Japan Display (JDI) is a small/medium display maker, formed in September 2011 by the merger of Sony’s, Toshiba’s and Hitachi’s display businesses and funded by Japan’s government fund Innovation Network Corporation (INCJ), which holds 70% of the shares.

JDI considers OLEDs to be the “core technology” of the next generation small size and medium size displays, and in 2017 the company announced that it is going to perform a "last-chance" restructuring to focus on OLEDs as there is "no future for the smartphone panel business without OLED".

In August 2014 JDI, together with Sony, Panasonic and INCJ, launched JOLED to develop and produce printed OLED panels. In December 2016 JDI raised $635 million from INCJ to increase its stake at JOLED, and in 2020 the company raised $935 million from Ichigo. In October 2019 Japan Display announced it has started to produce OLED displays - likely indeed this is low volume production for Apple's wearables.

Company Address: 
105-0003
Tokyo
Tokyo
3-7-1 Nishi-shinbashi
Minato-ku
Japan



The latest JDI news:

Japan Display announces a breakthrough lithographic-based OLED production method

Japan Display (JDI) announced that it has developed a new OLED deposition technology, which they refer to as eLEAP, that is cost effective and can be used to create OLEDs that are brighter, more efficient, and longer lasting compared to OLEDs produced using mask evaporation (FMM). eLEAP also enables OLED freeform deposition. JDI regards its new technology as a " historic breakthrough in display technology".

JDI eLEAP aperture ratio image

eLEAP is based on a lithographic method, and does not require any masks. The main advantage seems to be that OLED displays produced by eLEAP technology can achieve an aperture ratio of 60%, compared with FMM OLEDs which achieve a ratio of about 28%. This means that the OLED displays can be driven at lower currents - which extends the lifetime, improves the efficiency and also enables higher-peak brightness when needed.

DSCC details the OLED smartwatch panel market in 2020

DSCC posted an interesting chart that details OLED smartwatch shipments by supplier. This is an interesting market as there are almost 10 suppliers with no dominant player:

OLED smartwatch shipments by supplier (DSCC, 2017-2020)

In fact DSCC says that there are five different OLED panel makers (BOE, SDC, LGD, EDO and Truly) that each has a market share over 10% in 2020.

JDI developed a new OLED production technology, looking for customer partners to commence mass production

Japan Display says it is developing a new OLED production technology that will enable higher resolution and higher efficiency OLED displays, and the company is in talks with potential customers regarding a joint investment in producing next-generation OLEDs.

Apple Watch Series 5 photo

According to JDI's CEO, the company is using a new manufacturing technology that is different to the evaporation method currently used by OLED makers. It is not clear what is meant by that - it could be an inkjet-printing technology (but achieving high resolution for smartphone displays with inkjet printing is a challenge) or something like OVPD or OVJP - or a new technology developed in-house at JDI.

Japan Display receives $935 million from Ichigo Asset Management

In August 2017, Japan Display announced a last-resort strategic focus on OLED displays as the Japanese display maker failed to shift to OLED displays in time. Since then JDI was busy trying to raise the funds needed to construct a large-scale OLED fab, raising $430 million from Oasis Management group and one of its customers (likely to be Apple).

As was discussed earlier, JDI now confirmed that Ichigo Asset Management will invest up to 100.8 billion yen (around $925 million) in JDI, and secure a stake of over 50% in JDI.

Ichigo Asset Management to invest up to $830 million in Japan Display

In August 2017, Japan Display announced a last-resort strategic focus on OLED displays as the Japanese display maker failed to shift to OLED displays in time. JDI found it extremely difficult to secure the needed funds, but it finally raised $430 million from Oasis Management group and one of its customers (likely to be Apple).

It is now reported that Ichigo Asset Management will invest up to $830 million in Japan Display.

Japan Display starts to produce OLED displays, probably for Apple's watch

In April 2019 Reuters reported that Japan Display (JDI) signed a deal with Apple to supply it with AMOLED displays for its smartwatches, and today JDI's new CEO Minoru Kikuoka said that the company recently started producing OLED displays - likely indeed this is low volume production for Apple's wearables.

Apple Watch Series 5 photo

Apple's Watch Series 5 (its latest generation) features a 324x394 1000-nits always-on LTPO AMOLED display (368x448 on the 44m model). Apple is currently buying these OLED displays exclusively from LGD.

The Harvest Group cancels its plans to invest in Japan Display

In August 2017, Japan Display announced a last-resort strategic focus on OLED displays as the Japanese display maker failed to shift to OLED displays in time. Two years later, in July 2019, the company announced that it finally secured the 80 billion Yen (around $740 million) bailout plan from the China-based Harvest Group, Hong Kong-based activist investor Oasis Management and an unnamed JDI customer - which is likely to be Apple.

Unfortunately for JDI, the Harvest Group decided not to move forward with the investment after all. The Harvest Group was supposed to provide most of the funds for JDI which could put the Japanese display maker in a difficult position.

JDI may convert its Hakusan Ishikawa LCD fab to OLED production

Japan Display recently secured a 80 billion Yen (around $740 million) bailout plan from the China-based Harvest Group, Hong Kong-based activist investor Oasis Management and an unnamed JDI customer - which is likely to be Apple.

In August 2017, Japan Display announced a last-resort strategic focus on OLED displays as the Japanese display maker failed to shift to OLED displays in time. JDI now announced that it is extending the shut-down of its Hakusan Ishikawa LCD fab due to slow demand for LCD displays from Apple. JDI is talks with the Harvest Group to convert the fab to OLED production.

END: RiTDisplay and PlayNitride to supply Apple with MicroLED displays for its next-gen Watch device

Apple is currently using an LGD 1.57" 394x324 LTPO AMOLED display (1.78" 448x368 on the larger 44mm version) in its latest Watch smart wearable device. Apple's involvement in Micro-LED displays started in 2014 when it acquired LuxVue, and it was always assumed that Apple's main aim for the new display technology is to adopt it in wearable devices.

PlayNitride high-brightness high-density passive-matrix wearable Micro-LED prototype (SID 2019)

According to a new report from Taiwan, PlayNitride and RiTDisplay are in talks with Apple to supply microLED displays for Apple's next-generation Watch wearable. A micro-LED display could offer much higher brightness and efficiency compared to an AMOLED display, both of which could be highly desirable in wearable devices.

Japan Display formally secures $740 million for its OLED restructuring plan

Japan Display (JDI) announced that it has finally secured the 80 billion Yen (around $740 million) bailout plan. The large investment will come from the China-based Harvest Group, Hong Kong-based activist investor Oasis Management and an unnamed JDI customer - which is likely to be Apple.

Japan Display says that it plans to hold a shareholders meeting on August 29th to formalize the bailout plan.

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