OLED is an emerging display technology that enables beautiful and efficient displays and lighting panels. OLEDs are already being used in many mobile devices and TVs, and the next generation of these panels will be flexible and bendable.
Different kinds of flexibility
When we talk about flexible OLEDs, it's important to understand what that means exactly. A flexible OLED is based on a flexible substrate which can be either plastic, metal or flexible glass. The plastic and metal panels will be light, thin and very durable - in fact they will be virtually shatter-proof.
The first range of devices that use flexible OLED displays are not really flexible from the user perspective. The device maker bends the displays, or curves it - but the final user is not able to actually bend the device. These first-gen flexible OLEDs are adopted many premium smartphones, for example the Samsung edge-type Galaxy phones or Apple's iPhone X and Xs. Besides the beautiful designs, a flexible OLED has several advantages especially in mobile devices - the displays are lighter, thinner and more durable compared to glass based displays.
Second generation flexible OLED displays can be bent by the user - these can be used for example to create foldable smartphones - the first range of which started shipping in 2019. Rollable OLEDs are also now entering the market for both TVs and smartphones.
The latest flexible OLED news:
Samsung Display to convert an LCD fab to a 6-Gen flexible OLED production line in a $2.7 billion investment
According to reports from Korea, Samsung Display plans to build a new 6-Gen flexible OLED line. The new line will replace a current LCD line that is used to produce TVs at SDC's Asan plant (the LCD 7-2).
The new fab, which will cost around 3 trillion Won ($2.7 billion USD) will have a monthly capacity of 30,000 monthly substrates. This will increase SDC's AMOLED production capacity to 195,000 monthly substrates, not counting its upcoming QD-OLED production line.
BOE demonstrates several new OLED technologies at SID Displayweek 2021. First up is a new rollable display. The new display is 8-inch in size, and it features a resolution of 2592x2176 and a bending radius of 4 mm. BOE says the new display passed over 200,000 sliding cycles.
Last year at Displayweek 2020, BOE demonstrated a 12-inch rollable OLED. It has since been working with LG Electronics on the company's rollable smartphone (which was since canceled as LG withdrew from the smartphone market) and with OPPO on a 7.4-inch sliding OLED phone.
Chinese OLED producer Visionox demonstrates several new OLED technologies at SID Displayweek 2021. We'll list some of these new achievements in this post, and you can see these in the video below.
Visionox shows a 'dynamic' 12.3-inch rollable display which feature a 5 mm rolling radius. A 7.92" foldable (2 mm radius) wrap-around display solution. Visionox also demonstrates a 12.3" three-folded OLED that can fold inwards (2.5 mm radius) or outwards (6.5 mm) - to become a 5.4-inch display.
Samsung Display is unveiling new OLED technologies today at SID Displayweek 2021. The video below shows all the new displays:
First up we have a tri-foldable AMOLED display shown with a smartphone prototype. The display can be folded twice inside and outside, and when fully open the display is 7.2-inch in size.
Japan-based Nippon Shokubai announced that its OLED lighting panels will be used in an upcoming textile exhibition in Japan. The company's fiber-type OLED lighting panels will be woven into a fabric, as can be seen in the video below:
Nippon Shokubai is developing OLED lighting panels under the iOLED brand. Its panels are very flexible and are only 0.07 mm thick. The company developed two panel types: a red panel which features a brightness of 5,000 cd/m2, EQE of 29% and >10,000 LT50 (@ 1,000 cd/m2) and a green panel that features a brightness of 7,000 cd/m2, EQE of 23% and >10,000 LT50 (@ 1,000 cd/m2) .
At the end of last month, Xiaomi introduced its first foldable OLED device, the Mi Mix Fold smartphone, with a main 8.01-inch HDR10+ 1860x2480 AMOLED display that folds inwardly, and an external 6.52-inch 90Hz HDR10+ 840x2520 AMOLED display.
The Mi Mix Fold is now shipping in China, starting at around $1,500. According to Xiaomi, it has sold around 40,000 units in the first minute - generating over $61 million in revenue for the smartphone maker.
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.
Today we published new versions of our market reports - that cover the flexible, microdisplays and automotive OLED markets. OLED-Info provides comprehensive niche OLED market reports, and our reports cover everything you need to know about the niche market, and can be useful if you want to understand how the OLED industry works and what this technology can provide for your own industry. The reports are now updated to April 2021.
- The advantages of OLED and MicroLED microdisplays
- Information on all companies involved in this market
- What kind of displays are available on the market today
- Future technologies and roadmaps
The report package also provides a complete list of OLED and microLED microdisplays makers and their current (and future) products, and personal contact details into the leading microdisplays makers. Read more here!
Himax Technologies, together with BOE Varitronix (automotive display product supplier) announced that they secured a design-win with a leading new electric vehicle maker.
The customer will soon launch a flagship automobile, which will sport a 12.8-inch flexible AMOLED center information display product. The new solution includes a flexible AMOLED display produced by BOE and a Himax AMOLED driver IC and timing controller system.