OLED is a next-generation display technology that is replacing LCD displays in several markets, such as small displays for mobile applications, TVs and microdisplays. OLEDs are made from thin films of organic light emitting materials that emit light when electricity is applied. OLEDs have a much simpler structure compared to LCDs and have several advantages over the incumbent technology.

eMagin XGA096 OLED-XL photoeMagin XGA096 OLED-XL

OLED microdisplays vs LCoS microdisplays

OLED microdisplays provide several advantages over the current technology used to make most microdisplays (LCoS) :

  • There's no need for an "external" illumination (or backlight)
  • A larger color gamut
  • Wide viewing angles
  • Better contrast
  • Faster refresh rate
  • Lower power consumption (this depends on the image shown)
  • Wide operation temperature range

OLEDs do have some disadvantages, though:

  • Somewhat lower lifetime and burn-in
  • Lower brightness (although this is improving to the point where OLED microdisplays are very bright)
  • Limited suppliers, limited volume and selection, higher price, "immature" technology

Leading OLED Microdisplay makers

There are several OLED microdisplay makers today. The two leading ones seem to be eMagin and Sony. Sony makes several microdisplays for the consumer market - which are mostly adopted as camera EVFs. For example Sony's a7S full-frame mirrorless digital camera uses an XGA OLED EVF.

eMagin's main markets are the defense, industry and medical markets. They are enter the consumer market - aiming to provide better user experience for VR and AR headsets.

Besides eMagin and Sony, there are a several other microdisplays makers - from Europe, China and Korea.

OLED-Info's OLED Microdisplay Market Report

If you want more in-depth information on the OLED Microdisplay market, look no further! Our OLED Microdisplay Market Report explains:

  • Why OLED microdisplays are better than LCD or DLP ones
  • The disadvantages of OLED microdisplays
  • What kind of displays are available on the market today
  • New technologies on the horizon

The report package also provides a complete list of OLED microdisplay makers and their current (and future) products, and personal contact details into the leading microdisplay makers. Read more here!

Latest OLED Microdisplays news

BOE and OLiGHTEK detail the investment structure of their upcoming OLED microdisplay fab

Aug 30, 2017

In March 2017 display market BOE Technology and OLED Microdisplay maker OLiGHTEK announced a new joint-venture to produce OLED microdisplays for the consumer VR and AR markets. The new venture will establish production fab in Kunming, Yunnan with an annual production capacity of a million OLED microdisplays.

OLiGHTEK OLED microdisplay photo

BOE Technology announced a few days ago the structure of this venture has been finalized. Total investment will amount to ¥1.15 billion (around $172 million USD), a bit higher than first announced. BOE will invest ¥670 billion and will hold a 67% stake. OLiGHTEK will invest ¥200 million.

eMagin reports its financial results for Q2 2017

Aug 11, 2017

OLED microdisplay maker eMagin reported its financial results for Q2 2017. Revenues in the quarter were $5.3 million (down from $5.5 million in Q2 2017) and the net loss was $2.3 million (up slightly from $2.2 million in Q2 2017).

eMagin XGA096 OLED-XL photo

At the end of the quarter, eMagin had $4.9 million in cash and equivalents. eMagin is focused on expanding its presence in military programs, advancing discussions with major consumer electronics companies for VR/AR products and progressing with finding high-volume production partners.

OLED Automotive Market Report

Business Korea says Google aims to invest in LGD to secure VR OLED display capacity

Jul 29, 2017

Business Korea reports that LG Display is in talks with Google regarding a large investment in LGD's OLED facilities towards the development and production of VR displays. BK says the investment will amount of hundreds of billions of Won (equivalent to hundreds of millions USD).

LG VR headset prototype (March 2017)

LGD VR prototype, March 2017

The report is somewhat confusing, though. On the one had it says that Google is interested in OLED microdisplays, and on the other it says that LG will produce the displays in its existing flexible AMOLED lines, which use a different technology than microdisplays (which are produced on Silicon).

OLED-Info's flexible, transparent, VR/AR, microdisplays, automotive and graphene OLED market reports updated to July 2017

Jul 05, 2017

Today we published new versions of our market reports - that cover the flexible, transparent, VR/AR, microdisplays, automotive and graphene OLED markets. OLED-Info provides comprehensive niche OLED market reports, and our reports cover everything you need to know about the niche market, and can be useful if you want to understand how the OLED industry works and what this technology can provide for your own industry. The reports are now updated to July 2017.

