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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.

CMI 4.3'' AMOLED at SID 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.

Japan Display to co-develop next-gen CAAC-IGZO backplane tech with SEL

May 12, 2016

Japan Display (JDI) announced that it has signed a technology development agreement with Semiconductor Energy Laboratory (SEL) regarding the development of Oxide-semiconductor backplane technology for next-generation displays, including OLED displays.

SEL and Sharp 13.3'' 8K OLED prototype at SID 2014

SEL's backplane technology is called c-axis aligned crystal (CAAC), which has been co-developed with Sharp. CAAC is based on an IGZO thin-film that has a novel crystal structure.

Sharp shows 3.4" bendable OLED prototypes

Apr 08, 2016

Report from Japan say that Sharp developed a new 3.4" bendable OLED prototype. The AMOLED display features a resolution of 540x960 (326 PPI), it has an aperture ratio of 57% and a thickness of 70um. The bending radius is 10mm, and the whole panel weighs 2 grams. The backplane is IGZO.

Sharp 3.4'' flexible IGZO OLED prototype (Apr 2016)

While this is reported as news, this panel seems to be quite similar to OLEDs Sharp unveiled at SID 2012 (yes, almost four years ago!). According to the reports, Sharp says that the display has a long lifetime and is "color shift free", as a result of newly developed tandem structure.

Foxconn/Sharp to allocate $1.8 billion towards OLED development and production

Apr 02, 2016

Last week Sharp agreed to sell a two-thirds stake to Foxconn (Hon Hai Precision) for $3.5 billion. According to Digitimes Research, Foxconn and Sharp's post-acquisition focus will be on OLEDs, and out of the total investment $1.8 billion will be allocated for OLED technology.

Sharp 3.4'' flexible OLED prototype photo

Foxconn aims to start producing IGZO-based OLEDs for smartphones in 2018 (probably they aim to become Apple's 2nd OLED supplier) and then to start developing larger OLEDs too. Digitimes layers our Foxconn's plans - 3 million tablet/notebook panels in 2021 and 10.4 million panels in 2025. In 2021 Foxconn will also start producing OLED TV panels - 252,000 panels in 2021 and 7.2 million panels in 2025.

A new report sheds more light on Samsung's upcoming OLED TV fab

Feb 29, 2016

Samsung Display recently confirmed that it is still developing large-sized OLED panels, and a couple of weeks ago it was reported that Samsung is discussing a large investment (around $3 billion US) into a new OLED TV panel fab.

Samsung curved OLED TV launch photo 2

New reports from Korea gives more details about Samsung's OLED TV plans. Samsung is actually considering a slightly larger investment - around $3.3 billion in a new fab, with an aim to enable Samsung Electronics to launch OLED TVs by 2018. Samsung is looking to build a Gen-8 (2200x2500 mm, or six 55" panels) fab - and will need to start ordering equipment soon. The new fab will enable Samsung to produce about 495,000 square meters in 2017 (7,500 monthly substrates) and over 2 million square meters in 2018.

Foxconn wants to buy a large stake in Sharp, deal not finalized yet

Feb 28, 2016

Sharp announced that it will sell a two-thirds stake to Foxconn, in a deal worth $5.8 billion - but since then new material information has emerged and the deal has been put on hold. According to reports, Sharp disclosed new liabilities of around $2.7 billion. Foxconn and Sharp are still negotiating.

Foxconn production line photo

Foxconn aims to buy Sharp to boost its product offerings to Apple - and will make Foxconn Apple's main contract manufacturer and component supplier. Sharp is a leader in IGZO-based LCD production, and is also developing OLED technologies, although the display maker has no immediate plans to start producing AMOLED panels.

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.