Corning is one of the world leaders in glass and ceramics - working on these materials for 150 years. Corning is active in several markets - display technologies, Environmental technologies, telecommunications, life sciences and others.
Corning has three products aimed for OLEDs:
- Lotus Glass, suitable for high-end OLEDs and LCDs (Lotus replaced the old JADE OLED glass product)
- VITA, hermetic sealing solution for OLEDs (available for licensing only)
- Willow Glass: ultra slim (50 and 100 um) flexible glass that can support backplanes and color filters in both LCD and OLED panels and be used in R2R processes.
In February 2012 Corning announced that it will form a new joint-venture with Samsung that will produce Lotus Glass for OLED displays in Korea. That glass plant is now up and running, and Samsung is already using Lotus glass panels from that plant in their OLED smartphones and TV panels.
In 2017 Corning announced that Samsung is adopting its Lotus Glass NXT in its Galaxy S8 smartphones as a carrier glass.
The latest Corning OLED news:
The OLED Lighting Commercialization Alliance (OLCA) was formed a few days ago in Taiwan, with an aim to make Taiwan an important OLED lighting player. The alliance will promote OLED technologies and will include members from materials suppliers to product makers.
The OLCA seems to be led by Taiwan's ITRI. Other members include Merck, RiT Display, WiseChip, Corning, Tongtai Machine & Tool and the TLFEA (Taiwan Lighting Fixture Export Association). ITRI says that more than 60 companies have shown interest in collaborating with OLCA members.
Corning and Samsung announced a complicated deal today - Corning will buy out Samsung Display's stake in their LCD glass joint venture (Samsung Corning Precision Materials, or SCP). In exchange, Samsung will receive convertible preferred shares in Corning that are valued at $1.9 billion and will acquire more shares for $400 million. If Samsung converts all these shares, they will own 7.4% of Corning.
Corning estimates that this move will add about $2 billion in annual sales and about $350 million in profit. As part of the deal, the two companies signed a new 10-year LCD display glass supply agreement. Corning will also buy other minority shareholders in SCP for about $300 million, and will also pay a special $1.4 billion dividend payment to SDC.
Corning recently announced the new second-gen Lotus XT high-performance glass suitable for OLED displays. The company has been supplying glass substrate and cover glass for OLED displays for years now. Now Corning was kind enough to participate in a Q&A session here on OLED-Info to better explain how they see the OLED market and what the future holds for Corning and OLEDs.
We talked to two Corning executives. John Bayne is Corning's High Performance Displays VP and General Manager, while Harrison Smookler is the commercial director and program manager of Willow Glass Substrates (flexible glass).
Tianma says they chose Lotus XG Glass because of the advanced properties of the glass. The company’s LTPS line is located in Xiamen, China, and has a capacity of 30,000 TFT modules, and more than 30,000 color-filter modules per month. It is the first Gen 5.5 LTPS line in China.
Corning announced today that it has been collaborating with AUO on high-performance displays, and AUO's new 5" HD720 AMOLED panels shown at Touch Taiwan use Corning's Lotus Glass. As far as I understand, they are using Corning's latest generation Lotus Glass XT.
AUO says they selected the Lotus Glass platform because of the glass substrate's outstanding thermal and dimensional stability, which facilitates efficient panel manufacturing during rigorous, high-temperature processing.
Corning announced their new, second-generation Lotus XT glass for high performance displays (LCDs and OLEDs). The Lotus XT offers better dimensional stability and can withstand higher temperatures compared to the previous version.
The new glass features better total-pitch variation (the distance features move during panel processing). All this means that using the new glass shall increase production yields and result in more precise manufacturing. The new glass can be used as substrate for LTPS and Oxide-TFT backplanes.
Samsung unveiled their new flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S4. As expected, it sports a 4.99" Full-HD (1920x1080, 441 PPI) Super AMOLED display behind a Corning Gorilla Glass 3. This phone will launch towards the end of April worldwide (on 327 carriers in 155 countries). The S4 seems to be more of an upgrade to the S3 than a revolutionary new handset.
According to previous reports, Samsung Display started producing these 5" Full-HD AMOLED panels in February at a rate of 3 million units per moth (this will grow to almost 10 million monthly units in coming months). The S3 is Samsung's best selling and fastest selling smartphone, and obviously the company hopes that the S4 will sell even better.
Corning says that it will take at least 3 years before we'll start seeing flexible displays based on its Willow glass. Corning sent samples of this glass to companies back in June 2012 hoping that products will arrive in 2013, but it seems that manufacturers find it hard to adopt their processes for the flexible glass.
Willow glass (announced during SID 2012) is an ultra-slim (50 um and 100 um) flexible glass that can support backplanes and color filters in both LCD and OLED panels. Willow glass can withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees Celsius, and can be used in R2R production processes (ITRI developed a full R2R process with Corning).
A couple of months ago we posted about a rumor claiming that Apple is working on a PMOLED Bluetooth smartwatch. Now the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal are both posting a similar story, which actually gives this rumor some credibility. This time they say that Apple is working with their long-time manufacturing partner Hon Hai Precision Industry.
We're not sure what is meant exactly by "curved glass". We have seen devices with curved rigid glass before (for example the Nexus S). The New York Times speculates that the new iWatch will use Corning's flexible Willow glass (shown in the video below) - and so probably the whole display will be curved, maybe something similar to the prototypes Samsung unveiled at CES.
Nanomarkets posted an interesting article on flexible glass (based on their Flexible Glass Market report). Basically they're saying that the opportunities for flexible glass have never been better, and they forecast that the market in 2013 will reach $125 million, and this will grow to over $2 billion before 2020.
Interestingly Nanomarkets says that the OLED market will start adopting flexible glass in 2013 - with $4 million in revenue (this will grow to $280 million by 2020). Perhaps Nanomarket thinks that Samsung will adopt flexible glass in their first YOUM flexible OLED based panels?