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 are considered to be the current state-of-the-art near-eye display technology. OLEDs offer many advantages over LCoS microdisplays :
- 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
The OLED Microdisplay market
There are several OLED microdisplay makers today, and as the consumer AR marketing is "right around the corner", several new players are entering the market. OLED microdisplay makers include eMagin, Sony, OLiGHTEK, Kopin, BOE and SeeYa.
OLED-Info's OLED and MicroLED Microdisplay Market Report
If you want more in-depth information on the OLED (and MicroLED) Microdisplay market, look no further! Our OLED and MicroLED 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, including MicroLED microdisplays
The report package also provides a complete list of OLED and microLED microdisplay makers and developers, their current (and future) products, and personal contact details into the leading microdisplay makers. Read more here!
The latest OLED microdisplays news:
China-based display technology developer Viewtrix (also known as Yunyinggu) announced that it is starting to produce its AMOLED and OLED microdisplay driver ICs. Viewtrix plans to produce 10 million AMOLED driver ICs by the end of the year - which is about 10% of the total Chinese market.
Viewtrix also announced that it has secured its Series D financing round, totalling $45.6 million, led by Sequoia Capital China.
Earlier in 2020 Taiwan-based INT Tech signed an agreement to establish a $143 million OLED display fab in the city of Taizhou in Zhejiang province, China. The company now updated us that the plant construction is progressing and production of the company's first displays (0.7-inch RGB AMOLED) is expected to begin in Q4 2021.
INT Tech developed a proprietary glass-based high pixel density OLED technology - which enables ultra high-resolution displays on glass TFT backplanes. The company is aiming to produce lower-cost and higher-performance microdisplays for the AR/XR markets. Earlier this year INT Tech announced that it has produced its first prototype - a 0.7" 2,300 PPI real RGB side-by-side AMOLED display, which will be the company's first commercial display.
Yesterday Oppo hosted its Oppo INNO Day 2020, during which it unveiled two interesting concept devices. First up is the Oppo X, a rollable OLED smartphone that can open up to increase the display size:
When closed the Oppo X has a 6.7-inch AMOLED, and when rolled open it can reach 7.4 inches. Inside the phone the display scrolls around a 6.8mm 'scroll motor'. Oppo says it applied 122 patents for this specific phone, with 12 patents protecting the scroll mechanism. This is still just a concept, and Oppo did not disclose any commercialization plans.
OLED microdisplay maker eMagin posted its financial results for Q3 2020. While the company had a strong quarter in its main military market, but eMagin total sales were lower than expected as the medical and commercial markets were effected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
eMagin reports revenues of $7.3 million, a decline of $0.6 million from Q3 2019. Net loss for the third quarter of 2020 was $3.5 million compared to a loss of $0.3 million in 2019. At the end of the quarter, eMagin had cash and equivalents worth $10.3 million. The company's backlog at the end of the quarter was $10 million.
OLED microdisplay developer Seeya Information Technology started building a $300 million OLED microdisplay production line in 2017. Seeya's fab is now in operation, with a yearly capacity of around 20 million displays (monthly capacity of 9,000 12" wafers).
Seeya produces several OLED microdisplays, including a 0.49" FHD, 1.03" 2560x2560 and a large 1.4" 2560x2560 display.
Seiko Epson announced that it has developed its fourth generation optical engines for smart glasses, which will be used in the company's future Moverio series - and will also be offered to customers in the consumer and industrial smart glasses markets.
The new optical engine boasts 1.5X greater density, 5X greater contrast, and a 1.5X wider field of view than Epson's previous optical engines. Epson has developed a new OLED microdisplay (branded as Si-OLED) that is 0.453-inch in size with a resolution of 1920x1080 and a contrast ratio of 500,000:1.
According to rumors from Japan, Sony is set to supply Apple with OLED Microdisplays for Apple's future AR headset project. The rumors did not include more information than that...
Apple (like all other consumer electronics giants) is very active with AR R&D, as many believe that AR headsets will be very popular in the future and may replace smartphones. While I'm a bit skeptical about this technology, it is evident that many companies are increasing their R&D efforts in this field.
OLED-Info's foldable, flexible, VR/AR, transparent, microdisplays, automotive and graphene OLED market reports updated to October 2020
Today we published new versions of our market reports - that cover the flexible, 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 October 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!
Yole Développement (Yole) says that the microdisplay market is set for impressive growth in the next few years, with the CAGR from 2020 to 2025 at 100%. Microdisplay module revenues will reach $4.2 billion in 2025, $1.8 billion of which will be for AR headsets.
This optimistic forecast has a warning though - it all depends whether next-generation display technologies will deliver on their promises - and whether actual use-cases will be found and commercialized.
French OLED microdisplay maker MicroOLED announced that it has raised €8 million by EU-based Cipio Partners and Ventech.
MicroOLED recently launched a new compact optical module called ActiveLook, and the company reports it is being adopted by eyewear companies such as Julbo, UVEX and others.