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

eMagin reported its financial results for Q3 2018

OLED microdisplay maker eMagin reported its financial results for Q3 2018. eMagin said it had another strong quarter supported by growth in its military with several new program wins and in its commercial business. Total revenues were $6.9 million (a 60% increase from Q3 2017), and operating loss was $1.3 million (down from $3 million in Q3 2018). Including a non-cash change in value of warrants, the company had a small net profit in the quarter.

eMagin SXGA OLED-XL microdisplay photo

Regarding its consumer business, eMagin updates that it has achieved design approval from one of its Tier-1 consumer electronics partners. eMagin's foundry partner will produce wafer for display prototypes for this customer. eMagin says that its direct-emission OLED microdisplays meets the wide field of view, no screen door effect and high brightness that the partner requires.

OLED Microdisplays now available on the OLED Marketplace

We're happy to announce that The OLED Marketplace is now listing OLED Microdisplays, in addition to the current wide offering of PMOLED and AMOLED displays.

OLED Microdisplays are tiny (usually less than one inch in diameter) displays used in near-eye applications - such as VR/AR, industrial and military applications and more. The OLED microdisplay market is seeing increased interest at these microdisplays can enable much smaller and more efficient VR systems, compared to the current HMDs which use smartphone-sized OLED displays.

OLED Microdisplays Market Report

OLED-Info's flexible, VR/AR, microdisplays, PMOLED, automotive and graphene OLED market reports updated to July 2018

Today we published new versions of our market reports - that cover the flexible, VR/AR, microdisplays, automotive, PMOLED 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 2018.

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!

The US Army wants to replace the LCD microdisplays with OLEDs in the next generation F-35 helmet

The current F-35 Joint Strike Fighter $400,000 helmet uses an LCD microdisplay (produced by Kopin), which has a "technical bug" - a green glow (from the LED backlighting) that prevents pilots from seeing a carrier's lights at night.

F-35 helmet HMD photo

The US Navy is working to replace the LCD microdisplay with an OLED one. The new OLED display will be ready for field testing "sometime early next year".

ETNews: BOE and OLiGHTEK to start trial OLED microdisplay production in early 2019

In March 2017 OLED maker BOE Technology and OLED Microdisplay maker OLiGHTEK announced a new $170 million joint-venture to produce OLED microdisplays for the consumer VR and AR markets.

Today we have a report from Korean ET News site that BOE is getting ready to start trial production in the new fab in early 2019. Kunming BOE Display Technology, the JV that was established by BOE and OLiGHTEK has began to order equipment for its new fab (including CVD, ALD, AOI and sputters)

eMagin reports its Q2 2018 financial results

OLED microdisplay maker eMagin reported its financial results for Q2 2018 - revenues increased 34% over Q2 2017 to reach $7.1 million, and net loss was $1 million (excluding one-time charges). At the end of the quarter, the company had $8.7 million in cash and equivalents. eMagin's backlog at the end of June was $10.3 million (an increase of $0.5 million from the end of 2017).

eMagin XGA096 OLED-XL photo

eMagin says it sold OLED microdisplays to 75 customers (including 3 new ones) during the quarter - for a wide range of applications including night vision, thermal weapon sights and see-through HMD systems for mounted and dismounted missions. The company improved its production yields (with some support from the US government for OLED production and yield improvement project) and its product quality.

Fraunhofer researchers use electron beam to micro-pattern OLED microdisplays

Researchers from the Fraunhofer FEP institute developed a new micro-patterning process using an electron beam to produce OLED microdisplays on silicon substrates. This could enable a new way to produce direct-emission OLED microdisplays, which will be more efficient and bright compared to the current ones that use color filters.

Electron Beam Patterning for OLED microdisplays (Fraunhofer)

The electron beam patterning is performed after the encapsulation step - the beam goes through the encapsulation layer and can be used to modify the emission of the OLED materials. To create red, green, and blue pixels, an organic layer of the OLED itself is ablated by a thermal electron beam process.

Yole: LCoS, DLP and MicroLED displays to dominate the AR market, OLEDs will not grab a large market share

Yole Developpement sees the AR market finally emerging in 2022 or 2023 - as there are still several challenges to solve before AR systems that are good enough for mass adoption.

AR display forecasts (2018-2027, Yole Developpement)

Yole sees OLED microdisplays (OLED on Silicon) as the best current technology, but by 2022 it is likely that MicroLED displays will prove better than OLEDs - and so OLED shipments to the AR market will always be quite limited in volume.

OLED-Info's transparent, flexible, VR/AR, microdisplays, automotive and graphene OLED market reports updated to July 2018

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 2018.

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!

The Fraunhofer FEP demonstrated the LOMID 1-inch OLED microdisplay at SID 2018

In January 2015 the EU launched the LOMID project to develop next-generation large-area OLED microdisplays, and in 2017 the partners in the project announced the production of a 1-inch diagonal 1200x1920 (2,300 PPI) 120Hz curved OLED microdisplay.

The Fraunhofer FEP demonstrated this panel at SID 2018, as you can see in the video above. The institute also demonstrated a new design which uses two such panels and special optics to provide double the resolution for each eye.