AU Optronics has been developing OLED ink-jet technologies for many years, according to reports, and has setup a 3.5-Gen pilot ink-jet OLED printing line. Today AUO announced that the company is going to showcase its first ink-jet printed OLED panel at Touch Taiwan 2019.
AUO will demonstrate a 17.3" 4K (225 PPI) OLED display that was produced using an ink-jet printing process. AUO says that the display features a 120Hz refresh rate, a wide color gamut and high brightness (that AUO did not yet specify). AUO will also showcase 5.6" foldable OLEDs that can be folded inwards or outwards for customized design according to client requirements. The display's folding radius is 4 mm and it can be folded over 200,000 times. AUO will also demonstrate a 12.1" LTPS Micro-LED prototype, which seems to be the same one shown in 2018.
According to earlier reports, AUO intends to start building a 6-Gen production line. AUO will start constructing the line before the end of 2019. In October 2018 we reported that AUO is utilizing JOLED's production equipment, and is aiming to produce OLED monitor displays and OLEDs for automotive applications (which makes sense for a 6-Gen line which will not be large enough to produce OLED TVs economically).
AUO is currently producing AMOLEDs at its relatively low volume AFPD Gen-4.5 LTPS fab in Singapore - with a focus on wearables and VR applications. AUO previously considered to establish a 6-Gen flexible OLED line in Kunshan, China, but it scrapped these plans as the company (correctly!) anticipated an over supply market situation in 2018. In any case, AUO decided to focus on ink-jet printing and not an evaporation-based process as it hopes printing will allow it to produce OLEDs at lower costs, but this technology is not (yet) suited for high density production required for smartphone or wearable devices.