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State of the AMOLED industry and future fabs

Oct 11, 2016
This is a premium OLED-Info article

When Samsung started producing AMOLED displays in 2007, AMOLED technology was at a very early stage, immature, and Samsung took a huge risk. A few years later, this risk was rewarded with a successful display business and a boost to the company's smartphone business that was the first to adopt AMOLED displays.

AUO 5.7'' WQHD 513 PPI AMOLED panel prototype

Fast forward to 2016, and today Samsung is still the king of AMOLED displays, with a market share of over 95% in small/medium AMOLED panels. If we look at OLED TV production, then LG Display is the only commercial producer at this stage. But Samsung and LG are not alone - several companies in China and Taiwan already started mass producing AMOLEDs, and others have announced plans for large AMOLED fabs. In this long article we'll list all of these AMOLED producers and developers (over a dozen) - and details their current production capacity and rumored and confirmed production plans.

Innolux still thinks OLEDs cannot compete with LCDs

Aug 29, 2016

Last week Innolux demonstrated new rigid and flexible AMOLED prototypes, and the company says it aims to mass produce AMOLEDs - starting in 2017 with small-sized displays for wearable applications.

Even though Innolux is hopefully finally getting back to the OLED market, its CEO is still skeptical. Wang Jyh-chau says that OLED cannot replace LCD in terms of performance-cost ratio and reliability. As new display technologies (mainly Micro-LED) are being developed, OLED's future is uncertain.

OLED Automotive Market Report

Innolux to ship its first OLED displays in 2017

Aug 28, 2016

Last week Innolux demonstrated new rigid and flexible AMOLED prototypes, and the company says it aims to mass produce AMOLEDs. The company's VP Jeffrey Yang says that the company will be able to ship its first AMOLEDs in 2017, and these will be small displays for wearable devices. The company aims to ship automotive OLEDs starting in 2020.

Innolux's CEO says that Taiwanese companies find it hard to compete with Korean and Chinese display makers because the government of Taiwan does not provide enough financial support. Some reports say that Innolux aims to integrate Innolux's and Sharp's OLED units.

Innolux shows new rigid and flexible OLED prototypes, aims to mass produce AMOLEDs

Aug 23, 2016

After years of OLED R&D but no actual reports, Taiwan's Innolux is finally demonstrating its new OLED prototypes, signalling that the company is finally about to re-enter the OLED market. Innolux says that it has recently "achieved success with AMOLED technology" and now plans to continue development and ultimately mass produce AMOLED panels.

In a trade-show in Taiwan, Innolux is demonstrating several OLED prototypes. First up we have a 5.5" WQHD (2560x1440, 534 PPI) flexible AMOLED built on a plastic substrate and an LTPS backplane. The panel has a "proprietary pixel rendering methods" (perhaps PenTile like?) and uses thin-film encapsulation and is produced using an FMM mask (more on this below).

Sharp and Innolux to integrate their display business - with a focus on IGZO and OLEDs

May 13, 2016

A few weeks after Sharp agreed to sell a two-thirds stake to Foxconn (Hon Hai Precision) for $3.5 billion, the Taiwanese company is starting to integrate Sharp's display business with Innolux, Foxconn Taiwanese display arm.

Innolux AMOLED prototype, 2012Innolux AMOLED prototype, 2012

Today we hear a report from Taiwan that Innolux's chairman Tuan Hsing-chien has resigned from his roles at Innolux, and will head to Sharp to help integrate the two display makers. Tuan will help Sharp and Innolux focus on IGZO backplanes and OLED diisplays - aiming to enhance the competitiveness of Sharp's LCD business - and find opportunities for cooperation between the two companies.

Innolux continues flexible OLED R&D and expects the mobile phone OLED market to take off in 2017

Feb 03, 2016

It's been a long while since we heard of any OLED updates from Taiwan's Innolux. Innolux has been promising small scale OLED production back in 2012, but this never materialized. Now the company's president says that Innolux expects OLED demand in high-end smartphones to take off in 2017, and that Innolux continues its flexible OLED R&D.

CMI 4.3'' AMOLED at SID 2012Innolux AMOLED prototype, 2012

Earlier this month it was reported that Innolux is building a new 6-Gen LTPS line that will be used to produce both LCD and AMOLED panels. Innolux expects the new line to start producing panels in the first half of 2016. According to the latest comments from Innolux's president, it does not seem likely that Innolux is aiming to start OLED production soon.

OLED-A says 2015 was a great year for the OLED industry, gives interesting projections for 2016

Jan 07, 2016

The OLED Association posted an interesting article, summarizing 2015 and giving its projection for 2016 and onwards. So first of all, they conclude that 2015 was a great year for the OLED display industry, with shipments up 53% over 2014 to reach almost 275 million units. AMOLED Revenues grew to almost $13 billion - up 40% over 2014.

OLED-A OLED shipments chart (2008-2015e)

The growth was mostly due to Samsung Display's effort to commercialize flexible OLED displays for mobile phones and the expansion of AMOLED customer beyond Samsung Electronics. LG Display also contributed to the OLED display market, and the OLED association estimates the LG sold over 400,000 OLED TVs. They also say that they shipped around 14,000 flexible OLEDs, but they probably mean around 14 million - as that about makes sense for the Apple Watch.

Is Innolux building a new 6-Gen LTPS line that will produce AMOLED displays in H1 2016?

Jan 06, 2016

According to Digitimes, Innolux is building a new 6-Gen LTPS line that will have a monthly capacity of around 23,000 substrates - and will produce both LCD and AMOLED panels. Innolux expects the new line to start producing panels in the first half of 2016.

CMI 3.2'' and 3.5'' AMOLED panels shown at FPD China 2011 (photo)Innolux AMOLED prototypes (2012)

Innolux has been promising small scale OLED production back in 2012, but this never materialized, and the company shifted focus to 4K technologies later that year. The company has a 3.5-Gen IGZO fab in Tainan is used for R&D only. Innolux has been using WRGB architecture for prototype AMOLED panels, but we do not know what kind of panels are currently under development there.

Foxconn's Tianyi seeks to establish an 8.5-Gen LTPS LCD/OLED fab in Taiwan

Oct 07, 2014

In past years we heard several reports saying that China's Hon Hai (Foxconn) is starting to develop OLED displays. Now digitimes reports that Tianyi Display Technology (part of the Hon Hai Group) is planning to establish an LTPS fab in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. This fab will be used to produce both LCD and OLED displays.

Tianyi reportedly plans to rent an existing 8.5-Gen fab that is owned by Innolux (Hon Hai is a shareholder in Innolux). If all goes well, mass production is expected to begin in late 2015. It's likely that they will start with LTPS-LCD production and move to OLEDs later (this is the plan currently underway by several display makers in China). This is a bit confusing as this is a large (8.5-gen) fab that is probably geared to TV panel production and not small displays for mobile devices (which is Foxconn's reported production goal).

Foxconn to start developing AMOLED panels with an aim to supply Apple?

Dec 13, 2013

In August we heard a report from Japan that Taiwan's Hon Hai (Foxconn) is establishing an OLED R&D center in Japan (possibly in partnership with Sharp's Sakai Display Product) with an aim to start AMOLED panel production in 2015. Today Taiwan's OFWeek reports that Hon Hai is developing high resolution OLEDs aimed for mobile phone and tablets with plans to start volume production in 2015.

Foxconn production line photo

According to the report, Hon hai will first develop OLED panels with 350 PPI, and will supply them to Chinese mobile phone makers. Then the company will produce high-resolution panels (up to 450 PPI) as they hope to supply OLED panels to Apple.