UPDATE: CMO (CMEL's parent company) has been acquired by Innolux in the end of 2009. We still have to wait and see how it effects the company's OLED program.
Chi Mei EL Corporation (CMEL), founded by the R&D team at Chi Mei Optoelectronics (CMO) in 2004, is fully devoted to the R&D, design, production, and sales of OLED panels.
CMEL currently focuses on small and medium-sized OLED panel production. Their largest panel available is 7.6" AMOLED. The company has over 210 employees and is fully owned by Chi Mei Optoelectronics.
CMEL purchases PHOLED materials from Universal Display Corporation, and have developed a new 'MEM' tech to make thinner and lighter AMOLEDs, showing a 25" TV in November 2008.
The latest CMEL OLED news:
A display supplier we are working with in China just informed us that they have received a large (8,000 units) stock of CMEL's 2008 2.4" 240x320 AMOLED displays. All these display modules include a touch layer and are of good quality according to our supplier.
CMEL stopped producing AMOLED displays at 2009, and since then we have heard from several device makers that wanted to acquire some panels for devices based on these AMOLED displays. This could be a good opportunity for such displays, contact us for more information.
We've got some interesting updates regarding Chimei Innolux (CMI) OLED program. As a reminder, CMI was born as a merger between Innolux, CMO and TPO. Both CMO (through its CMEL subsidiary) and TPO had active OLED programs, and CMEL were even producing panels up until the merger. CMI's own OLED plans are still unclear.
Back in February 2011 we reported that CMI indeed plans to start producing OLEDs in two plants - a Gen-3.5 (620x750mm) LTPS/OLED Plant in Jhunan, Taiwan and a Gen-5.5 (1,300x1,500) IGZO-TFT plant in Tainan (also in Taiwan). Later on there were reports that CMI actually scrapped all OLED plans for now. But in March the company unveiled a couple of new AMOLED prototypes (3.2" and 3.5", shown above).
I got word from a CMEL AMOLED user that some displays fail after prolonged exposure to sun. Interestingly, the displays seem to recover if left unpowered for a couple of days (out of the sun, that is). I wonder if any other AMOLED user experienced similar problems? In any case, here's a video they uploaded showing the problematic displays:
The CMEL module used by this company is a C0283QGLC-T. This is a 2.83" diagonal 240x320 full-color AMOLED. CMEL no longer produces AMOLEDs (after the merger into CMI) - but CMI seems to have an active OLED program that will soon go into production.
We're still not sure whether Chimei Innolux (CMI) is producing AMOLED panels or not - but according to Digitimes the company is showing AMOLED panels at FPD China 2011. This seems to be a good sign.
According to their financial presentation, CMI has two OLED plants planned (A Gen-3.5 LTPS in Jhunan and a Gen-5.5 IGZO-TFT fab in Tainan).
Update: According to a different report, which makes more sense, Sintek will only supply touch-panels for Samsung AMOLEDs, and will not produce actual AMOLED displays. Sintek will indeed setup a Gen-5.5 plant to produce the touch panels. Update 2 - Digitimes posted a new story correcting their earlier report.
According to Digitimes, Sintek Photronics will supply touch panels for Samsung Mobile Display to be used in AMOLED panels. Digitimes also say that Sintek will setup a new Gen-5.5 LTPS line (scheduled to start production in Q4 2011) to supply backplanes for Samsung. The new plant will produce 50,000 monthly substrates. This will grow to 80,000 later.
According to the article, Samsung will start AMOLED production in their own Gen-5.5 only in Q2 2012. This is strange as we know that Samsung will start production during 2011. In their post, Digitimes also say that LG Display will start production in Q1 2012 (according to our sources, LG already started production). It seems that Digitimes thinks that all AMOLED plants will be delayed by one year (or maybe this is simply a mistake by Digitimes?).
Two days ago we published a story saying that Chimei Innolux seems to be producing AMOLEDs again. We got just word (from a trusted source) that the company actually plans to scrap all OLED plans, and shift all LTPS capacity back to LCD.
This is strange as it seems the company is still recruiting AMOLED engineers and researchers. Perhaps they will shift the current Gen-3.5 OLED plant to LCD, but they still have plans to make AMOLEDs in the future (in the Gen-5.5 plant in Tainan, as stated in the company's presentation).
Back in December 2009, Chimei bought both TPO and CMO (and its CMEL OLED subsidiary). It wasn't clear what will happen to TPO and CMEL's OLED programs. CMEL had an active AMOLED program and even offered 7.6" panels, but production halted after the merger. TPO was said to develop small (3" and 4") AMOLEDs but had technical difficulties. Now we found out that Chimei Innolux is back into AMOLED production. In their 3Q 2010 financial results presentation they list their Fab status:
There are two OLED plants. The first is a Gen-3.5 (620x750mm) LTPS/OLED Plant in Jhunan, Taiwan targeting small/medium displays. There's also a Gen-5.5 (1,300x1,500) plant in Tainan (also in Taiwan). The Gen-5.5 line will produce OLEDs for monitors or TVs. The new OLEDs in the Gen-5.5 line will use an IGZO (InGaZnOx) TFT - a transparent amorphous oxide semiconductor.
Samsung has announced a new product, the 700Z digital photo frame. It has a 7" AMOLED display. This is the largest OLED Samsung has commercialized to date, and it's great news. They haven't said when it'll be released, or how much it'll cost.
This is not the first large OLED photo frame. Back in 2008 Kodak has released their own 7.6" digital wireless frame, using CMEL's OLED panels. Kodak's frame costs around 800$ (but seems to be out of stock). Hopefully Samsung will have a lower price...
This is interesting news, and we do not know yet what will happen to the OLED programs of the two companies. The two companies had problems in their OLED subsidiaries (technical and financial) so this might be a good thing as they can now work together to solve the technical issues. Hopefully Innolux will not decide to simply give up on OLEDs...
CMEL (CMO's OLED subsidiary) has bee making OLED panels for quite some time. They offer the largest OLED panel available (7.6") which is being used by a few high-end products, such as Kodak's digital-photo frame. There were some rumors that CMEL are working at only 40% of their capacity, because of financial problems at CMO. These problems are now over with the merger, hopefully.
TPO hasn't yet started to mass-produce OLEDs, and were facing some technical problems, that caused some delays. They are currently developing 3"-4" panels for mobile phones and cameras. They had plans to start producing the 3" panels this year, but we're not sure if they have actually begun. It was reported that TPO will supply Nokia with these AMOLEDs.
There are reports that CMEL is facing financial problems (most of them due to parent company CMO), and is now working at only 40% of its capacity. The same reports also suggest that Sony stopped their OLED production line, but this seems less verified.
Earlier this week CMO merged with Innolux. We haven't heard from CMEL for quite some time and hopefully this merger will solve the current financial problems.