What is an OLED?
OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) is an emerging display technology that enables displays that offer better image quality and are thinner and more efficient than current LED and LCD displays. OLED TVs deliver the best picture quality ever, and in the future will also become flexible, rollable and transparent.
What is a 4K OLED TV?
A 4K OLED TV (also called UHD OLED TV) is an OLED TV that features a resolution of 3840x2160 pixels. While especially useful for large TV panels, 4K has gained in popularity and is now being offered on all premium TVs.
OLED is still a relatively premium technology - and all OLED TVs released from 2016 forward support 4K resolution. The entire LG's 2018 OLED TV lineup support 4K resolution - the flagship Wallpaper OLEDW8 (which attaches to the wall using magnets), the high-end OLED-on-glass OLEDG8 and OLEDE8, the basic OLEDC8 and the entry level OLEDB8.
LG Display is the only OLED panel producer, but it ships its panel to over a dozen TV makers, not just LG Electronics. All of these TVs also support 4K resolution - including the ones from Sony, Panasonic, Philips, Skyworth and more.
The latest 4K OLED news:
As you can see in the image below (click to enlarge), the board says "STEAMBOAT", which lead some analysts to speculate that one of eMagin's VR customers is game developer Valve Corporation (as they publish the STEAM gaming platform).
Magnachip announced that it has started mass-producing OLED display driver integrated circuit (OLED DDIC) for OLED TVs.
Magnachip says that its new DDIC supports a maximum of 960 source output channels and can be coupled with a Chip On Film (COF) package and a high-speed serial interface. The new driver is based on enhanced high-voltage analog process technology. The chips supports various resolutions between HD (1,366 x 768) and UHD 4K (3,840 x 2,160), and can support panel sizes ranging from 40 to 80 inches.
Towards the end of 2021 we reported that Apple plans to launch its first AR headset in Q4 2022, powered by dual 4K OLED microdisplays, produced by Sony
According to Ross Young from DSSC, Apple first headset will actually be a VR headset, that uses a foveated display system. The headset will feature three displays - two 4K microLEDs (indeed produced by Sony) and one larger AMOLED display.
Sony announced its 2022 TV lineup, which includes three new OLED TV series, including the A95K, which is the world's first QD-OLED TV ever announced.
The Sony A95K Master XR TV will feature 55" or 65" 4K 120Hz QD-OLED panels (produced by SDC), Sony's XR cognitive processor, Acoustic Surface Audio, XR Triluminos Max and Google TV OS. It features HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision.
LG Electronics officially launched its 2022 OLED TV range. The company will offer OLED TVs from 42-inch (which can also be used as high-end gaming monitors) to 97-inch ones.
During Sony's Technology Day, the company unveiled a new VR headset prototype based on a new 4K OLED microdisplay panel, which was unveiled for the first time.
Sony reports that the new microdisplay features very low latency, with a response time of <0.01 seconds. The prototype display utilizes a white OLED with color-filters architecture.
Apple analyst Ming-chi Kuo says that Apple plans to launch its first AR headset in Q4 2022, powered by dual 4K OLED microdisplays, produced by Sony. The headset will feature Mac-level computer power and will not require a tethered smartphone to operate.
Apple has been working on AR technologies for many years. Last year it was indeed reported in Japan that Apple is working with Sony on its microdisplays. Earlier this year it was reported that Apple has teamed up with TSMC for microdisplay production - but it could be that TSMC will be the manufacturing partner, while Sony will provide the OLED technology and knowhow.
According to a report from Korea, LG Electronics decided to launch its 42-inch OLED TV in 2022. The company first planned to launch it in the second half of 2021. The TV/monitor will target gamers, with support advanced video processing at 120Hz and a 4K resolution.
The reports says that LG decided to do this due to marketing considerations - while LG Display still plans to start production of the 42-inch panels before the end of the year.
OLED microdisplay developer Seeya Information Technology was established in 2016, and in 2017 it started building a $300 million OLED 300 mm microdisplay production line. Seeya's fab is now in operation, with a yearly capacity of around 20 million displays (monthly capacity of 9,000 300 mm wafers).
Seeya quickly became a prominent display maker, who's currently producing high performance displays to global customers. The company says it's currently the world's largest OLED microdisplay maker by volume. Seeya's current standard displays include:
AU Optronics demonstrated two new OLED display prototypes at SID Displayweek 2021. The first display is a 4K 32-inch 144Hz inkjet-printed AMOLED panel.
The second display is a 5.6" rollable dual-sided AMOLED display - which shows images on both side of the display.