OLEDWorks raises a Series A funding round, will start shipping OLED panels in H2 2013

OLEDWorks logoOLEDWorks have successfully completed its Series A funding round from private investors. While we do not know the exact amount, this money will (according to the company) enable them to start producing "low-cost" OLED lighting panels.

OLEDWorks is building an OLED lighting manufacturing fab in Rochester, NY, and they say that they will offer low-cost OLEDs through the use of equipment and process innovation. Next week at LightFair 2013 they will present their first OLED prototypes, which they plan to start shipping in the second half of 2013.

OLEDWorks' first panels will be 4x4 inch (12x12 cm) in size - and they will be efficient (over 45 lm/W). The company will offer two options: OLED panels on glass and on metal. The panels be thin (under 3 mm) and will come in six color variants - red, blue, green, amber and three white color options (3000K, 3500K and 4000K).

EMDEOLED developed the world's first inner-coated OLED light bulb

EMDEOLED is a German company that is developing an OLED based light bulb for residential lighting in collaboration with the University of Technology Braunschweig. Basically the idea is that using an inner-coating process, they are creating a replacement for regular bulbs in which the glass is coated from the inside. They have developed their first prototypes, shown below (unfortunately they did not disclose any technical details):

EMDEOLED's OLEDs are ITO-free, and they have actually developed two prototypes - one with PLEDs and one with SM-OLEDs. The company says that the inner coating results in a very high material yield (and so hopefully will be cheaper than flat OLEDs). The OLED bulbs are also easy to seal as the glass actually protects the OLEDs from the outside.

More details on Sony's new 30" 4K and "A" class OLEDs

Last week Sony unveiled new 30" and 56" 4K OLED panels, slated for release in 2014, and they also updated their TRIMASTER EL professional OLED monitors with the new “A” Series which sport an improved OLED panel. Now I have some new information on Sony's new OLEDs.

So first of all, that 56" panel is the same panel shown at CES, made in cooperation with AU Optronics. Sony do plan to use it for their professional video division, but it's still too early for any delivery dates or price information.

Beneq developed a new R&D ALD OLED encapsulation system, will deliver the first one to COMEDD

Beneq announced that together with Fraunhofer's COMEDD, they have developed a new R&D thin film ALD encapsulation system for 200×200 mm OLED and OPV substrates. This system is now available - and in a few months they will deliver the first one to COMEDD.

The new encapsulation system is based on a cross-flow reactor, which has been optimized for the shortest possible cycle time, even at low processing temperatures, such as under 100 Celsius. This allows for rapid OLED prototyping and enables process scale-up for large areas and high throughput. Beneq's new system can be used as a stand-alone system, and it can also be integrated with an MBraun glove box.

European researchers developed a technique to predict the color of an OLED lighting panel

The European AEVIOM (Advanced Experimentally Validated OLED model) project, a 3-year collaboration between leading academic and industrial groups in Europe has concluded - and the researchers managed to develop a new technique that precisely calculates the color of light produced from OLED lighting panels.

This new technique could simplify and improve the OLED design process (currently manufacturers had to rely on trial and error to see the exact color produced in a new panel). The new software can also be used to optimize OLED panels and make them more efficient.

Blackberry is getting ready to ship the AMOLED Q10 soon

In January 2013 Blackberry announced their first AMOLED phone, the Q10, with a square 3.2" 720x720 (330 ppi)Super AMOLED display. It seems that the company is ready to launch this new phone soon. Canadian carrier Rogers will reportedly start to sell it on April 30 for $200 on a 3-year contract. UK's Phones4U has begun to take pre-orders (£36 a month on contract or £549.95 unlocked) with shipments expected by the end of April. The Q10 has also passed through the FCC and approved it for a US launch.

Other Q10 features include a hardware keyboard, LTE, 1.5Ghz dual-core CPU and 2GB of RAM. This is Blackberry's first hardware keyboard device to sport the company's new BB10 OS.

Will LG launch a curved OLED TV in 2013?

According to Trusted Reviews, an LG official in Seoul says that the company aims to launch their first curved OLED TV in the second half of 2013. In January LG has unveiled a 55" curved OLED TV, called the EA9800, and now the same official says that they are also working on larger curved OLED panels as well.

LG claims that curved TVs will offer a more cinema-like viewing experience and it could become a "major trend" among consumers. However as LG's recently launched "regular" 55" OLED TVs cost $10,000 in Korea, not many consumers will be able to afford a curved version which will cost more. I'm actually quite skeptical about this new report. It seems way too early for LG to release such a curved OLED.

Samsung still faces technical issues with their flexible OLED encapsulation technology

Update: according to the OLED Association, Samsung in fact does plan to launch the first plastic based OLEDs in 2013, and these will be used in the Note 3 phone/tablet (will ship in Q4 2013).

Samsung officially launched their YOUM flexible OLED displays at CES 2013, and many hoped that they will be able to start producing those displays in 2013. Now it is reported that the company still hasn't managed to overcome the technical issues with their encapsulation technology - and they may have to delay their introduction of the flexible panels.

Samsung's current encapsulation technology is Vitex's multi-layer technology which is very slow (the panel has to enter the evaporation chamber 6 times). Samsung is busy upgrading this technology, and according to the new reports, they managed to shorten the encapsulation process. But apparently this is not enough for mass production yet.

LG sold 200 OLED TVs in Korea, expects to sell substantial numbers in the next 24 months

LG Electronics says that they sold 200 OLED TVs in Korea. Two months ago, when they started shipping the TVs, they reported 100 pre-orders. So this means they are currently selling about 50 sets a month. This is in Korea only, LG have yet to bring their OLED TV to other markets (it will arrive in the UK in July, and the US probably in H2 2013).

But LG is optimistic, and they expect to sell "substantial numbers of OLED and 4K TVs over the next 24 months. They hope that OLED TVs will cost about the same as high-end LED LCDs in two or three years. LG also reported that they continue to develop curved OLED TVs that will bring a "cinema-like feel to the home".

Novaled developed a 10x10 cm OLED lighting panel using Cambrios' ClearOhm transparent electrode material

Novaled and Cambrios have jointly developed a metal grid free 10x10 cm OLED lighting panel that uses Cambrios silver nanowire ClearOhm transparent electrode material. ClearOhm is used instead of the ITO that is usually used.

Cambrios says that ITO's limited conductivity (20 ohms/sq on glass and 50-100 ohms/sq on flexible plastic film) leads to considerable voltage drops over lengths larger than 2 centimeters. This means that metal grids are required on top of the ITO (you can see such lines in some OLED panels, for example on the Osram Orbeos). ClearOhm has a low resistance (5 ohms/sq with greater than 90 percent transmission) independent on the carrier substrate.

Cambridge Isotope Laboratories - Deutreated Reagents and High-Purity Gases for OLEDsCambridge Isotope Laboratories - Deutreated Reagents and High-Purity Gases for OLEDs