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Recent OLED news:
Last month Oculus started to ship their second-gen (DK2) development kits - for over 40,000 pre-order customers. Those Gen-2 devices switched the 7" LCD used in the first-generation headsets to newer AMOLED panels. Back when they unveiled the DK2, Oculus explained that they wanted a low persistence display, as it makes an incredible difference. Oculus said that their OLED runs much faster than any other OLED panel on the market.
It was always assumed the panel maker was SDC (they even announced a co-development effort later on), but the actual display was unknown. Today iFixit posted a teardown of the DK2, and it turns out that the display is the same 5.7" FHD Super AMOLED panel used in the Galaxy Note 3 (you can see it in the lower-left part of the image above). In fact, Oculus uses the exact module, with the touch-controller in tact and the camera holes and all.
Samsung released their financial results - and it was not a good quarter for the Korean company. While they earned $6.1 billion, both mobile phone and tablet sales were weaker than expected (Samsung shipped only 8 million tablets, compared to 13 million in the previous quarter).
Samsung Display's OLED earning were actually good - increasing slightly driven by new high-end smartphones. SDC is increasing AMOLED sales to mid-range phones.
During a presentation in Korea, LGD's executive director of strategic marketing, Youngkwon Song, said that LGD is currently concentrating in lowering OLED TV production costs.
According to Youngkwon, LGD sees the OLED TV market emerging in late 2015 or early 2016. By that time LGD will have achieved full mass production of large OLED TV panels with good yields and prices will drop to to the economy of scale. LGD also aims to cut costs by lowering the material costs.
AUO's president Paul Peng made some interesting comments regarding OLED TVs during AUO's recent quarterly conference call. First of all, Peng says that while AUO "acknowledges" the active OLED TV programs by Samsung and LG, he is still waiting for the market reaction. Peng says that from the customer perspective, OLEDs are getting more and more similar to OLEDs in terms of resolution, color, slim for factor, curve and bezel.
Peng says that while AUO has been "continuously developing large size OLED TVs", there have no plans for mass production yet. They still regard OLEDs as a solution for high-end customers only, and the company is still "observing the tend".
Back in January 2014 Aixtron and Manz announced they will co-develop solutions for efficient OLED production, based on Aixtron's OVPD technology - specifically a Gen-8 (2300x2500 mm) system. During a recent conference call, Aixtron said that the Gen-8 tool is still in qualification and it seems that it will take some time before this is ready to qualification. Aixtron is however "very optimistic" regarding the business aspects of OVPD.
Aixtron recently installed an R&D "cluster" at their clean-room that demonstrates the core processes used to produce organic semiconductors (deposition of OLEDs and flexible electronics). The Gen-1 (200x200 mm) cluster is built around three OVPD systems embedded in an automated cluster environment.
LG launched their new 55EC9300 OLED TV in the US. This is a 55" curved FHD OLED TV - LG's upgrade to the 55EA9800. The EC9300 features a faster refresh rate (240 Hz) and it seems to be brighter (500 cd/m2 vs 350 cd/m2according to some reports). LG also changed the TV's design (gone are the transparent canvas speakers, for example) and the TV is now based on LG's new smart TV platform (WebOS).
The 55EC9300 is now available in the US for $4,999 - it will ship in August 2014 (update: at Best Buy it's cheaper at $3,999). I've read in some places that the EC9300 panels are made in LGD's M2 Gen-8 mass-production fab, but I have no any real evidence that this is true.
In November 2013 Universal Display signed a collaboration and evaluation agreement with Philips' OLED lighting unit, under which UDC will start supplying Philips with sample PHOLED materials. Today UDC announced that Philips signed a commercial material supply agreement.
This means that Philips intends to use UDC's materials in commercial OLED lighting products. This is not surprising as it is widely accepted that UDC's PHOLED materials are required to produce efficient OLEDs.