OLED displays use organic materials that emit light when electricity is applied. OLEDs enable emissive, bright, thin, flexible and efficient displays - and so OLEDs are set to replace LCDs in all display applications - from small displays to large TV sets.
AMOLED displays today are used in many applications - and are most common in smartphones. Samsung for example uses AMOLED displays in most of its high-end phones, including the latest Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus and the Note 9. Apple's new iPhones, SmarthWatches, and the MacBook Pro's Touch Bar are all using AMOLEDs. Other AMOLED devices include smartphones from Huawie, Sony, Xiaomi and others.
AMOLED displays are also used in OLED TVs - which are mostly available from LG. OLED TV screens range from 55" to 77" (88" 8K ones are coming in 2019), and are considered to be the best TV panels ever produced. In 2019 we will have the first rollable OLED TV - LG's 65" Signature OLED R.
AMOLED: Active Matrix OLED
The term AMOLED means Active-Matrix OLED. The 'active-matrix' part refers to the driving electronics, or the TFT layer. When you display an image, you actually display it line by line (sequentially) as you can only change one line at a time. An AMOLED uses a TFT which contains a storage capacitor which maintains the line pixel states, and so enables large size (and large resolution) displays.
AMOLED vs PMOLED
A PMOLED uses a simpler kind of driver electronics - without a storage capacitor. This means that each line is turned off when you move to the next line. So let's say you have 10 rows in your display - each row will only be on 1/10 of the time. The brightness of each row has to be 10 times the brightness you'd get in an AMOLED. So you use more voltage which shortens the lifetime of the OLED materials and also results in a less efficient display. So while PMOLEDs are cheaper to make than AMOLEDs they are limited in size and resolution (the largest PMOLED is only 5", and most of them are around 1" to 3"). Most PMOLEDs are used for character display, and not to show photos or videos.
Flexible, foldable and rollable AMOLEDs
One of the main advantages of AMOLED displays is that they can be made flexible. Flexible AMOLEDs are already popular for many years in smartphones and wearables, and in 2019 we will experience the first foldable devices and rollable screens.
Several companies are developing large transparent AMOLED displays - and in past years we've seen many prototypes - including a large 55" Full-HD transparent TV. But this technology is not commercial yet, mostly it seems because there are no useful applications that will convince the display makers to mass produce such panels.
Looking to buy an AMOLED display?
Are you looking to adopt an AMOLED display for your device? Several producers are already making panels - including Samsung Display, LG Display, EverDisplay, Truly, Visionox and more. AMOLEDs on the market range from small 1-inch ones for smartwatches through large OLEDs used in tablets and laptops - to large TV panels.
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The latest AMOLED news:
In early July, we published our quarterly update for our Automotive OLED Market Report. The update this time was comprehensive, as we overhauled the complete report.
The OLED Automotive market is heating up. AMOLED displays (mostly flexible ones) are finally being adopted by commercial cars, while OLED lighting panels continue to be designed into high-end automotive taillights as the ultimate lighting solution.
DSCC increases its OLED market forecasts as it sees increased adoption in phones, tablets, monitors and laptops
DSCC has published its latest OLED market forecast. The company raised its 2021 revenue expectations by 9% (to $42.5 billion) as it sees increased smartphone display shipments and higher OLED laptop shipments.
DSCC also increased its long term OLED revenue forecast by 11% to $60.6 billion by 2025. This is driven, again, by higher smartphone AMOLED shipments and increased adoption in IT markets (tablets, laptops and monitors).
Samsung Display to convert an LCD fab to a 6-Gen flexible OLED production line in a $2.7 billion investment
According to reports from Korea, Samsung Display plans to build a new 6-Gen flexible OLED line. The new line will replace a current LCD line that is used to produce TVs at SDC's Asan plant (the LCD 7-2).
The new fab, which will cost around 3 trillion Won ($2.7 billion USD) will have a monthly capacity of 30,000 monthly substrates. This will increase SDC's AMOLED production capacity to 195,000 monthly substrates, not counting its upcoming QD-OLED production line.
Tianma demonstrated a new AMOLED display panel at SID Displayweek, that sports a micro-lens array that helps to decrease power consumption by 10-15%.
The so-called MLP panel is 6.2" in size with a 876x2142 resolution (373 PPI) and a brightness of 420 nits. The pixel configuration is, interestingly, YYG - yellow and green sub-pixels, which means that this display uses color filters.
Sharp introduced a new phone in Japan, called the AQUOS R6, which features a 6.67-inch 2730x1260 1Hz-240Hz dynamic refresh rate IGZO AMOLED display.
This is an interesting development. Sharp started producing flexible OLEDs for its own devices in low volume in August 2018, but has since ceased production later in 2019. This is the first time we hear of an IGZO mobile AMOLED display, and it is likely that Sharp produces these in-house.
Samsung Display is unveiling new OLED technologies today at SID Displayweek 2021. The video below shows all the new displays:
First up we have a tri-foldable AMOLED display shown with a smartphone prototype. The display can be folded twice inside and outside, and when fully open the display is 7.2-inch in size.
Samsung Display announced that certification company SGS has certified its laptop OLED for gaming performance. According to SGS, the new Samsung Display OLED displays showed blur length below 1.4mm and moving picture response time below 15.4ms.
Samsung says that an LCD laptop with identical specifications showed a maximum 2.1mm blur length and 26.4ms moving picture response time. Samsung OLED's HDR contrast ratio resulted in over 1,000,000:1 according to SGS.
Xiaomi's VP (and Redmi manager) Lu Weibing posted an interesting poll at its Weibo account. Weibing asked Xiaomi users whether they prefer an AMOLED or LCD display.
Out of around 20,000 respondents, over 14,000 chose AMOLED as the preferred display type. Last year he posted a similar poll - but then most users preferred an LCD display. LCD advocates say that they prefer LCD if drove by DC dimming, rather than the PWM used in most AMOLEDs. It is actually also possible to use DC Dimming with OLED displays.
Chinese smartphone producer TCL unveiled an interesting new smartphone prototype (concept?) called the Fold ‘n’ Roll.
As you can see in the video, the device has a 6.87-inch OLED display when fully folded. It can open up (out-folding) into a 8.85-inch display, and then it can open even further to a 10-inch tablet-like device using a rolling mechanism. The display itself is produced by TCL's CSoT subsidiary.
Korea-based OLUM Material announced a new FMM technology for OLED production, which the company refers to as Unit-Cell FMM, which enables high-efficiency deposition (and patterning) of evaporated OLED materials.
The basic idea is to use a small FMM panel in front of every display panel, rather than a large FMM in front of the entire substrate. A large mask is useful for very fast production, but the large masks tend to sag and deform and so FMM production is limited in size.