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:
OLED microdisplay maker eMagin reported its financial results for Q1 2020. The company's revenues increased 10% from last year to reach $6.7 million, exceeding the company's prior expectations - primarily due to contract R&D from designing a direct patterning display for a Tier-One customer in the consumer space. eMagin also reports a slight increase in military R&D contracts.
eMagin's operating loss in the quarter was $1.3 million. At March 31, 2020, the Company had cash and cash equivalents of $3.1 million.
This article is an extract from The MicroLED Handbook, 2020 edition, and gives a short introduction to the current market status of MicroLED Microdisplays. The handbook was published in January 2020 - there has been some updates since then, for example Plessey's recent soft-acquisition by Facebook and MICLEDI's technology was revealed.
There are several companies that develop microLED microdisplays, and these are gearing up to begin mass production of displays soon. It is likely that microdisplays will be the first type of commercial displays enabled by microLED technology.
Kopin Corporation reported its financial results for Q1 2020 - with $7.9 million in revenues (up 42% from Q1 2019) and a 50% decrease in R&D expenses as the company implements its strategic realignment program.
Kopin also announced that during the quarter it received the first commercial order for its OLED backplane wafers. Interestingly Kopin says the order was for wafers and not complete displays. Kopin says that its current internal R&D investments are primarily focused on OLED displays.
Korea-based OLED equipment maker Sunic System announced it has received a $22.6 million order for OLED deposition equipment from BOE. The tools will be used to deposit OLED microdisplays.
BOE is currently producing OLED microdisplays at its $170 million fab in Yunnan - the world's largest OLED microdisplay fab constructed in collaboration with OLiGHTEK. In December 2018 BOE announced its second, and larger, OLED microdisplay fab in Yunnan, which will cost a total of $486 million. It is likely that this new order is aimed for BOE's 2nd fab. Sunic says it will deliver the systems by November 2020.
OLED-Info's foldable, flexible, VR/AR, transparent, microdisplays and automotive OLED market reports updated to April 2020
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 April 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!
This is a guest post by Sri Peruvemba, Chair of Marketing, Society for Information Display
How will computing change in the coming years? The better question to ask is what won’t change. Thanks to a new platform, microdisplays and computing in general will transform how we communicate, how we live, even the way we express ourselves to each another. Ultimately, laptops, tablets, phones or smartwatches will go the way of the CRT. As will keyboards and mice. They’ll be replaced by innovative new wearables, inconspicuous devices that will interpret eye-blinks, voice commands, and hand gestures. A miniscule camera will follow your fingertips and body movements, allowing you to transpose images and text with ease, not unlike those depicted in Ready Player One.
The basic technology is here—used by Google, Microsoft, Oculus, MagicLeap, and other pioneers. And so is the demand. Refinements that improve performance and drive down costs are needed. But the world’s biggest players are on board. Form will follow function. Economies of scale will nosedive production costs. Within this realm, three display technologies have moved to the forefront. One appears to be slipstreaming those behind it into the 22nd century—microOLEDs.
The company's booking in Q4 2019 were a record for eMagin, exceeding $15 million. The company received 80 orders and it has started a new consumer-related AR development project for a next-generation display for a Tier-1 customer.
In January 2019 Taiwan-based INT Tech unveiled its proprietary glass-based high pixel density OLED technology, and the company now announced that its first prototype display was produced and successfully tested.
INT Tech's display is a 0.7" 2,300 PPI real RGB side-by-side AMOLED display. INT Tech says that its technology enables larger displays with higher brightness, lower power consumption and a wider color gamut compared to currently available OLED microdisplays which are produced on silicon.
Panasonic developed HDR 4K VR eyeglasses that utilize Kopin's OLED Microdisplays. The microdisplay-based design enabled Panasonic to offer a smaller and lighter solution compared to current VR headsets that use large (usually around 3" per eye) displays.
Panasonic says that the new eyeglasses provide high-quality images without any screen-door effect. Panasonic is not releasing these as a product yet, but the company says that it will continue to further develop the new VR glasses for new applications.
Kopin Corporation announced that the company developed a new double-stack OLED architecture that enables brighter microdisplays with longer lifetime.
Kopin 1" 2k x 2k OLED Lightning microdisplay
Last week Kopin announced a new 1.3" 2560x2560 OLED microdisplay, and the company now reveals that this display uses the new double-stack architecture and achieves brightness of over 1,000 nits. Kopin also says that this display was co-developed with Panasonic and Lakeside Optoelectronic.