BOE Display, founded in 1993 in Beijing China, is one of the world's leading display maker, producing both LCDs and OLEDs. BOE also produces LCD backlighting units and solar panels.
BOE has been producing small glass-based OLEDs for some time, but the company's focus is currently in flexible and foldable OLEDs. In October 2017 BOE started to produce flexible OLED displays at its first flexible OLED line, the Chengdu B7 6-Gen fab. The annual capacity of the B7 line, when complete and at 100% yields, will be 45,000 monthly 6-Gen substrates, or about 90 million smartphone OLEDs
In addition to the B7 fab in Chengdu, in October 2016 BOE announced another 6-Gen OLED fab, in Mianyang, with a similar capacity. In March 2018, BOE announced plans for a third 6-Gen OLED fab, this one in Chongqing. In December 2018, BOE announced plans for its fourth line in Fuzhou. BOE is also building an OLED Microdisplay fab in collaboration with OLiGHTEK.
BOE's latest OLED prototypes and panels
In May 2018 BOE demonstrated its latest flexible and foldable OLEDs at SID 2018. BOE's foldable prototype was a 6.2" WQHD (1440x3008, 538 PPI) panel that features a fold-radius of 1R and include a touch layer. BOE also demonstrated a foldable tablet (which they call a Phonblet, I am not sure if this term will catch), which includes a larger 7.56" foldable OLED. This panel features a resolution of 2048x1535 (338 PPI).
The latest BOE OLED news:
Huawei adopted AMOLED displays in its P20 and P20 Pro smartphones, using panels produced by both BOE and LG Display. According to reports from China, the smartphone maker decided to adopt SDC's AMOLEDs in its updated smartphones, the P30 and P30 pro which will be launched soon.
We already reported that Samsung aims to increase its OLED production and to be more aggressive with its pricing. It seems as if this effort bears fruit. In addition it could be that Huawei was not satisfied with some of the LGD display quality issues being reported by P20 users.
ETNews reports that BOE has developed a new technology that integrates a touch layer inside a flexible OLED display (on touch) - a similar technology to Samsung's Y-OCTA. BOE is reportedly aiming to integrate the technology to its B11 production line in Miyangyang.
Y-OCTA panels are thinner than Samsung's previous flexible Add-On Touch panels - and the optical features are also better as the touch layer is below the polarizer. Samsung estimates that Y-OCTA also cuts production costs by around 30%.
In March 2017 OLED maker BOE Technology and OLED Microdisplay maker OLiGHTEK announced a new $170 million joint-venture to produce OLED microdisplays for the consumer VR and AR markets. US-based microdisplay-maker Kopin signed agreements with OLiGHTEK and with BOE's JV with OLiGHTEK for the production of its OLED microdisplays.
In August 2018 Korean ET News said that BOE is getting ready to start trial production in the new fab in early 2019. During Kopin's recent conference call, the company's CEO said that BOE's factory is "actually finished". All the equipment has been installed and the company is running first test runs and the first production samples should be produced in a few days, hopefully.
Huawei launched its first foldable smartphone, the Mate X with a glorious 8" 2200x2480 foldable AMOLED display that folds outwards. When closed, the phone operates as it has two displays - a 6.6" 1148x2480 on the front and a smaller 6.38" 2480x892 display on the back (which makes room for the cameras).
The Mate X specifications include 5G connectivity, a Kirin 980 octa-core chipset, 8 GB of RAM, 512 GB of storage, a NM memory slot and a quad camera setup with Leica optics.
DSCC released the interesting (but confusing, note the legend starts at 350M) chart below, detailing the market share of smartphone OLED producers in 2016-2019. As can be seen Samsung will remain the dominant producer, but its market share in 2019 will drop from 94% in 2018 to around 85%.
Non-SDC shipments will increase to 73 million units in 2019 - led by LG Display (~25 million units), BOE (around 20 million) and Visionox (around 15 million units).
DSCC: BOE managed to triple its flexible OLED production yields, increases capacity to over 1 million flexible OLED panels per month
Market research firm DSCC says that BOE managed to dramatically increase its yields - which have tripled to over 30% by the end of 2018. The company is expected to continue and improve its yields which will reach, according to DSCC, to almost 60% by the end of 2019.
The increased yields enabled BOE to increase its flexible OLED production at its first B7 line from 125,000 units per month in Q3 2018 to almost 1 million panels per month in Q4 2018. BOE's main customer is Huawei - with its Mate 20 Pro. The increased yields means that panel production costs are falling - and DSCC actually expects BOE's production costs to fall below SDC's by the end of 2019 as BOE's fab costs are subsidized - as can be seen in the image below.
Earlier this month we reported that BOE started to construct its 3rd 6-Gen flexible AMOLED production line in Chongqing's Liangjiang district (the B12 line). The Chongqing line will join BOE's first flexible 6-Gen OLED fab in Chengdu (the B7) and its second line in Mianyang.
BOE now announced plans for another large investment in a new flexible OLED fab, this one in Fuzhou, Fujian. This fab will be similar to BOE's other fabs - a 6-Gen (1500×1850 mm) line with a capacity of 48,000 substrates. The investment will total 46.5 billion Yuan (about $6.75 billion USD). This fourth line will bring BOE's total flexible OLED capacity to 192,000 monthly substrates.
According to reports from China, last week BOE started to construct its 3rd 6-Gen flexible AMOLED production line in Chongqing's Liangjiang district (the B12 line). The investment in the new fab will total 46.5 billion Yuan, or about $7.3 billion USD.
The B12 line will have a capacity of 48,000 monthly substrates - which will bring BOE's total flexible OLED capacity to 144,000 monthly substrates (second only to Samsung).
South Korean prosecutors indicted a group of 11 executives and employees of Korea-based Toptec, a Samsung Electronics supplier, accusing them with leaking Samsung's flexible OLED technology to Chinese display makers. The group includes Toptec's president and managing director.
According to Nikkei Asian Review, the Toptec's executives supplied the stolen information to four companies in China - including BOE and CSoT. The cost of the information was 15.5 billion Won - or almost $14 million USD. Toptec produces display production automated equipment.
BOE's 1.4" round 454x454 AMOLED panels are now available on The OLED Marketplace. This is a high-end AMOLED display, suitable for smartwatch applications and more.
BOE started producing this display in 2017. This display was adopted, for example, in Fossil's Men Explorist smartwatch. If anyone is interested in these displays, let us know. Click here for more information on this panel.