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: Apple, LG and Valve did not participate in the latest offering

On January 2018 OLED microdisplay maker eMagin announced that it plans to raise $11.5 million in an underwritten public offering, and on the company's filing it mentioned five specific investors - Apple, LG Display, Valve Corporation, Stillwater Holdings and Immerex.

eMagin SXGA OLED-XL microdisplay photo

While we all assumed these companies invested in eMagin, the company released a statement yesterday saying that this is not the case - "As of today, to the Company’s knowledge, none of these consumer electronics companies have taken part in the offering.". eMagin's CFO says that "eMagin listed those companies in the filing because it had discussions with them at industry event".

LG, Apple and Valve participated in eMagin's latest funding round

Update: eMagin published a statement saying that these companies (Apple, LG, Valve, Stillwater and Immerex) in fact did not participate in the offering.

On January 2018 OLED microdisplay maker eMagin announced that it plans to raise $11.5 million in an underwritten public offering, which closed on January 29. It turns out that eMagin's SEC filing specifies five investors - Apple, LG Display, Valve Corporation, Stillwater Holdings and Immerex.

eMagin XGA096 OLED-XL photo

eMagin has been saying that it is working with large companies ("Tier-1") on its consumer VR technologies, and it is a very encouraging sign to see this impressive list of new investors. Apple's AR and VR plans are still unknown, but it has been assumed for a long time that Apple is looking into OLED microdisplays, and it's interest in eMagin is not a surprise. LG is also interested in VR and AR displays, and is reportedly collaborating with Google, and it's great to see it investing in eMagin as well.

The OLED Marketplace, find your OLED here

eMagin reports strong preliminary Q4 2017 results and a strong backlog into 2018

OLED microdisplay maker eMagin reported its preliminary financial results for Q4 2017. Revenues are expected to be between $6.2 million to $6.4 million - a 35% to 39% increase from Q4 2016 and up 44% to 49% from Q3 2017. The company's backlog for 2018 is $9.8 million - an increase of 53% compared to the backlog entering 2017.

eMagin XGA096 OLED-XL photo

eMagin says that the improvement in preliminary revenues reflects both the expected pickup in military demand as well as contributions from commercial projects. At the end of 2017 the company had $3.5 million in cash and equivalents and had a revolving credit loan balance of $4.0 million.

Kopin announces a new 720p OLED microdisplay, updates on its production plans

Kopin Corporation announced a new 0.49" 1280x720 lightning OLED microdisplay with a brightness of 1000 nits. The new display runs at 60Hz (which is rather low for VR, which usually requires 90Hz or higher) and consumers less than 40 mW.

Kopin Lightning OLED microdisplay photo

Kopin 1" 2k x 2k OLED Lightning microdisplay

Kopin already announced a first device to use this new display, the Pico Interactive Eagle. This is Kopin's second OLED microdisplay, following the 1-inch 120 Hz 2k x 2k Lightning panel introduced in January 2017.

eMagin signs an agreement with a US-based chipmaker to support its consumer VR/AR OLED microdisplay scale-up

OLED microdisplay maker eMagin announced that it has signed an agreement with a U.S.-based chipmaker to support mass production of its OLED microdisplays for the consumer AR and VR markets. eMagin did not name its new partner, but it did say that this agreement will help it meet the cost requirements of the high volume consumer segment.

eMagin SXGA OLED-XL microdisplay photoeMagin's new partner will provide backplane and interface design support required by eMagin's customers. eMagin is focused on its 2K direct-patterning OLED microdisplays for the VR and AR consumer markets. The company already signed up several customers, here is the latest agreement announced two months ago.

The LOMID project partners manage to produce 1" curved WUXGA OLED Microdisplays at satisfactory yields

In January 2015 the EU launched a new project to develop aims to develop next-generation large-area OLED microdisplays. The so-called LOMID (Large cost-effective OLED microdisplays and their applications) project's main goal is to produce 13x21 mm (~1-inch diagonal) 1200x1920 (2,300 PPI) 120Hz curved OLED microdisplay.

LOMID 1'' curved WUXGA OLED microdisplay photo (Dec 2017)

Dr. Uwe Fogel, the project's coordinator from the Fraunhofer FEP institute, updated today that the consortium managed to produce the first microdisplay samples at satisfactory yields, and it is now improving these yields. LOMID partners are already demonstrating the microdisplays in smart glasses for both VR and visually-impaired people.

eMagin reports its financial results for Q3 2017

OLED microdisplay maker eMagin reported its financial results for Q3 2017. Revenues in the third quarter were $4.3 million, the same as in Q3 2016. Net loss was $3 million in the quarter. As of September 30, eMagin had $2 million in cash and equivalents and a borrowing availability of $3.7 million.

eMagin XGA096 OLED-XL photo

The results were disappointing, in part due to a manufacturing issue that have since been resolved, according to eMagin. The company says it has experienced a heightened level of activity in the third quarter, both in its commercial initiatives as well as its military programs.

Kopin reports development orders for its OLED microdisplays from several tier-1 companies

In January 2017 Kopin unveiled its first OLED microdisplay, the 1-inch 120 Hz 2k x 2k Lightning panel, and later reported on an "overwhelming" reaction and a first design win with GoerTek. Kopin now updates that it has "received development orders from several Tier 1 global partners".

Kopin Lightning OLED microdisplay photo

In April 2017, Kopin announced that it reached agreements with both OLiGHTEK and BOE Technology to meet its production needs. Kopin has secured capacity from OLiGHTEK's OLED microdisplay fab for the near term (production should begin in Q1 2018) and will also utilize BOE and OLiGHTEK future OLED microdisplay fab.

eMagin signed a development and licensing agreement with a tier-one CE company

OLED microdisplay maker eMagin announced that it has signed a development and licensing agreement with a tier-one consumer electronics company permitting it to use eMagin technology, specifically its direct-patterned OLED microdisplays.

An eMagin OLED microdisplay

eMagin says that this is a major step towards the commercialization of the company's proprietary OLED microdisplay technology. It seems that according to the agreement the Tier-One CE company will only pay eMagin licensing revenues if and when it decides to commercialize its microdisplays.