Article last updated on: Feb 08, 2019

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!

The latest OLED microdisplays news:

LetinAR adopts the Fraunhofer's FEP low-power OLED microdisplays in its new pinhole effect PinMR AR technology

The Fraunhofer FEP institute has teamed up with Korean-based LetinAR to develop an ultra-low-power OLED microdisplay based optic lens for AR applications. The Fraunhofer and LetinAR will present the new technology at MWC 2019.

LetinAR & the Fraunhofer Institute - OLED microdisplay and optic photo

LetinAR's PinMR technology uses the Pinhole Effect with tiny mirrors and embedded them with eyeglass lenses. The PinMR mirrors reflect the light generated by a microdisplay and guide it into the user's pupils. Users may view the virtual image created via microdisplay equipped with magnifying see-through optics as well as the image from the real world at ease. Human eyes cannot detect the mirrors, which are smaller than pupils. Only the virtual image formed by the light reflected by those mirrors is visible.

UDC signs an OLED materials evaluation agreement with OLED microdisplay maker Seeya Technology

Universal Display announced an OLED evaluation agreement with China-based OLED Microdisplay producer Seeya Information Technology. UDC will supply Seeya with its phosphorescent OLED materials for display applications. The two companies did not disclose any more details.

In September 2017 Seeya announced plans to build an OLED microdisplay production line in Hefei, China. Seeya's fab will have a yearly capacity of 20 million displays, and will require an investment of almost $300 million USD.

Fuji Chimera: the AMOLED microdisplay market will reach $75 million by 2021 (10.9% CAGR)

Fuji Chimera Research Institute says that the global microdisplay market reached $161 million in 2018, with AMOLED taking up a market share of 27.8%. LCoS is still the leading technology with a market share of 59.7%.

eMagin XGA096 OLED-XL photo

Fuji Chimera expects the OLED microdisplay market to grow to $75 million by 2021 - a CAGR of 10.9%. The average unit price for an OLED microdisplay will reach $32 (35% higher than LCoS microdisplays).

OLED-Info's flexible, VR/AR, microdisplays, automotive and graphene OLED market reports updated to January 2019

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 January 2019.

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!

INT Tech unveils its ultra-high density OLED display technology

Taiwan-based INT Tech unveiled its proprietary glass-based high pixel density OLED technology, that enables the production of over 2,200 PPI displays on glass. Such high resolution displays can find applications in the visually demanding devices in the medical market, the defense market and also for VR headsets.

INT Tech 2.17-inch 2228 PPI OLED display prototype
INT Tech demonstrated a 2.17” 2,228 PPI prototype (see image above). This technology can compete with OLED microdisplays (Silicon based) for high-end VR solutions for 2 merits: they can be larger than silicon-based OLED microdisplays to achieve higher FOV, and they are at a much lower cost.

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-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)