AUO and Idemitsu Kosan to collaborate on OLED displays
Update: UDC's CFO gave some comments on this deal - which involves only non-emitter materials and will not effect their red and green PHOLED sales to AUO...
AU Optronics (AUO) and Idemitsu Kosan announced that they will form an OLED strategic alliance - and will collaborate to develop high-performance OLED displays and OLED-related patents. Idemitsu will supply OLED materials to AUO including device structure proposal. AUO committed to reinforce the development of OLED products - both small sized OLED displays for phones and tablets and large sized OLED panels for TVs. The two companies will also study the possibility of collaboration in other fields beside OLEDs.
AUO is gearing up towards mass production of 4" - 5" OLED panels in Q2 2012, targeting smartphones. AUO is using LTPS substrates and vapor deposition for the direct-emission RGB OLED sub pixels. AUO will produce these panels in their 3.5-Gen line in Hsinchu, Taiwan. In the second half of 2013, AUO's 4.5-Gen AMOLED Line in Singapore (at AFPD) will start producing panels as well. Towards the end of 2011 AUO unveiled prototypes of Oxide-TFT based 32" OLED TVs, 4" flexible OLEDs and 6" transparent ones.
AUO actually was the first AMOLED producer back in 2006, stopped that program, and then in 2008 development was resumed. In the first incarnation AUO were using UDC's PHOLED materials. It'll be interesting to hear whether they will still use UDC's red and/or green PHOLEDs in the new designs, or perhaps Idemitsu will supply phosphorescent materials to AUO (Idemitsu and UDC are collaborating on these phosphorescent OLED materials).
LG Display is also buying OLED materials from Idemitsu, and in June 2010 Idemitsu bought a 32% stake in LG's Global OLED Technology company which owns Kodak's OLED patents.
Both AUO and Idemitsu are working towards OLED lighting (Idemitsu in collaboration with Panasonic, AUO gave us the latest update on that program in November 2010) - it's not clear whether this new collaboration will cover OLED lighting materials and technology as well.