ETnews: China display makers divert capacity investments from LCD to flexible OLEDs

ETNews posted an interesting story, in which it is said that Chinese display makers are diverting investments away from LCD production and into flexible OLED production. ETNews lists BOE Display, CSoT, TianMa and Visionox - all bringing forward flexible OLED plans.

Flexible OLED prototype, Tianma

Tianma and Visionox, according to ETNews, already started to make actual investment and placed initial equipment orders for flexible OLED production. BOE and CSoT decided to postpone 8-gen LCD investment plans and will start investing in flexible OLEDs by the end of 2016.

TianMa already invested $1.8 billion in its 6-Gen LTPS line in Wuhan, which was originally planned to be an LCD fab. But now the company decided to convert that line to flexible OLED and mass production may begin as early as 2H 2017. TianMa demonstrated a 5.5" 720x1280 (270 PPI) flexible OLED prototype at SID DisplayWeek 2016.

Visionox is investing $673 million to extend its Kunshan 5.5-Gen AMOLED facility, which may be expanded to produce flexible AMOLEDs. Visionox currently produces 5.5" and 1.45" rigid AMOLEDs in that fab - but in limited capacity (around 4,000 monthly substrates). ETNews now says that Visionox established a joint-venture with the Chinese Government called GVO (GO-Visionox) that will establish a 6-Gen AMOLED fab in Chengdu in the second half of 2016.

CSoT is getting ready to establish a 6-Gen LTPS LCD+AMOLED fab in Wuhan, scrapping its plans for a 2nd-stage 8.5-Gen LCD fab in Shenzhen. The Wuhan plant will produce rigid and flexible AMOLEDs, based on Oxide-TFT backplanes. CSoT already started to order equipment for this new fab, with dedicated flexible-OLED investments expected by the end of the year.

BOE Display's 6-Gen flexible OLED line in Chengdu was confirmed earlier this year, and now ETNEws states that the line will have a large 45,000-sheets-per-month capacity by 2019, with the investment reaching $3.75 billion. BOE is also still investing in the 5.5-Gen AMOLED fab in Ordos which is not finalized yet.

At SID's DisplayWeek 2016, BOE demonstrated 4.35" bendable and foldable OLED displays. The bendable panels offer a resolution of 1120x480 (HWVGA, 280 PPI) and a bending radius of 15 mm. The brightness is 350 nits. The color gamut is 100% NTSC. The foldable panels are the same - except the bending radius is much smaller at 5 mm.

In June 2015 BOE Demonstrated larger flexible OLEDs - including a 9.55" 640x432 transparent flexible panels and a 4.8" 480x800 panel. But the new displays are higher in resolution and are brighter - and hopefully closer to commercialization.

Posted: Jul 20,2016 by Ron Mertens