 Pro is also the first mobile phone to support all-pixel omnidirectional focus and up to 12bit photo capturing.

Both Find X2 and Find X2 Pro are equipped with an OPPO customized 120Hz 6.7inch QHD+ Ultra Vision Screen with more than one billion variations of color display capabilities, bringing a visual revolution in resolution, color, refresh rate and brightness. With a resolution of 3168×1440, 513 ppi, ultra-low screen reflectivity and a maximum screen brightness of up to 1200nit, it creates a clear and comfortable display in any environment.

The Find X2 series adopts a front and back sleek double-curve body design. The front of Find X2 series is covered with Corning Gorilla’s sixth-generation glass panel. The advanced COP packaging technology and the 67.8° curved surface design create a visually borderless effect, making the phone round and smooth to touch.

[UBI Research China Trend Report] Will BOE Provide UPC Panel with Transparent PI Substrate to Oppo?

Reporter : Daejeong Yoon

As foldable smartphones begin to be sold by Samsung Electronics, the flexible OLED industry (including foldable OLED) is expected to continue to grow.

Yi Choonghoon, CEO of UBI Research, predicts that the flexible OLED panel market will grow to $ 18.92 billion this year and expand to $ 32.65 billion by 2023.

<Source: Flexible & Foldable OLED Report, UBI Research>

According to Yi, there are four types of flexible OLED products, including smartphones, foldable phones, watches and automobiles, and flexible OLEDs will be used in the monitor market next year. LG Electronics began to sell rollable OLED TVs, but the sales volume is so small that it will take much time to form the market. The foldable smartphones that Samsung started to sell are expected to be supplied to the market by 800,000 by the end of this year.

In addition, Yi predicted that Chinese panel companies’ flexible line production will expand very rapidly in line with the expansion of the flexible OLED market.

As of 2019, Korean display companies have an annual substrate area of 7.3 million square meters and China’s 4.6 million square meters, but by 2023, China’s production capacity will expand to 11 million square meters, accounting for 57% of the total production capacity.

China is expected to have the world’s largest facility for flexible OLED production following LCD.

<Source: Flexible & Foldable OLED Report, UBI Research>

 

Samsung and LG fight for 8K TV picture quality

In response to 8K LCD TV quality disputes that LG Electronics compared and exhibited at IFA2019, Samsung Electronics raised the problem of burning of OLED TVs.

At the exhibition hall, LG Electronics displayed the same screen on its NanoCell 8K LCD TV and other companies’ 8K LCD TVs, and magnified images taken by precision cameras on the same screen area, allowing 90% reproduction of CM (contrast modulation) of NanoCell TV. However, it emphasized that other companies’ 8K LCD TV is only 12%. The company did not say what kind of company it was, but LG was recently emphasized that LG Electronics disassembled Samsung’s QLED TV after IFA and talked that QD-LCD using QD sheet does not produce good image quality. Thus the other 8K can be estimated as SEC’s QLED TV.

In response, Samsung Electronics publicly reported to the press that 8K OLED TVs disappear due to image sticking.

There is a very confusing dispute for consumers who do not have expertise in picture quality. Putting the two companies together, Samsung’s 8K QLED TV and OLED TV are both less qualified products.

In reality, however, the two products seen by the IFA were among the best of all existing TVs. OLED TVs have very high contrast ratios, so even in two-dimensional flat screens, the perspective is displayed as well as three-dimensional TVs. QLED TVs have very high HDR, which are delicately expressed from bright to dark screens. Also, the two products must be TVs with the highest precision at 8K resolution.

Korean media have expressed a lot of negative views about noise marketing of Samsung and LG, but it seems that the two companies’ TVs have been developed.

In fact, when Apple criticized the Galaxy for its low resolution, Samsung Electronics has grown to the world’s best product by raising the resolution of OLED to QHD level. In addition, Samsung Electronics made a negative offensive by pointing to the burning of OLED TVs, but OLED TVs expanded the market to nearly 50% of the premium TV market of more than $ 2,000. Of course, most of the burning has been eliminated.

Therefore, Samsung Electronics is also expected to be an opportunity to grow 8K QLED TV’s image quality into the world’s best LCD TV.

The two companies have a negative fight because of their own grievances. If OLED TV market share continues to rise in the premium TV market, Samsung Electronics expressed a sense of crisis as the QLED TV market shrank by that much. If 8K QLED TVs lower prices and target the premium TV market, LG Electronics should prevent the expansion of the QLED TV market in order to accelerate the growth of the OLED TV market.

In a strategy battle in which the spear and shield alternate, the TV fight of the two companies will be a good opportunity for Korean TV to maintain the world’s best level.

LG Display “OLED TV will account for more than 20% in total TV sales revenue.”

LG Display OLED TV maintained sales revenue, it through conference call, stated it recorded annual sales revenue of 24.3 trillion won and 92.9 billion won operating profit in year of 2018.

