Denso invests $280 million in JOLED and takes a 15% stake

According to the Nikkei Asian Review, autopart maker Denso agreed to invest 30 billion yen (around $282 million) in JOLED. Denso will hold a 15% stake in JOLED. Denso is not just a financial investor - by partnering with Denso, JOLED aims to penetrate the automotive display market.

JOLED 4K prototype OLED Monitor (July 2017, Japan)

Towards the end of 2017, JOLED started commercial production of its 21.6" 4K OLED panels. But this is very low volume production (at JOLED's pilot 4.5-Gen line) and JOLED is seeking to raise $900 million to support its plan to start mass producing OLEDs in 2019. Besides Denso, Panasonic, Sony, Sumitomo Chemical and Screen Holdings each agreed to invest 5 billion yen (around $47 million). Denso is still seeking investors to complete its 900 million round.

BOE plans to construct a third flexible OLED line in Chongqing

In October 2017 BOE started to produce flexible OLED displays at its first flexible OLED line, the Chengdu B7 6-Gen fab. In addition to this fab in Chengdu, in October 2016 BOE announced another 6-Gen OLED fab, in Mianyang, with a similar capacity.

BOE Flexible AMOLED prototype photo

In November 2017 reports from Korea suggested that BOE is planning its third flexible OLED Line, as the Chinese company aims to ramp up production quickly and be able to supply flexible OLEDs to Apple in the future. Today BOE officially announced its plans to construct its third line in Chongqing's Liangjiang New District. BOE's new fab will cost 46.5 billion Yuan, or about $7.3 billion USD.

UDC reports an excellent Q4 2017, but guidance for 2018 is lower than expected

Universal Display reported its financial results for Q4 2017. Revenues reached a record $115.9 million, up 55% from $74.6 million in Q4 2016. Revenues from material sales were $59.8 million (up 105% from $29.2 million in Q4 2016). Net income was $57.9 million (up from $23.1 million in Q4 2016).

UDC emitter and host materials photo

UDC concluded a very successful 2017. Revenues were $335.6 million (up 68% from $198.9 in 2016) and net income was $103.9 million (up from $48.1 million in 2016). Net income included a onetime charge of $11.5 million from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Net cash generated in 2017 was $133 million.

Nagase invests $4.6 million in TADF developer Kyulux

Japan-based chemical producer Nagase announced that it invested ¥500 million Yen ($4.6 million USD) in Hyperfluoresence TADF materials developer Kyulux. Nagase is currently offering materials for LCD producers, so this is likely to be a strategic investment for the company.

Wisechip Hyperfluoresence TADF emitters demonstration (TADF Workshop 2017)

Kyulux’s first aim is to develop commercial red, green and yellow hyperfluorescence emitter/host combinations, to replace the 2nd-Gen phosphorescent emitters currently used in OLED displays and lighting panels. In 2017 Kyulux announced a collaboration with PMOLED maker WiseChip to bring Hyperfluoresence TADF emitter based displays to the market by the year's end.

UDC and Samsung Display sign new long-term PHOLED materials and technology supply agreements

Universal Display announced that it has signed long-term OLED material supply and license agreements with Samsung Display. UDC will continue to supply its PHOLED phosphorescent OLED materials and technology to Samsung Display for use in its OLED displays. The agreements are scheduled to run through December 31, 2022, and may be extended for an additional two-year period.

UDC PHOLED materials photo (2017)

UDC did not disclose the financial terms of these new agreements, but we do know that Samsung will pay a license fee throughout the agreement period. The previous UDC-SDC agreement ended on December 31st 2017, but for the past month and a half the two companies still conducted business of course as SDC's OLED production was not halted.

LG Display orders the deposition equipment for its Gen-10.5 line in Paju (P10)

Towards the end of 2015 LG Display announced that it plans to build a new OLED fab (P10) in Paju in a $8.7 billion investment to produce both mid-sized flexible OLED and large-sized OLED TV panels. LGD considered for a while whether this new fab will be based on Gen-8 production or Gen-10.

LG Display production hub in Paju

According to a new report from Korea, LGD has ordered its first batch of deposition equipment for the P10 line, which will be Gen-10.5 (2940 x 3370 mm). The first line will have a production capacity of 30,000 substrates per month, which will greatly increase LGD's total OLED TV production capacity. LGD finished the construction of the building and the fab is expected to be complete in the first half of 2018.

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".

CLSA sees lower demand for OLED displays in China in 2018, updates on OLED production ramp-up

Financial analysts from CLSA released an interesting short report about OLED demand in China. According to IDC, OLED smartphone shipments in China was down 6% in Q4 2017 (compared to Q4 2016) to 36 million units - in line with total Chinese smartphone weakness (-8% in the same period). Total OLED smartphone shipments in 2017 reached 128 million, up 8% compared to 2016. OLED penetration was up only 1% (to 15%) in 2017.

Oppo R11s photo

CLSA sees lower demand in 2018 and 2019 compared to early estimates - 175 million in 2018 and 225 million in 2019. That's 11% (2018) and 20% (2019) lower than CLSA's earlier estimates. CLSA is less optimistic than before regarding the ramp-up at Tianma, Truly and CSoT.

V-Technology to start producing next-generation OLED fine metal masks, acquires OLED lighting maker Lumiotec

V-Technology announced that it is establishing a new organic electronics subsidiary that will develop a next-generation OLED deposition technology that V-Technology refers to as fine hybrid mask (FHM). Total investment in this new company is estimated at 5 billion Yen ($46 million USD) for the next 2-3 years. The facility is scheduled to be completed in August 2018 and V-Technology will start shipping mask samples in October 2018.

V-Technology FHM mask demonstration (Feb 2018)

V-Technology's FHM is based on an electroforming method and the masks have a non-tension structure. V-Technology says that the total mask weight will be one tenth of current regular FMM masks, which will lower bending dramatically. V-Technology's already demonstrated an FHM that achieves 738 PPI.

Coherent sees a strong OLED momentum ahead, says current SDC weakness is temporary

We have many rumors lately regarding Apple's OLED iPhones - mainly that the iPhone X sales are disappointing and Apple is considering discontinuing its 5.8" OLED iPhone range in 2018 and only releasing a larger 6.5" model this year.

LTPS laser annealing photo

Photonics-based solutions provider Coherent reported its financial results for CYQ4 2017 and as Coherent supplies laser equipment for FPD makers, it is usually a good indicator to the OLED market expansion stages. According to Coherent, there has been no real change in the timing of equipment shipments, and the company did not notice any hesitancy among display makers in china regarding the scale up of new OLED fabs. In fact the company says that the "momentum that is behind OLED seems to be quite strong and quite sustainable over a long period of time".

Kyulux - Hyperfluoresence OLED emittersKyulux - Hyperfluoresence OLED emitters