Taiwan's AUO (AU Optronics) was formed in 2001, by the merger of Acer Display and Unipac Optoelectronics. Later in 2006 AUO merged with Quanta Display. AUO is the world's number 3 manufacturer of TFT-LCDs.
In 2006 AUO became the world's first AMOLED producer but in 2007 the company decided to shift focus back to LCD, and stopped investing in OLEDs.
In January 2008 AUO resumed their OLED operation, and after years of development the company started mass producing AMOLEDs again in 2014. AUO is also developing OLED TV panels, flexible and bendable panels, transparent OLEDs and OLED lighting panels. The company's OLED program is mainly focused on wearable OLEDs and OLED for VR applications.
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AU Optronics has a 4.5-Gen AMOLED production line in Singapore, active since around 2013. The AFPD line is a small-scale operation, and AUO never managed to expand its capacity and compete with large AMOLED producers.
According to a report from Japan, AUO is now considering closing down the AFPD line, and converting it to microLED R&D production line. It could move it back to Taiwan, or retain Singapore as a hub for AUO in Southeast Asia. The company will make a final decision, it seems, in early 2024.
Taiwan-based AU Optronics (AUO) demonstrated several microLED display prototypes at Display Week 2023, showing the company's focus on microLED display technology as its next-gen platform.
Sample displays include a 13.5" Full-HD 5,000-nits 55% transparent display, a 17.3" transparent panel that includes an embedded LC layer so it turn from 55% transparency to an almost completely opaque display, a 14.5" 2560x1440 foldable laptop display that is based on blue microLEDs with QD color conversion, and more.
AU Optronics demonstrated two new OLED display prototypes at SID Displayweek 2021. The first display is a 4K 32-inch 144Hz inkjet-printed AMOLED panel.
The second display is a 5.6" rollable dual-sided AMOLED display - which shows images on both side of the display.
AU Optronics is demonstrating its new under-the-OLED fingerprint sensor, which it says is the world's largest size sensor at 2.9-inch.
A larger sensor is useful as it makes it easier for the user to sign-in, and it also enables support for multi-fingerprint identification for biometrics security. The sensor features high-resolution (1,000 PPI) suitable for detection of small child fingerprints and also includes a heart-rate sensor for added security.
Taiwan's AU Optronics says that while the company still produces OLED displays, and has the capacity to mass produce flexible OLEDs as well, the company sees the flexible (and foldable) OLED market still at an "initial stage in terms of market acceptance and cost structure", and the company does not have any plans at the moment to invest in further OLED capacity.
AUO says that it has "accumulated its OLED expertise for quite some time" - and indeed AUO has been developing transparent OLEDs for AR applications, foldable displays and has lately started to invest in ink-jet printing processes.
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.
In February 2019 LG Display started producing its 55" FHD transparent commercial OLED displays, and now the company says it plans to double its transparent OLED production in Q4 2019 - and continue to ramp up production years to come. LGD sees possible applications in shop windows, building faÃ§ades and exhibition spaces.
AU Optronics unveiled a 6" Full-HD LCD with the world's first full-screen optical in-cell fingerprint sensor - embedded within the LCD structure.
The panel has a full-screen sensing area with the same 403 PPI density as the display and features a 30 ms swift sensor response time.
Digitimes reports that AU Optronics has setup a 3.5-Gen test ink-jet OLED printing line, and the company now intends to start building a 6-Gen production line. AUO will start constructing the line before the end of 2019.
AUO's Chairman confirmed that the latest advances in printing materials and equipment are starting to make OLED printing viable for commercial use. AUO has not yet decided the schedule for volume production.
As Samsung, BOE and Visionox are already starting to produce foldable OLEDs (for Samsung Electronics, Huawei and Xiaomi and Nubia, respectively), AUO is not be left behind, and the Taiwan-based display maker announced it is working with clients to develop foldable OLEDs, with aims to start production in the second half of 2019.
AUO is developing an in-folding display (similar to Samsung's Galaxy Fold). According to CLSA, AUO is developing its foldable OLEDs in collaboration with Lenovo. AUO aims to produce these OLEDs in its 4.5-Gen AMOLED AFPD fab in Singapore - which commenced low-volume AMOLED production in 2013. AUO is currently producing mostly wearable glass-based OLEDs in its AFPD fab.