Japanese suppliers have taken a dominant position in the fast-growing market for equipment used for manufacturing organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays, according to a new study from iSuppli Corp.

OLED unit sales expected to expand by a factor of 11 during the next six years, as their use expand in mobile phones, media players and other products, iSuppli predicts.

Although the outlook for OLEDs is robust, near-term sales growth is being inhibited by inadequacies in production equipment. Both technical and business issues are playing a role in slowing OLED equipment development.

A major challenge in the OLED equipment realm is a lack of standardisation. Every piece of OELD manufacturing gear is effectively custom-made-even if the manufacturer offers a set menu of features and options. This is because OLED processes vary wildly and are not optimised; panel makers need special adjustments as well as built-in flexibility for the inevitable changes that are still occurring.