The OLED for VR/AR Market Report:

  • Why OLEDs are adopted in almost all VR HMDs
  • What kind of displays are required for VR and AR applications
  • What the future holds for the VR and AR markets
  • Current and future VR and AR systems

The report package provides a great introduction to the emerging VR and AR market, and details the role that OLED displays will have. Read more here!

BOE's new OLED, LCD and QD displays from SID 2017 shown in video

Jun 22, 2017

Last month BOE demonstrated several exciting new display technologies at the SID DisplayWeek, and now we have this very nice (and long) video that shows most of BOE's new displays.

We start with a tablet-phone device, a 7.56" foldable touch-enabled OLED that features an QXGA (2048x1536) resolution, a bending radius of 5 mm and a contrast rate of over 70,000:1.

Kopin and Goertek unveil an OLED microdisplay based VR HMD reference design

Jun 02, 2017

In January 2017 Kopin unveiled its first OLED microdisplay, the 1-inch 120 Hz 2k x 2k Lightning panel, and in March 2017 Kopin announced that it is developing a VR headset in collaboration with Goertek - a mobile VR headset that uses the Lightning OLED microdisplay.

Kopin & Goertek Elf VR OLED reference design photo

The two companies now unveiled their VR headset reference design, called the Elf VR. The Elf VR utilizes Kopin's Lightning OLED microdisplay to create a headset that is lighter, more efficient and with a higher image quality compared to the current VR headsets based on smartphone-sized OLEDs. The Elf VR adopts an advanced optical solution with a compact Multi-Lens design. The reference design supports two novel optics solutions – 70 degrees FOV for film-like beauty or 100 degrees FOV for deep immersion.

VueReal developed a 6000-PPI Micro-LED Microdisplay

Jun 01, 2017

Canada-based VueReal has developed a 4K Micro-LED microdisplay (6000 PPI). The company plans to finish the verification and evaluation this year and provide samples to several interested customers by October 2017. In 2018 VueReal will start mass producing such displays for niche customers and aim to license its technology for display makers.

VueReal prototype 6000PPI MicroLED Micrdisplay photo

VueReal says that its "Continous Pixelation" Technology enables it to achieve low-power high brightness (10,000 nits) high-density displays at very high yields and at an affordable price.

eMagin raises $6.6 million in an underwritten offering

May 20, 2017

OLED microdisplay maker eMagin announced that it is set to raise $6.6 million in an underwritten offering. eMagin will sell shares and warrants to a single institutional investor and to Stillwater LLC. The shares are priced at $2 and the warrants have an exercise price of $2.45 (the current eMagin share price is $2.5).

An eMagin OLED microdisplay

eMagin is currently losing money, and at the end of the previous quarter had only $3.8 million in cash and equivalents. eMagin is looking to increase production capacity as it enters the consumer display market and is seeking a production partner.

Oculus demonstrates a focal surface display prototype using eMagin's WUXGA OLED microdisplays

May 18, 2017

Oculus developed a new way to improve extended focus depth issues with VR HMDs. The so-called focal surface display augments a regular HMD setup by using a spatially programmable focusing element placed between the eyepiece and the underlying color display.

Oculus's prototype unit uses an eMagin WUXGA (1920×1200) 60 Hz color microOLED display. Oculus is currently using SDC's AMOLED displays in its commercial HMDs. It is great to see the company experimenting with microOLED displays as well, even if these are just prototypes at this stage.

eMagin reports its financial results for Q1 2017

May 16, 2017

OLED microdisplay maker eMagin reported its financial results for Q1 2017. Revenues in the quarter were $6.1 million (down from $7 million in Q1 2016). Product revenues totaled $4.4 million (down from $5.3 million in Q1 2016 but up from $3.7 million in Q4 2016). Net loss was $2 million (compared to a net income of $11,000 in Q1 2016).

eMagin XGA096 OLED-XL photo

At the end of the quarter eMagin had $3.8 million in cash and equivalents. The company's main objectives in the near future is to advance its technology and complete the direct-patterning development, achieve consumer design wins for VR and AR headset makers and sign a large-scale production agreement to support the large volumes required for consumer displays.