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". JDI requires around $1.7 billion to start OLED production, and is now raising the funds needed - looking for partners in Japan and China.

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 - but this plan was halted later in 2017.

Company Address: 
3-7-1 Nishi-shinbashi

The latest JDI news:

Will FoxConn also acquire Japan Display to create a Japanese OLED alliance?

Last week Japan Display announced a new strategic shift to OLED technologies, as its LCD business is losing money and the company now says that a transformation into an OLED-focused company is its last chance to become profitable.

JDI said it will need to raise new funds to finance this focus shift and overcome its losses. An interesting report from Japan claims that Foxconn is interested in acquiring JDI with an aim to integrate it with Sharp to create a Japanese OLED alliance that will be able to compete with Samsung and LGD.

JDI announces last-chance restructuring as it moves to focus on OLED displays

Japan Display says that it must must overhaul its manufacturing system and restructure the company as losses increase. JDI says that it has failed to keep up with the industry shift to new technologies (OLEDs), but it now plans to strategically focus on OLED displays.

JDI announced a loss of $287 million in the last quarter, three times higher than the loss last year. JDI plans to shed 3,700 jobs (about 30% of its workforce) and it says that this is the last chance to restructure.

Japan Display extend and enhance its evaluation agreement with UDC

Japan Display has extended and updated its evaluation agreement with Universal Display. UDC is supplying its phosphorescent OLED materials and technology to JDI for use in its OLED displays. The financial terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.

JDI was formed in November 2011 by Sony, Hitachi, and Toshiba who combined their small/medium panel production capabilities and received $2 billion from Japan's Innovation Network Corp (INCJ). JDI has an active OLED R&D program and plans to begin producing OLED panels in 2018.

JDI's flexible LCD prototype shown on video with a rigid BLU

Last week we reported that Japan Display is developing flexible LCD displays. The company demonstrated a 5.5" FHD LCD that it brands as FULL ACTIVE FLEX, aiming to mass produced such displays that compete with flexible OLEDs in 2018.

JDI posted a presentation detailing the company's strategy, in which they showed the video you see above. This shows how flexible the display is - but it also shows that the LED backlighting unit is not flexible which seems to be a major flaw - I'm guessing JDI will want to change that, otherwise there's not much point in a flexible LCD...

JDI is developing flexible LCD displays, will start production in 2018

Japan Display announced that it is developing flexible LCD displays. JDI demonstrated a 5.5" FHD (401PPI) LCD that it brands as FULL ACTIVE FLEX. This display uses a plastic substrate which makes the display flexible and also very durable. JDI says it plans to start mass producing such displays in 2018.

JDI Flexible 5.5'' FHD FLEX LCD prototype (01/2017)

The 5.5" FHD display's normal refresh rate is 60Hz, but it can be driven at 15Hz which significantly reduces the power consumption. The brightness of the display is 500 cd/m2 and the contrast ratio is 1500:1.

JOLED details their printing process and materials

JOLED (Japan OLED) was established in August 2014 by Japan Display, Sony and Panasonic with an aim to become an OLED medium display (10-30 inch) producer. JOLED is using a printing process which should result in lower cost production (but of lower performance displays) compared to evaporation printing.

JOLED/JDI OLED efficiency improvement chart (Jan 2017)

JOLED's R&D Division Manager spoke at the PF&E China conference a couple of weeks ago, detailing the company's process. JOLED is producing RGB-strip OLED panels using ink-jet printers made by Panasonic and PLED materials produced by Sumitomo. The OLED structure is based on Sony's technology and the backplane is a transparent amorphous oxide semiconductor.

JDI secures $635 million from INCJ to grow its OLED business and up its stake at JOLED

Last week we posted that Japan Display is set to raise its stake in JOLED for $100 million, following a $650 million USD cash injection from INCJ to grow its LCD and OLED business. JDI today confirmed this plan. The company received 45 billion yen ($382 million US) from INCJ in the form of unsecured subordinated convertible bonds and these funds will be used for R&D expenses on printing OLED technologies (and will probably include the $100 million for JOLED).

JDI JOLED business plan (December 2016)

JDI also received 30 billion yen (about $255 million US) from INCJ in the form of subordinated loan, and this money will go towards OLED R&D in the field of evaporation OLED technologies.

JDI raises its stake in JOLED for $100 million, receives $650 million from INCJ to grow its LCD and OLED business

JOLED logoJOLED (Japan OLED) was established in August 2014 by Japan Display (15%), Sony (5%) and Panasonic (5%) with an aim to become an OLED medium display producer using printing technologies. The Innovation Network Corp of Japan (INCJ), which funded JOLED, had a 75% stake.

In early 2016 it was reported that Japan Display (JDI) aims to acquire JOLED, and this deal is finally taking place - JDI will pay around $100 million USD to INCJ and will raise its stake to over 50% (which values JOLED at around $300 million). Reuters say that the financing transactions, though, will only end towards the end of 2017.

JDI demonstrates a foldable device based on two thin-bezel LCD displays

Japan Display developed a new foldable device concept that uses two thin-bezel LCD displays. JDI is working with a Chinese smartphone maker to introduce such a device in the summer of 2017.

JDI foldable LCD screen demonstration

To create those thin-bezel displays, JDI collaborated with Minebea and other companies to use a specially designed backlight and LCD panel.The frame is less than 1mm wide, which means that the gap between the two displays is less than 2mm.

Japan Display: Chinese phone makers are switching back to LCD displays

Japan Display (JDI) announced it is cutting 4,700 jobs (about 30% of its workforce) to improve profitability, but also said that it is seeing strong demand for its LCD screens from Chinese phone makers.

JDI says that these phone makers are switching from OLED displays back to LCD ones. JDI explains that its LCD panels have "caught up with OLED rivals in thinness and power efficiency" and so phone makers are now beginning to have "doubts about the future of OLEDs".