Low-Temperature Polycrystalline Oxide, or LTPO, is an OLED display backplane technology developed by Apple. LTPO combines both LTPS TFTs and Oxide TFTs (IGZO, Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide). LTPO is applicable for both OLED and LCD displays, actually, but this backplane technology is likely to be used exclusively in high-end OLED displays
In LTPO, the switching circuits are using LTPS while the driving TFTs will use IGZO materials. This could lead to a power saving of around 5-15% compared to the currently-used LTPS backplanes. The main drawback of LTPO, however, is that the IGZO TFTs are larger and so the display density may be compromised.
In September 2014 Apple introduced the world's first device to use an LTPO backplane - the Watch Series 4. Compared to the current-generation Watch, the new series has a larger AMOLED display - 1.78" 448x363 on the 44 mm watch and a 1.57" 394x324 one on the 40 mm model.
The latest LTPO OLED news:
Amorphyx Q&A about champion performance in IGZO TFT for OLED Smartphone applications
This is a sponsored post by Amorphyx, where display industry consultant Ian Hendy has interviewed Amorphyx's CEO John Brewer
Q: Can you start by telling us a little about what Amorphyx does, John?
Amorphyx has several fundamentally new technology platforms that provide for TFT performance improvements in three areas: (1) Switching speeds, with options to move to the Tera-Hz range ultimately, (2) Power, where the IGZO AMeTFT can achieve even lower power performance than today’s LTPO OLED Pro Motion displays and better refresh range, and (3) Small transistor size.
Our technology platforms are lower cost than the alternatives, and move from amorphous and crystalline semiconductor approaches, to devices based on different effects that do not have a semiconductor at all, yet can still drive a display, drive current, deliver grey scale and switch very fast. Or they can operate a flex IC at higher clock speeds than known today.
For now, our main commercial focus is on IGZO AMeTFT which is fundamentally a potential replacement transistor for LTPS or LTPO used in modern OLED phones and has the capability to replace more highly compensated LTPO circuits in modern Smartphone displays due to enhanced stability.
Omdia: the smartphone market is shrinking, but the LTPO-AMOLED display segment is growing fast
Market research firm Omdia says that the global smartphone market is shrinking, and is set to fall 18% in 2022 to 1.425 billion units. LTPS AMOLED display shipments will decline 19% compared to 2021 to 44 million units (LCDs will decline even faster at 26%).
The only segmented that Omdia says is growing is the LTPO AMOLED one, with a fast growth of 94% in 2022 (to 148 million units), and will continue to grow in 2023 (25%).
LG Display starts to ship LTPO AMOLED displays to Apple
According to ETNews, Apple approved LG Display's LTPO AMOLED displays for the iPhone 14 Pro, and so LGD starts to ship displays to Apple - what has been an exclusive supply by Samsung Display.
The iPhone 14 Pro has a 6.1" 120Hz 2000 nits 1179x2556 LTPO AMOLED display, while the 14 Pro Max has a larger 6.7-inch 1290x2796 panel.
TCL CSoT is deploying new OLED technologies at its production lines, including LTPO, micro lens and polarizer-free OLEDs
TCL (CSoT) announced that the company has finalized the development of several new OLED technologies, which has been deployed at the company's production lines.
The first technology is LTPO, or Low-Temperature Polycrystalline Oxide, an OLED backplane technology developed originally by Apple. LTPO enables variable refresh rates, and TCL's technology can support a wide range of frequencies, from 1Hz to 144Hz.
Apple finalizes its supply chain for the iPhone 14 AMOLED displays, starts ordering panels from BOE again
According to reports from Korea, Apple has started to sign agreements regarding the supply of OLED displays for the next iPhone model (iPhone 14). As always, the main supplier will be Samsung Display, which will supply 80 million units of its latest LTPO AMOLED display (M12 stack) to Apple.
Apple is set to release four iPhone models. The iPhone 14 (6.1-inch), 14 Plus (6.7-inch), 14 Pro (6.1-inch) and 14 Pro Max (6.7-inch).
Visionox launches China's first LTPO AMOLED display
Towards the end of 2021, it was reported that Visionox has finalized its LTPO R&D project and is ready to start producing LTPO OLED displays. The company now officially launched its first LTPO AMOLED dipslay, that can offer a dynamic refresh rate, from 1Hz to 120Hz. Visionox expects the first phones to adopt these new displays to be released soon.
The new LTPO AMOLED displays are produced at Visionox's Hefei 6-Gen flexible AMOLED line. This is the first LTPO OLED displays produced in China (previously only Samsung and LG produced such advanced panels).
BOE aims to supply Apple's with LTPO panels to the iPhone 15 Pro in 2023
BOE has been aiming to supply OLED displays for Apple for a long time. In 2020 BOE did not pass Apple's OLED quality test for the iPhone 12 , but later it it did manage to enter Apple's supply chain, only for aftermarket (refurbished models) 6.06" LTPS AMOLED displays.
According to reports in Korea, for Apple's 2014 models, which will be introduced in 2022, BOE aims to supply similar panels (to standard models). BOE is also aiming to be the producer of Apple's iPhone 15 Pro series in 2023. The company is looking to introduce LTPO technology at its B12 AMOLED line at Chongqing, the line which has only recently started production.
Visionox ready to start producing LTPO AMOLED displays
According to reports from China, Visionox has finalized its LTPO R&D project and is now starting to produce LTPO OLED displays. This will enable the company to compete with Samsung and other leading OLED producers for the high-end smartphone display segment.
Low-Temperature Polycrystalline Oxide, or LTPO, is an OLED display backplane technology developed by Apple. LTPO combines both LTPS TFTs and Oxide TFTs (IGZO, Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide) to enable variable refresh rate displays, and power savings of up to 15%. LTPO AMOLED displays are widely used today in high-end smartphones and other mobile devices.
DSCC: miniLED IT panels are more expensive to produce than tandem OLED panels
DSCC posted an interesting article, comparing the production costs of OLED vs mini-LED panels for IT. DSCC estimates that for tablets and notebooks, a tandem structure will be used, and the panels will be based on rigid substrates.
In the chart above you see a production cost comparison, between 2021 and 2025, for 12.9" panels. DSCC looks at two OLED production options: a tandem OLED panel with an LTPO backplane produced in a 6-Gen fab, and a similar panel that uses an Oxide-TFT backplane and produced in a larger 8.5-Gen fab. As you can see, OLED panels are more cost effective, and will remain so throughout the forecast period.
Samsung starts ordering equipment for its new 6-Gen flexible OLED fab (A4E)
According to a new report from Korea, Samsung has decided to build a new flexible OLED 6-Gen (1500x1850 mm) production line (A4E, although this could be a tentative name), which will be located at Samsung's Asan production complex.
The new fab will have a monthly capacity of 30,000 substrates. The first phase (15,000 substrates) will enter production by the end of 2022, and the second phase a year later. Total investment is estimated at over 1 trillion KRW (around $854 million USD).