OLED is a relatively new display technology that is slowly 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, burn-in
  • Lower brightness (although this may reverse in the future
  • 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 also attempting to enter the consumer market (for example camera EVFs as well). eMagin has several microdisplay product families, with resolutions ranging from VGA to WUXGA (1920x1200) and sizes ranging from 0.5" to 0.77".

Besides eMagin and Sony, there are a few others microdisplays makers - from Europe, China and Korea. According to my information, for example, Google is in talks with France's MicroOLED to supply OLED microdisplays for the next-gen Google Glass hMD.

OLED-Info's OLED Microdisplay Market Report

The 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!