LG Display despite of heightened global competition and downward panel price made an operating profit thanks to OLED TV, super large size TV and high resolution products.

Especially large size OLED TV maintained stable productivity and enlarged consumer bracket which enabled 2.9 million shipment on a yearly basis. It recorded gross profit within 5 years of product introduction which resulted in more than 20% in total sales revenue.

4th quarter 2018 revenue of LG display marked 6.95 trillion won TV panels accounts for 36%, mobile panels 28%, notebook and tablet panels 22% and 14% for monitor panels.

Operating profit recorded 279 billion won, 528% increase compared to the same quarter last year, 99% hike compared to last quarter thanks to high priced IT products, new introductions of small and medium size products and high added value products. LG Display aims to focus on OLED business reconstruction Seo Donghee CFO of the company said, “the ratio of OLED revenue was almost nothing 5years ago, now it is 30% this year and we estimate it is going to reach 50% of the total business.”

He also said “we will put in all assets to create new values focusing on OLED business.”

He replied to the question of large size QD-OLED of competitor, it will strengthen ecosystem and overall OLED industry. To the question of 8K and over 70inch large size OLED mass production, he replied that 8K technology is already secured as exhibited at CES2019 and said that large size OLED mass production will utilize the existing know-how of LCD production. In 2019, LG Display’s OLED demand outlook question suggests that demand for more than 14% of all flexible OLED smartphones is expected.

Regarding the large-area OLED and p OLED capacity in 2019, LGD said that the large-area OLED capacity will be completed at 70K per month in Paju and 60K in Q3 in Guangzhou, China and the pOLED capacity is expected to add 30K to the domestic 45K in 2020.

He announced that capex is estimated 8trillion won in 2019 and 4trillion won in 2020, a half of this year. 60% will be for large size OLED and 40% for pOLED. And he said pOLED mass production is currently concentrated on smart phone and cars. He expects good news from car pOLED by end of this year. He also targets over 3.8 million units large size OLED production this year.

OLEDON, is to announce belt-plane source deposition technology for manufacturing ultra-high resolution and ultra-area OLED

Plane source technology, which was first developed by OLEDON in the world, has the principle of depositing the first organic material on the metal surface and evaporating it upwards to produce fine pattern of 2250 ppi, which is ultrahigh resolution. In this plane source process, three processes such as the first deposition, the plane source inversion, and the second evaporation are necessary, and the number of the high vacuum chambers is increased when the mass production is applied. The belt plane source FMM deposition technology introduced by OLEDON has a concept of carrying out the above processes at a time in one evaporation equipment. This is a continuous plane source supplying deposition technology in which the metal surface is formed in a belt shape.

Hwang added, “Using vertical plane source enables smooth deposition process for the 12th generation class area substrate for QD-OLED TV without sagging problem. Vertical belt-plane source evaporation equipment adopts the concept of depositing the substrate in a standing-up position so that the load on the framed glass chuck and the open mask is very low. Thus, easy transportation of the substrate, and uniform deposition process of thin film over a very large area in the static state are possible.” This technology is expected to be applicable not only to the 8th generation but also to the cluster type mass-production evaporator with substrate sizes more than 10 generations in the future.

<Vertical belt plane source evaporator for QD-OLED, Source: OLEDON>

Commenting finally that the company has successfully completed the material denaturation test for blue materials and the blue dopant deposition test, Hwang expected the plane source deposition technology to be applied to both small & medium sized OLED and large area OLED manufacturing in future.

On the other hand, OLEDON holds more than 30 related patents including original patents of plane source and belt plane source evaporator. Also, the company recently filed a patent related to a vertical belt plane source evaporator for mass production.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

<JOLED’s Toshiaki Arai chief technologist>

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

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

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

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

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

 

Expect to hit 1 trillion won in AMOLED emitting material market

Following the success of Galaxy S Series using AMOLED, Apple’s iPhone has started to use flexible AMOLED as its basic display, resulting in the spike in demand for Chinese smartphone companies’ AMOLED.

At MWC2017, 13 companies showcased AMOLED-based smartphones. The companies whose market share is expanding in China, the world’s biggest smartphone market, such as Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi, and ZTE are active to adopt AMOLED smartphone.

<The Number of AMOLED Smartphone Companies at MWC>

With this market trend, the emitting material market for AMOLED is expected to reach 1 trillion won this year.

Hyun Jun Jang, senior researcher of UBI Research forecast that the emitting material market will reach $960 million in 2017 and increase to $33.6 billion in 2021.

<Emitting Material Market Forecast>

According to Hyun Jun Jang, senior researcher, Apple’s AMOLED emitting material market is expected to account for $560 million among $33.6 billion of total emitting material market, and Korea will capture 70% as it is leading the AMOLED panel market while creating a 23.8 billion-dollar market.