Pioneer, based in Japan, was founded in 1938, and is producing home and car electronics systems. Pioneer was the first company to actually make OLED displays - back in 1998.

Pioneer today produces a wide range of high-end PMOLED panels. The company used to produce AMOLED display but exited from the AMOLED display market in 2005.

In February 2010, Pioneer announced it has entered the OLED Lighting market, together with Mitsubishi Chemicals. Pioneer is producing the panels using Mitsubishi's technology. They are sold under the Verbatim brand.

In January 2013 Pioneer established a new subsidiary called Pioneer OLED Lighting Devices to handle its OLED lighting business. In June 2017 Pioneer merged its OLED lighting business with Konica Minolta's OLED lighting unit to create a 50:50 joint venture, called Konica Minolta Pioneer OLED. In 2019 Pioneer withdrew from the OLED lighting market, and KMPO was dissolved and merged back into Konica Minolta.

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The latest Pioneer OLED news:

OLEDs at L+B 2016, part 1

This is the first part of a guest-post by Organic Lights. Here are the second and third parts.

The newest developments in OLED technology were eagerly anticipated at this year’s Light and Building show in Frankfurt. Could the latest technical advances and changes to the cost of panel manufacture finally allow the predicated breakthrough into the market?

Light and Building 2016 was host to four OLED Technology manufacturers, all demonstrating the capabilities of their products to an impressed audience.

Pioneer demonstrates a transparent OLED automotive brake light

Pioneer is demonstrating a very nice looking transparent OLED automotive brake system. The idea is to embed this unit in the vehicle's rear window - so it is transparent and allows for a greater field of view, but when you press the brakes it emits a bright red light:

The idea of embedding an OLED in the rear window is not new, but this is a nice implementation by Pioneer.

Mitsubishi and Pioneer to start mass producing color-tunable OLEDs made using a wet-coating process

Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation Pioneer Corporation have developed a color-tunable and dimmable OLED lighting panel produced using Mitsubishi's wet-coating process. The companies say that this panel can be produced for less than one-third of the cost of OLEDs made with regular evaporation-based production methods.

MCPionner color-tunable wet-coated OLED prototype photo

Mitsubishi and Pioneer say that these panels will be mass produced in early 2016. They will make three panels, the OLE-P0505 (55x55 mm, active area 40x35 mm), the OLE-P0707 (69x69 mm, active area 54x51 mm) and the OLE-P0909 (92x92 mm, active area 76x76 mm). All three panels are 1.08 mm thick and feature a max luminance of 2,000 cd/m2 and a color temperature of 3000K to 5000K. The panels will be distributed by MC Pioneer OLED Lighting Corporation.

Mitsubishi and Pioneer launched bluelight-less OLED lighting panels

Mitsubishi Chemical and Pioneer announced that they developed a bluelight-less OLED lighting panel. The OLE-P0909-C3S module which contains this panel is actually already shipping, and it is produced using the wet-coating process developed by the two Japanese companies.

MPOL bluelight-less OLED photo

The new panel emits a minimal portion of blue light - less than 1% of the amount emitted by Mitsubishi and Pioneer's regular 3000K OLED panel. The panel is a candle-color type - with a 1900K color temperature. The module size is 92.4x92.4 mm (active area 76x76 mm) and is 4.3 mm thick. The maximum luminance is 3,000 cd/m2.

Mitsubishi doubles the lifetime of their wet-coating OLED lighting panels

In early 2014, Pioneer and Mitsubishi Chemical announced that they began to mass produce OLED lighting modules made with a "wet coating system". Soluble OLED processes should offer a great production cost reduction - but Mitsubishi's panel suffered from limited lifetime (15,000 hours).

According to a new report from Japan, Mitsubishi managed to double the lifetime, and their newest panels offer 30,000 hours. This was achieved by new longer-lasing OLED materials and a different device structure. Mitsubishi already shipped panel samples to lighting equipment makers and will setup up their marketing effort soon via their Pioneer JV (MC Pioneer OLED Lighting).

New OLED luminaries are first to use Pioneer and Mitsubishi's printed OLED panels

A few days ago Pioneer and Mitsubishi Chemical announced that they began to mass produce OLED lighting modules made with a "wet coating system". The two Japanese companies estimated that the new process will reduce the cost of the OLED panel by 90% compared to the current production method.

Today I found this nice video showing two new OLED luminaries (the Wireframe and the Magic Tiles Nine) designed by Ely Rozenberg and Mauro Del Santo. This project was organized by Pioneer, Mitsubishi and +ISO and those are apparently the first lamps to use Pioneer's new printed OLED panels.

Pioneer and Mitsubishi begin to mass produce cheap wet-coated OLED lighting panels

Pioneer announced that they began to mass produce OLED lighting modules made with a "wet coating system". The production technology was co-developed by Pioneer and Mitsubishi Chemical. The panels will be distributed by MC Pioneer OLED Lighting Corporation.

The two companies currently produce a single module that is 92.4 x 92.4 mm in size (active area 76x76 mm) and 4.3 mm thick. It weighs 42 grams. The color temperature is 2870K and the maximum luminance is 3,000 cd/m2. Unfortunately they did not reveal the efficiency and lifetime of this OLED.

Verbatim to unveil new printed and flexible OLED panels

In October 2013 Mitsubishi Chemical and Pioneer announced that they plan to start producing printed OLED lighting panels in 2014. Now Verbatim announced that it will bring an OLED panel produced using a "web coating process" to the Light + Building exhibition in April. Verbatim will also demonstrate a flexible OLED lighting panel for the first time.

We don't have any more information regarding Verbatim's new panels. In October 2013, however, Pioneer and Mitsubishi said that their panels use coating only for the bottom layer, while the emissive and top layers are deposited using VTE.

Mitsubishi and Pioneer to start producing printed OLED lighting panels in 2014

Mitsubishi Chemical and Pioneer have been jointly developing OLED lighting technologies for a long time, including printed OLED panels. The companies are currently producing OLED lighting panels in which the bottom layer is coated and the emissive layer and the top layers are deposited by evaporation in vacuum (VTE).

Now the two companies presented a prototype panel in which both the bottom layer and the emissive layer were coated (the top layer was still deposited using VTE). The companies say this new process will reduce the cost of the panel to 10% compared to current OLEDs due to improved material utilization. They also say that the new panels will feature much longer lifetimes.

Global OLED Technology says they prevailed in the Kodak lawsuit, assigned 3 more patents and Pioneer's OLED license

Global OLED Technology logoIn December 2012, LG's Global OLED Technology (GOT) filed a lawsuit against Eastman Kodak, claiming that 18 of Kodak's patent actually belong to GOT. Kodak said these aren't related to OLEDs and so were not part of the 2009 deal (when GOT bought about 2,200 OLED patents and patent applications from Kodak). GOT also wanted to recover royalty payments from Pioneer that were paid to Kodak and not GOT (he Pioneer license was supposed to have been transferred to GOT but apparently Kodak wasn't able to obtain consent for the transfer).

Today GOT reported that the US court ordered Kodak to assign ownership of 3 patents to GOT (US patents #6,717,560, #6,892,014 and #6,999,138). This was a settlement agreed to by GOT and Kodak. Kodak will also assign the Pioneer license agreement to GOT, including all rights to receive royalty payments from Pioneer under the license.

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