Things we learned at the first day of OLED Korea 2019

The first day of the OLED Korea 2019 conference is almost over - with some interesting lectures and talks by leading OLED companies and professionals. Here are some of the things under discussion today (highlights only):

LGD's future plans for OLED TVs at OLED Korea 2019 photo

  • Some believe there will be a real market for >$2,000 foldable OLED devices, and some call for cost reductions before real adoption could take place
  • LG Display is optimistic regarding the future of OLED TVs
  • Samsung will not commit yet to its QD-OLED technology
  • Both Cynora and Kyulux are rapidly progressing towards a long lasting TADF/HF blue - but it seems there's still work to be done
  • Idemitsu Kosan is increasing its fluorescent OLED emitter efficiency
  • Universal Display's RGBB architecture is back on the table - and the company now highlights the architecture's low blue light emission. UDC seems more optimistic then ever regarding blue PHOLED commercialization
  • Equipment maker's focus is shifting to China as Korean OLED makers will not increase capacity in the near future

Samsung's latest AMOLED displays receive eye comfort certification from TUV Rheinland

Exposure to blue light has been linked to many health issues - and one of the advantages of OLED displays and lighting panels has always been lower blue light emission compared to LED based technologies.

Samsung AMOLED eye comfort certification from TUV Rheinland photo

Samsung recently announced its latest AMOLED displays (adopted in the Galaxy S10 family of smartphones), and the company now says that its newest OLEDs produces considerably less blue-light emissions than any other mobile display in use today. Samsung's blue-light-eradicating advancement has just been certified by world-class German testing and certification body, TÜV Rheinland, which awarded Samsung's AMOLEDs its ‘Eye Comfort’ certification.

UDC reports its financial results for Q4 2018

Universal Display reported its financial results for Q4 2018 - with revenues of $70.1 million and a net income of $19.2 million. UDC increased its quarterly dividend to $0.1 per share, and expects its 2019 revenues to be in the range of $325 to $350 million.

UDC recently adopted a new accounting standard (ASC 606) which lowers its revenue and income in the early stage of each royalty and material sales contact.

USC researchers develop copper-based OLED emitters that could pave the way to an efficient long-lasting blue OLED

Researchers from the University of Southern California (USC) led by Mark E. Thompson (who was the first to report on efficient phosphorescent OLEDs, later commercialized at UDC) developed a new copper-based phosphorescent OLED emitter compound, that could have several advantages to the currently-used iridium compounds.

USC rigid copper OLED emitter compound photo

The researchers say that copper-based emitters could be cheaper (as iridium is an expensive and rare element) - but more importantly could be the key to develop an efficient and long-lasting blue OLED emitter.

Nanosys expects to show working emissive QD-LED displays by the end of 2019

HDTVTest posted an interesting interview with Cadmium-Free QD developer Nanosys CEO and president Jason Hartlove. In this long interview Jason discusses the company's technology and recent achievements.

Jason reveals that the company is working on emissive Quantum Dots displays - and he expects to have a full-color monitor-size QLED display prototype ready by the end of 2019. Jason says that they hope to show these display prototypes in private demos at CES 2020.

UDC reports disappointing Q3 2018 financial results

Universal Display reported its financial results for Q3 2018. Revenues increased 26% from last year, to reach $77.6 million (material sales increased 9% to $51.2 million). Net income was $22.8 million (up from $13.5 million in Q3 2017).

UDC PHOLED materials photo (2017)

UDC lowered its 2018 revenue guidance to $240-250 million. Even though the market has picked up in the quarter for its major customers (SDC and LGD), UDC's revenues and guidance disappointed investors.

Digitimes details Samsung's QD-OLED TV production plans and equipment

Samsung Display is developing hybrid QD-OLED TV technology, and according to estimates, the company aims to begin trial production in 2019. It is also estimated that Samsung has several challenges to overcome, but according to new reports from Digitimes, Samsung is aiming to start installing equipment for the new fab as early as December 2018.

QD-OLED stack scheme (DSCC, Oct-2018)

The new fab will begin operation in the second half of 2019 - pilot production at first which will be expanded to full scale mass production. The new fab will be built in Samsung's L8 LCD production line in Asan, and will take over one of the two lines currently in operation at the fab. Samsung's initial production capacity will be around 25,000 monthly G8 substrates.

DSCC: Samsung to begin pilot QD-OLED production in 2019

DSCC estimates that Samsung will begin pilot production of QD-OLEDs in 2019, with a capacity of 5,000 monthly 8.5-Gen substrates. If this is successful, Samsung will double the capacity in 2020 and add a further 30,000 yearly substrates in 2021 and again in 2022. Material revenues for Samsung's QD-OLED TVs will reach $56 million in 2022.

Material revenue forecast for QD-OLED TVs (DSCC, 2016-2022)

DSCC admits, though, that as Samsung faces several technical challenges before it could launch commercial QD-OLED TVs, its forecast could be way off - there's a good chance that SDC will cancel the project, or it could increase capacity at a much faster rate than DSCC estimates and even scale-up production to 10.5-Gen.

Are OLED smartphones better for your eyes? NTHU researchers say yes

Excessive exposure to blue light has been linked to many health issues - including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, obesity and insomnia. Children, especially, have delicate retinas that are highly susceptible to the dangers of blue light.

Reading a smartphone in bed photo

Researchers from Taiwan's National Tsing-Hua University, led by Prof. J.H. Jou, have been advocates of candle-light OLED lighting for a long time, as part of their fight against the hazards of LEDs and white light. In 2015, the researchers published a call out to consumers to be aware of the hazards of LEDs and to governments to enact new rules to enforce light-based products to show the light spectrum.

Kyulux signs JDA agreements with both SDC and LGD - aims to have commercial ready TADF/HF emitters ready by mid 2019

Kyulux announced that it has signed joint-development agreements (JDAs) with both LG Display and Samsung Display. The LGD agreement was signed in January 2018 while the SDC one was recently signed. Both agreements focus on deep blue Hyperfluoresence / TADF emitters.

Kyulux HF/TADF lab photo

Kyulux hopes that by collaborating with the two leading OLED producers, it will be able to accelerate its material development - and it aims to have commercial red, green and blue HF/TADF emitters ready by mid 2019.