Trendforce sees a VR AMOLED display market shortage in 2017

Taiwan-based TrendForce says that HTC is the current leader in VR headsets - with a market share of 61.4% between April 2016 and November 2016, but the Taiwanese company will not be able to extend its lead into 2017 as it will be hit the hardest from the OLED market supply shortage.

HTC Vive photo

According to TrendForce, in 2017 HTC will ship 600,000 Vive units, while Sony will ship 2.5 million PlayStation VR units and Oculus is expected to ship 1.2 million units. Other brands, all combined, will ship 800,000 units. All of these VR headsets use OLED displays.

The best of 2016 - top OLED stories

2016 is soon over - and this has been a great year for the OLED industry. Following Apple's reported adoption of OLED displays in its future iPhones, display makers accelerated their OLED production plans. The market share of OLED displays (including flexible OLEDs ) continue to increase and the market is now experience a supply shortage. OLED TVs are also becoming more and more popular.

Here are the top 10 stories posted on OLED-Info in 2016, ranked by popularity (i.e. how many people read the story):

LG to introduce 3-stack structure for its 2017 OLED lighting and TV panels

During the International Display Workshops that was help a few weeks ago in Fukuoka Japan, LG Display discussed its new WOLED tandem stack that it plans to introduce soon to its OLED TVs and lighting panels.

LG WOLED 2-stack/3-stack structure (2016-2017)

LG Display says that its new stack is a "3-stack-OLED" while its existing stack is a "2-stack-OLED". As you can see in the image above, LG apparently counts each emissive layer as a different stack in this case.

eMagin announces a $5 million credit facility

OLED Microdisplay maker eMagin announced that it has entered into a $5 million revolving credit working capital facility. The financing will be used for general corporate purposes including funding the inventory build for the company’s recently launched consumer products, BlazeSpark and BlazeTorch. The facility has a term of three years.

eMagin BlazeTorch photo

Last month eMagin reported its financial results for Q3 0216, with revenues of $4.3 million and a net loss of $2.4 million. At the end of September 2016 eMagin had about $6.9 million in cash, so it obviously needs the new credit line.

IHS: Chinese OLED makers ship over a million panels in Q3 2016

IHS says that combine OLED shipments from all active Chinese OLED makers reached over a 1.4 million panels in Q3 2016 . This is still small relative to Samsung's capacity (which made around 70 million panels in the quarter) but a step forward for these companies.

OLED display penetration in the Chinese phone market (IHS, 2015-2016)

IHS says that strong demand from Chinese smartphone brands (see chart above), mostly Oppo and Vivo boosted the demand for AMOLED displays. Coupled with the reported supply shortage at SDC this created an opportunity for the new OLED makers based in China. In Q2 2016 these Chinese OLED makers produced around 600,000 panels (so production more than doubled in the quarter.

Lenovo demonstrates two foldable device prototypes

Lenovo recently demonstrated two new foldable device prototypes that use flexible OLED displays. First up is the CPlus, a smartphone that turns into a smartwatch or actually a smart "band" that is worn on the wrist.

The CPlus sports a 4.26" display, and is based on Android. Lenovo aims to make two version of this device, when it reaches the market - a small one and a large one.

Kopin to enter the OLED microdisplay market as a fabless producer

Kopin logoKopin announced that it is going to enter the OLED microdisplay market for mobile VR and AR applications. The company's first OLED microdisplays will be demonstrated at CES 2017 next month.

Kopin says it has developed a novel silicon backplane structure that will enable high-speed OLED-on-silicon microdisplays. The displays will feature an ultra-high resolution, low power and small form factor.

OTFT developer SmartKem announces a £3 million financing round

UK's SmartKem, a developer of high-performance organic backplanes for flexible displays, announced a €3 million financing round from its existing investors, including BASF Venture Capital, Octopus Ventures and Entrepreneurs Fund.

This new round follows a recent €1.8 million EU grant awarded to SmartKem to support the commercialisation of the company’s technology platform, specifically with display makers in Asia.

SFA Engineering to supply OLED production equipment to Visionox in a $93 million deal

Korean manufacturing equipment maker SFA Engineering announced that it secured a $93.5 million order from China's Visionox. SFA will deliver the equipment by August 2017.

Visionox 4.85'' 604 PPI AMOLED prototype

Visionox has started mass producing AMOLED panels in June 2015, but the company's production capacity is still limited. Visionox's Gen-5.5 AMOLED line in Kunshan can currently produce around 4,000 monthly substrate, and once yields stabilize they will reach a full capacity of 15,000 monthly substrates. The company is mulling a $673 million investment to expand the capacity of this fab.

JDI secures $635 million from INCJ to grow its OLED business and up its stake at JOLED

Last week we posted that Japan Display is set to raise its stake in JOLED for $100 million, following a $650 million USD cash injection from INCJ to grow its LCD and OLED business. JDI today confirmed this plan. The company received 45 billion yen ($382 million US) from INCJ in the form of unsecured subordinated convertible bonds and these funds will be used for R&D expenses on printing OLED technologies (and will probably include the $100 million for JOLED).

JDI JOLED business plan (December 2016)

JDI also received 30 billion yen (about $255 million US) from INCJ in the form of subordinated loan, and this money will go towards OLED R&D in the field of evaporation OLED technologies.

Atomic Force Microscopy for next-gen OLED processesAtomic Force Microscopy for next-gen OLED processes