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.
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!
The latest OLED microdisplays news:
According to rumors from Japan, Sony is set to supply Apple with OLED Microdisplays for Apple's future AR headset project. The rumors did not include more information than that...
Apple (like all other consumer electronics giants) is very active with AR R&D, as many believe that AR headsets will be very popular in the future and may replace smartphones. While I'm a bit skeptical about this technology, it is evident that many companies are increasing their R&D efforts in this field.
OLED-Info's foldable, flexible, VR/AR, transparent, microdisplays, automotive and graphene OLED market reports updated to October 2020
Today we published new versions of our market reports - that cover the flexible, 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 October 2020.
- Why flexible displays and lighting panels are so exciting
- What kind of flexible displays are currently on the market
- All about the foldable OLED market and industry
- What the future holds for flexible OLEDs
- How to acquire flexible OLEDs for your products
The report package provides a good introduction to the flexible and foldable OLED market - present and future. It details both flexible displays and lighting technologies. Read more here!
Yole Développement (Yole) says that the microdisplay market is set for impressive growth in the next few years, with the CAGR from 2020 to 2025 at 100%. Microdisplay module revenues will reach $4.2 billion in 2025, $1.8 billion of which will be for AR headsets.
This optimistic forecast has a warning though - it all depends whether next-generation display technologies will deliver on their promises - and whether actual use-cases will be found and commercialized.
French OLED microdisplay maker MicroOLED announced that it has raised €8 million by EU-based Cipio Partners and Ventech.
MicroOLED recently launched a new compact optical module called ActiveLook, and the company reports it is being adopted by eyewear companies such as Julbo, UVEX and others.
OLED microdisplay maker eMagin announced reported its financial results for Q2 2020. Revenues reached $7.7 million, an increase of 44% from Q2 2019. Operating loss was $1.3 million (down from $2.8 million in Q2 2019).
eMagin says it continues to see strong demand for its microdisplays in the military market, and also in the medical market. At the end of the quarter eMagin's backlog was $13.3 million of products to be shipped in the next 12 months. Cash and equivalents at the end of the quarter were $11.5 million.
OLED-Info is proud to announce an important update to our OLED Microdisplay market report, which now adds a microLED microdisplay section. MicroLED technology shows great promise to enable extremely high-brightness and high-efficiency displays, but there are still challenges to overcome. The report now include details on all microLED microdisplay developers and includes more datasheets and product information - for both OLED and MicroLED microdisplays.
This market report provides a great introduction to both OLED and MicroLED microdisplays, and covers everything you need to know about next-generation microdisplays. This is a great guide if you're considering to adopt microdisplays in your product and if you want to understand this industry better.
Kopin Corporation announced in January 2020 that the company developed a new double-stack OLED architecture that enables brighter microdisplays with longer lifetime. Earlier this yeare Kopin announced a new 1.3" 2560x2560 OLED microdisplay, developed with Panasonic and Lakeside Optoelectronic, that uses the new double-stack architecture and achieves brightness of over 1,000 nits.
Kopin 1" 2k x 2k OLED Lightning microdisplay
Kopin now announced that its latest 720p OLED Lightning dual-stack OLED display has exhibited very high brightness of 7000 nits with good color and high contrast. Kyulux explained that to achieve this high brightness, it has worked with its partner, Lakeside Optoelectronics to optimize the duo-stack OLED structure to output color spectrum to match the bandpass of the color filters for high color fidelity, coupled with very high current efficiency and low operating voltage.
This week at SID DisplayWeek LG Display will launch a new OLED microdisplay. Branded as OLEDoS, LGD's display is a 0.42" 1280x720 (3,500 PPI) panel that uses a color-filter based design.
LGD's microdisplay achieves very high brightness (over 4,000 nits) and the color gamut is quoted as DCI > 97% DCI.
OLED lighting developer OLEDWorks announced that it has developed a high-performance multi-stack OLED microdisplay technology. Next week at SID Displayweek OLEDWorks will present the technology, and results from 3, 4 and 5-stack microdisplay formulations.
OLEDWorks explains that it has realized its multi-stack OLED lighting technology - and the results are "exceptional". The company says that combined wit its unique and cost-effective manufacturing technology, microdisplays based on this new technology could combine high brightness, long lifetimes, exceptional power efficiencies - all at a low manufacturing cost.
In 2012, we first heard that eMagin is developing direct emission (or direct patterning, as the company calls it) OLED microdisplays. Fast forward into 2020, and the company is aiming to soon start producing such displays (it already launched its first such panel, see more below). In this article we'll look into the technology and the latest updates from eMagin.
All current OLED microdisplays on the market from all producers use a white OLED with color filter. This is a simple design, but it is wasteful in energy, as the filters block around 80% of the light, and in addition to achieve the white color one needs to use a blue OLED emitter (in addition to a yellow one, or red and green ones) - and blue is the least efficient color for OLED emission.