JOLED raises $400 million - half of what it needs to establish its first printed OLED mass production line

Last month Japan-based OLED maker JOLED announced official plans for its first mass production printed OLED fab, and today it is reported that JOLED have raised around $400 million from four new investors - auto parts maker Denso ($270 million), major trading house Toyota Tsusho ($90 million) and Sumitomo Chemical and Screen Holdings.

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

JOLED intends to raise $900 million, so the current amount is less than half of what it needs to complete its first mass production line. According to earlier reports, Panasonic and Sony also intend to to invest around $50 million each.

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The EU launches Lyteus, a €14 million initiative to support PI-SCALE OLED lighting projects

In 2016 the EU launched the PI-SCALE project, which established a European-wide roll-to-roll flexible OLED lighting pilot production line, with an aim to enable companies of all sizes to quickly and cost effectively test and scale up their flexible OLED lighting concepts.

Now the EU has launched a €14 million initiative within PI-SCALE called LYTEUS, which provides the expertise and capability required to progress an OLED lighting concept from an idea and into a commercialized product. Lyteus helps companies with sheet-to-sheet and roll-to-roll prototyping of flexible OLEDs, technology transfer, device encapsulation and more. At launch Lyteus serves four customers: Audi, Rehau, Emde and Pilkington, to develop flexible OLED lighting products in the automotive, aeronautics and designer luminaires sectors.

TCL/CSoT plans to build a 11-Gen LCD+OLED TV fab in Shenzhen by 2021

TCL announced that its CSoT Subsidiary (China Star, also known as Shenzhen Huaxing Photoelectric Technology) plans to establish an LCD+OLED TV fab in Shenzhen, China. The new fab will have a monthly capacity of 90,000 substrate - and will produce 65- and 75-inch OLED TVs in addition to 65-, 75- and 75-inch 8K LCDs, all on Oxide-TFT backplanes. The line will begin operation in 2021.

The fab will apparently have two different production lines. The LCD line will be a 11-Gen line (3370x2940 mm) while the OLED Line will use smaller 8.5-Gen substrates (although this is not clear, CSoT may aim to use the 11-Gen substrates for OLED deposition too, perhaps cutting these large substrates before the OLED processing. Total investment in this new fab will be 42.6 billion Yuan (or about $6.7 billion USD).

Applied Materials sees lower-than-expected OLED equipment revenues in the near future, but long-term outlook remains strong

Applied Materials reported its financial results for Q1 2018 last week - the semiconductor equipment maker's revenues increased 29% from Q1 2017 to reach an all-time record. The company's outlook, however, was weaker than expected.

Applied Materials PECVD chamber photo

Commenting on the display market, Applied believes that TV equipment orders will remain strong - but it says adoption of OLEDs in mobiles is slower than previously expected, as is the ramp-up in production. Applied expects its 2019 OLED related revenues to be lower than its 2018 ones (but still up nicely from 2018). In the longer term, Applied Materials maintains a positive outlook for its OLED business.

eMagin reported its financial results for Q1 2018

OLED microdisplay maker eMagin reported its financial results for Q1 2018 - revenues reached $6.9 million (up 13% from Q1 2017) and the net loss was $2.1 million (up slightly from $2.1 million in Q1 20170. At the end of the quarter, eMagin had $9.8 million in cash and equivalents.

eMagin SXGA OLED-XL microdisplay photo

eMagin says that it experiences a "notable upswing" in its business with a 20% increase in its backlog to $11.8 million from the end of 2017.

UDC reports its financial results for Q1 2018

Universal Display reported its financial results for Q1 2018. Revenues were $43.6 million, and net income was $6 million. These results were lower than the company expected, due to a slowdown in the premium smartphone market, the company's new accounting standard and the inventory pre-purchase the company reported in Q4 2017.

UDC PHOLED materials photo (2017)

UDC is revising its 2018 guidance lower, to $280 million to $310 million. UDC expects the OLED market to remain week in the second quarter, but sees a pickup in OLED demand in the second half of 2018. In 2019, UDC expects significant growth to resume.

Novares invests 5 million Euro in FlexEnable, to help bring OLCDs to the automotive market

FlexEnable announced that Novares, a plastic automotive solutions provider, invested €5 million in the company. This is a strategic investment by Novares that aims to bring FlexEnable's flexible organic LCD (OLCD) to automotive interiors.

Interestingly the press release does not discuss OLEDs at all, only OLCDs which is described as a low-cost, high-reliability, conformable and shapeable display technology. FlexEnable started commercializing its OLCD technology together with Truly Semiconductors in 2017. OLCD production is expected to begin by the end of 2018, and Novares already demonstrated a demo Car that features OLCD displays

Magnachip reports high growth in its OLED business, launches new 40nm AMOLED driver

MagnaChip announced that revenues from its OLED driver business increased 141% in Q1 2018 (compared to Q4 2017) - a higher growth than the company expected. Magnachip anticipates that total OLED growth in 2018 will also surpass its previous targets.

Magnachip secured 10 new OLED design wins in Q1 2018 from phone makers in China and elsewhere in Asia. Magnachip also announced that it launched its new 3rd-generation 40-nm OLED display driver (DDIC) that supports edge-type displays, 21:9 and bezel-less displays and notch-type OLEDs. The new driver has already its first design-in at a leading smartphone maker

Is TianMa considering the sale of its OLED business?

In April 2017 Chinese display maker TianMa announced that it commenced production at its 6-Gen LTPS AMOLED fab in Wuhan. The fab produces both rigid and flexible OLEDs, and last month Tianma demonstrated several of its latest flexible and foldable panels.

Today ETNews posts that TianMa is thinking of selling its OLED business, to Chinese display maker CEC-Panda. According to ETNews, TianMa did manage to produce 1.3 million rigid OLEDs in 2017, however Tianma's OLED losses are higher than expected, and its LCD business is also suffering due to declining LCD prices.