China Star Optoelectronics Technology (CSOT, also called Shenzhen Huaxing Photoelectric Technology) is a China based display producer (owned by TCL, Century Science & Technology Investment and Samsung Display). The company is producing small and large LCD panels and is developing OLED technologies.
In March 2012 it was reported that the company plans to enter the AMOLED market. The original plan was to start production by the end of 2012 in a 4.5-Gen LTPS line, but that never materialized. In October 2012 AUO filed a law suit against two of its former executives that allegedly stole technologies (including AMOLED related ones) from the company and supplied it to CSOT.
Towards the end of 2013 it was reported that TCL and CSOT will invest 24.4 billion yuan (just over $4 billion) to build a new 8.5-Gen Oxide-TFT LCD+OLED TV fab in Shenzhen. In 2016 TCL revised its plan - and said that the new fab will use 11-Gen substrates and is to be built by 2019. In May 2018 TCL announced it has approved this plan, but now targets 2021 for actual production.
In April 2017 CSOT announced plans to construct a 6-Gen LTPS flexible AMOLED production line in Wuhan, China, in a $5.08 billion investment. In June 2017 CSoT started construction at the site.
Together with TianMa, in 2016 CSOT established a company called Guangdong Juhua Printing Display Technology to develop printing OLED TV technologies. Johua Printing is an "open innovation platform" guided by the Chinese government that collaborates with both industry and universities to drive the progress of China's display industry and the Guangdong Province specifically.
The latest CSOT OLED news:
DSCC: Inkjet printing of emitters and color conversion layers for OLED displays to reach 7.1 million sqm by 2025
DSCC says that inkjet printing technologies for OLED display production is finally starting to gain traction, and the company sees IJP OLED display capacity to increase in a 137% CAGR from 2020 to 2025, to reach 7.1 million sqm.
As you can see from the chart, most of the growth will come from the printing of the quantum-dots color conversion layers in Samsung's QD-OLED fabs. Actual RGB inkjet printing will be confined to JOLED's fab which will start mass producing in 2021. In 2024, China Star (CSoT) will begin printing OLED TV panels at its T8 line.
DSCC says that OLED production will grow 94% in the Q2 2021, fueled by strong demand for OLED in smartphones, TVs and other devices - coupled with a recovery from the pandemic. Growth in OLED input area for small & medium displays is expected to grow 68%, while grow in OLED TV input area will grow by 134% over last year.
The chart above shows the total OLED (and mobile LCD) industry capacity. As you can see, flexible OLED capacity is growing - mainly from expansions by CSoT, Tianma and Visionox. There's also growth in rigid OLED capacity - from Everdisplay and JOLED.
Chinese smartphone producer TCL unveiled an interesting new smartphone prototype (concept?) called the Fold ‘n’ Roll.
As you can see in the video, the device has a 6.87-inch OLED display when fully folded. It can open up (out-folding) into a 8.85-inch display, and then it can open even further to a 10-inch tablet-like device using a rolling mechanism. The display itself is produced by TCL's CSoT subsidiary.
TCL said in a recent press conference that the company plans to start producing OLED TV panels in 2023. These OLED panels will be printed using an inkjet printing process.
TCL has been a long time believer in inkjet printing for OLED displays, and the company has established Juhua Printing in 2016 (together with Tianma and other collaborators) as an "open-innovation platform" to develop ink-jet printing of OLED panels. In 2020 TCL invested $187 million USD in Japan's inkjet printing developer and producer JOLED, and has also signed an agreement to jointly develop OLED TV printing technologies.
Korea's The Elec says that it has learned that Samsung display is developing in-folding OLED displays for Google, Xiaomi and Oppo.
Xiaomi, who has in the past shown prototypes that use Visionox out-folding displays, is now aiming to adopt an SDC in-folding display - 8.03" in size. The Elec says that the same phone will use a large 6.38-inch external display, which will be produced by both SDC CSoT.
DSCC posted an interesting post with its latest views and forecasts on the OLED material market. The company expects AMOLED stack material sales to grow at a 18% CAGR in the next five years, from $294 million in 2019 to $2.46 billion in 2024. Compared to its previous estimate, DSCC sees higher sales as demand for OLED TVs and OLEDs in the IT market (tablets and notebooks) is increasing.
DSCC also posted an analysis of LGD's new evo OLED material stack. Compared to LGD's "standard" WOLED stack, the evo adds an emitting green layer to improve the brightness by 20%. This of course adds an extra material cost to the panel price.
In October 2020 TCL's CSoT demonstrated some new rollable OLED technologies, and today at CES the company published this nice video you see below that again demonstrates new rollable OLEDs:
TCL first shows a rollable smartphone, that uses a 7.8-inch AMOLED that rolls into a 6.7-inch one. The display features a bending radius of 3 mm and CSoT says it can withstand up to 100,000 sliding cycles.
TCL's CSoT demonstrated some interesting new displays at the DTC 2020 conference a few days ago - including rollable OLEDs, foldable OLEDs, ink-jet printed rollable OLEDs and new microLED prototypes.
In the video above, you can first see the company's latest inkjet-printed rollable OLED, with a size of 17-inch. CSoT says that it managed to reduce the OLED thickness by removing the color filters it used in earlier designs, which improves the flexibility - as you can see this display rolls up very nicely.
According to reports from China, TCL says its CSOT OLED inkjet printing project is going well, and the company expects to start mass production at its 8.5-Gen Guangzhou T8 (owned by Huaxing Optoelectronics) production line in 2024.
Earlier this year the Guanghzhou development commission issued a report that says CSOT's investment in this R&D and production project will amount to 46 billion yuan ($6.8 billion USD), and the construction of the actual production line will be in 2021-2023.
DSCC updated its OLED material market forecasts, seeing a lower growth ahead. DSCC says the AMOLED stack material market will grow from $928 million in 2019 to $2.06 billion in 2024 in a CAGR of 17%. Only a couple of months ago DSCC estimated that the market in 2024 will reach $2.69 billion - and even these were reduced from earlier estimates due to COVID-19.
DSCC says that the main reason behind the reduction in its forecast is lower OLED TV capacity. The company now expects a slower ramp up at the Guangzhou fab, and LG's P-10 10.5-Gen fab is now removed from the forecast period.