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Recent OLED news:
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.
In May 2014 it was reported that Japan Display may setup an OLED joint venture together with Sony and Panasonic. Today Kyodo news confirms this report, and says that the three companies will indeed form a new company (which will be called JOLED) that will develop small and medium OLED displays - mostly for tablet devices. The official announcement is expected soon.
JOLED will receive and investment from the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, a public-private investment fund. Similarly to JDI itself, the INCJ will hold 70% in the new company. JDI will hold 20% and Sony and Panasonic will each own 5%.
Three weeks ago, Seeking Alpha published my first article on Universal Display, titled "Universal Display: 20X Jackpot In 2018?" - in which I presented my best-case scenario for the OLED market (and UDC) in 2018.
I think the article was received well, and today SA published my second article - "Universal Display's Second Key Customer Is On Its Way". In this new article I explain why Samsung Display is such an important customer for UDC - and how I expect in that in the coming years UDC will diversity its key customer base as I expect LG Display, Konica Minolta, Everdisplay, BOE, Philips and LG Chem to start mass producing OLEDs soon.
MKS Instruments (a provider of instruments and solutions for advanced manufacturing processes) reported their financial results, and during the conference call the company said that a large Chinese display maker placed a multisystem order for a Liquizon cleaning subsystem. The Chinese company will use this system for their upcoming AMOLED production fab.
It's great to hear confirmation of at least one Chinese AMOLED fab. We know of several companies from China with plans to launch an AMOLED fab, including Everdisplay, BOE and CSOT. While Everdisplay hopes to be the first one to mass produce OLEDs in Chinese, it is a new company, so MKS would not have described it as a "large Chinese display maker". It's more likely that this order came from BOE.
Cintelliq released a new OLED lighting report, in which they say that the commercialization of OLED lighting continues to accelerate. As companies are beginning to scale-up production, Cintelliq sees OLEDs becoming a strong competitor to LEDs by 2016 - one year earlier than previously thought.
By 2020 OLED panels will be priced at €200 per m2 and operate at a brightness of 5,000 cd per m2 and we could see OLED panels priced at less than €14/klm. By 2023 worldwide OLED panel production may exceed 500 million 100mm x 100mm panel equivalents.