CLSA: OLED capacity spending has peaked, sees no more orders in the near future

Analysts from CLSA returned from a journey to Asia with some interesting notes on the OLED industry. According to CLSA, spending in the OLED industry has peaked and OLED producers are not expecting to place any new equipment orders in the near future. This coincides with IHS estimates of over supply in the flexible OLED market in 2018.

According to CLSA, Samsung has a current capacity in its A3 and A4 (which should be ready by Q2 2018) OLED fabs to produce about 330-385 million OLED displays per year (11 lines, each about 15,000 monthly substrates) which SDC expects to be enough to satisfy Apple's and Samsung Electronics' demand. SDC does not see a strong demand from China's smartphone makers, surprisingly, due to the high cost of OLED displays. Without demand for larger displays (tablets/laptops) or perhaps for foldable devices, SDC's seem to be content with its current OLED capacity.

Screen FT launches a new 6-Gen OLED deposition system

SCREEN Finetech Solutions (a subsidiary of Screen Holdings) launched a new OLED deposition system specifically designed for 6-Gen (1500x1850 mm) substrates.

Screen SK-E1500G OLED deposition system photo

The SK-E1500G makes full use of mini-environment technologies to effectively control contamination created by suspended particles in gas and chemical elements and static electricity occurring during the production process. The system is based on SCREEN FT's Levicoater slit type coating unit. The SK-E1500H also incorporates advanced transport technologies that enable it to perform simultaneous processing of two 6-gen half-substrates.

DSCC updates their OLED forecasts up, sees over $60 billion in revenues by 2022

Market research company DSCC has updated their OLED models, as the company sees more capital spending then before and a larger OLED market going forward.

OLED market revenue forecast (2016-2022, DSCC)

The OLED market in general will grow 57% in 2017, according to DSCC, to reach $23.2 billion. Growth will continue to be strong with a 50% increase in 2018 (to $34.9 billion) and a CAGR of 27% from 2016 to 2022. In 2022 the market will surpass $60 billion.

Visionox to use Orbotech's AOI solutions in its 6-Gen flexible OLED fab in Hebei

Visionox announced that it has chosen Israel-based Orbotech to supply it with an end-to-end automated optical inspection (AOI) solutions for its upcoming 6-Gen flexible AMOLED fab in Hebei.

Orbotech HQ photo

This deal includes a large number of Orbotech AOI systems for TFT Array and OLED-related layers for inspection and classification. Among the solutions provided is the Orbotech Quantum Flex series, which will resolve challenges that manufacturers typically face with OLED flexible display processes. The solution includes unique technologies to address the requirements of flexible OLED panel inspection.

Sunic System aims for IPO as sales grow following 6-Gen equipment sales to LGD

According to ETNews, Sunic Systems is set to become a public company via an IPO in Korea towards the end of September. The OLED deposition equipment maker aims to raise between $61 to $73 million.

Sunic System OLED CVD deposition system photo

Sunic business dramatically grew when it started to ship its 6-Gen deposition systems to L G Display, which uses these machines in its E5 mass production line (which reportedly is still struggling with very low yields). Sunic's sales grew from $25.7 million in 2015 to $128 million in 2016.

AP Systems achieves 1000 PPI with new FMM technology

At the iMID 2017 conference in Korea, AP Systems announced that it realized high density OLED evaporation using new FMM technologies. By adopting ultra-short pulse laser (USPL), AP Systems achieved a 1,000 PPI. Changing the pin-hole shapes, the company says this technology can even reach 1,170 PPI.

AP Systems 1000 PPI slide (IMID 2017)

High PPI OLEDs are especially important for VR applications, which require much higher pixel densities as the display is used very close to the eye. In May 2016 Samsung demonstrated a 5.5" 3840x2160 - which reaches 806 PPI, and according to reports Samsung were able to produce a 1,200 PPI AMOLED in March 2017.

Apple to setup a 2.5-Gen OLED R&D production line in Taiwan

According to reports from Korea, Apple ordered a 2.5-Gen OLED evaporation (CVD) equipment from Sunic System in order to build an OLED pilot line in Taiwan. The report suggests that Apple wants to develop in-house OLED technologies which will allow it to reduce its reliance on Samsung Display.

Sunic System OLED CVD deposition system photo6-Gen Sunic deposition system

It is interesting to hear how Apple is increasing its involvement with display technologies. We know that Apple is also interested and involved with Micro-LED displays, and earlier reports suggested that Apple actually aims to produce sample displays in a pilot R&D line later this year.

Korean researchers develop a new way to quickly transfer thin OLED films during the manufacturing process

Researchers from Korea's National University developed a new process based on high-pressure gas sprays that can be used to rapidly transfer OLED layers very quickly - which could reduce the manufacturing time of OLED panels by 90%.

KNU high pressure gas film-transfer method scheme

The new process uses a new air jet technology that sprays desquamating gas such as nitrogen, argon and air at high pressures. The gas is sprayed at a speed of 300 m/s between the OLED and a substrate - which reduces the binding power of the OLED from the substrate, and increases the binding energy of the organic layers being transferred. This can be used to quickly transfer thin films without damage them.

UDC accelerates its OVJP R&D, shows how the process works

Universal Display recently announced that it is accelerating OVJP R&D, and the company is looking to commercialize this technology with partners. UDC expects it to take a few years before OVJP can really be deployed in production. The company published the video below that shows off the technology and explains the basic principles and advantages.

OVJP stands for Organic Vapor Jet Printing, and the basic idea is to use a gas-stream based process that resembles ink-jet printing but one that uses evaporation OLED materials which outperform soluble ones. In an OVJP process, the OLED materials are evaporated into a carrier gas that delivers them to a jet engine for direct printing of patterned OLED layers. OVJP is intended for large-area OLED displays and can be scaled up to 10-Gen substrates according to UDC.

LG orders two 6-Gen flexible OLED deposition systems from Canon Tokki

Japan-based Canon Tokki is considered the world's leader in vacuum evaporation equipment, and the company has a large backlog - reportedly it had to decline orders from several OLED makers as all of its capacity was taken up mostly by Samsung Display and BOE.

LG 6'' flexible OLED edge phone prototype photo

The Korea Herald reports that LG Display has now managed to order two 6-Gen deposition systems from Canon Tokki. The price of each system is around $115 million, and it can support up to 15,000 monthly substrates. The first machine will be delivered in December 2017 and the second in February 2018.