Polyimide

UBI: the foldable OLED market will grow to 61 million units by 2027

UBI Research estimates that the foldable OLED market will reach 22 million units in 2023, and will grow to 61 million units by 2027, a CAGR of 29%.

UBI also published a forecast on cover material market for foldable OLEDs - this market will also expand, and will grow to $840 million n 2027. UBI says that the market share of ultra-thin glass will grow, as Samsung will only produce foldable OLEDs with UTG in the future, and other makers including BOE, CSoT and Visionox are developing UTG panels. 

Read the full story Posted: Jun 29,2023

LG Chem developed a PET-based foldable OLED cover film, says it is more durable than Polyimide and UTG

LG Chem announced that it has developed a new PET-based foldable OLED cover film. LGC says its new film is thinner and more durable than both polyimide films and Ultra-Thin Glass, currently used in foldable OLEDs.

PET-based foldable OLED cover film (LG Chem)

LG Chem designed new materials, which are coated on both sides of the PET film to strengthen its heat resistance and mechanical properties. The company says the new film withstands over 200,000 folding cycles.

Read the full story Posted: Sep 08,2021

Kolon says it supplies polyimide films to Xiaomi's Mi Mix Fold cover window

Kolon Industries says that the company is supplying colorless polyimide (CPI) films to Xiaomi - used as cover windows for Xiaomi's latest Mi Mix Fold smartphone. Xiaomi sold over 40,000 such smartphones within one minute, and the company hopes to ship around 500,000 units in total.

Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold photo

Kolon says it is the only company that produces such CPI films, and the company says it also supplied films for Huawei's Mate X, Motorola's Razr and Lenovo's Thinkpad X1 foldable laptop - and will also supply to Oppo and Vivo for their own foldable devices.

Read the full story Posted: May 05,2021

UBI says UTG will hold a 80% market share in the foldable OLED cover material market

UBI Research estimates that Ultra-Thin Glass (UTG) will hold a 80% market share in the foldable OLED panel cover material market. The rest of the market will adopt Polyimide films.

UTG vs PI, foldable cover material forecast (2021-2025, UBI Research)

According to UBI, Samsung Display will only use UTG in its future foldable OLED displays. Transparent Polyimide films will be used in budget models, or for displays larger than 10" in size. BOE and CSoT currently use Polyimide films in foldable OLEDs, but both companies are looking to adopt UTG in future displays.

Read the full story Posted: Mar 30,2021

UBI sees fast growth in Polyimide films and ultra-thin glass for foldable smartphone displays

UBI Research estimates that foldable smartphone display makers will continue to rely on both Ultra-Thin-Glass (UTG) and Colorless Polyimide (CPI) films for at least the next five years.

Foldable UTG and CPI market forecast (2020-2024, UBI)

UBI sees demand for CPI films will reach 4.3 million units in 2020 while demand for UTG will reach 3.5 million units. Demand for both products will grow and by 2024 it will reach 37.1 million units for CPI and 30.5 million for UTG.

Read the full story Posted: Jul 08,2020

Samsung Electronics is looking to develop its own ulta-thin glass cover for foldable smartphones

Samsung Electronics's 2nd foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Z Flip, sports an ultra-thin glass cover, which replaced the polyimide one used in its previous foldable, the Galaxy Fold. The UTG glass cover is produced by Korea-based Dowoo Insys, who processes Schott's ultra thin glass.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip photo

According to a new report from Korea, Samsung Electronics wants to develop its own UTG cover, as it feels the Dowoo Insys UTG is still not robust enough and the company also wants to increase production yields and reduce costs. SE is already in talks with several glass suppliers for this project.

Read the full story Posted: Apr 04,2020

Will Samsung's next foldable phone use ultra-thin flexible glass?

Samsung is working on its next foldable phone, which according to leaks will be called the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip. According to XDA's Max Weinbach, the new phone will be use ultra-thin flexible glass, instead of polyimide.

In November 2019 Samsung indeed signed an exclusive deal with Korea's Dowoo Insys to supply ultra-thin glass (UTG) for future foldable OLED devices. Samsung is aiming to switch to glass as its current foldable OLEDs which are protected by a plastic cover are highly prone for scratching and are very fragile.

Read the full story Posted: Jan 26,2020

Solas files a lawsuit against Apple saying it infringes upon its OLED patents

Ireland-based OLED IP company Solas OLED has filed a lawsuit in the US (Texas) against Apple for patent infringements. The lawsuit mentions three patents (USPTO# 6072450, 7446338 and 7573068) that relate to the OLED stack, structure and circuitry (for example one of the patents relates to the formation of a backplane on a polyimide substrate).

Solas OLED team photo

Apple is of course not the producer of the OLED displays - but Solas says that Apple is accused of "making, using, selling, offering for sale, or importing products that infringe the claims" of its patents. Apple's OLED suppliers are Samsung (for the iPhone and MacBook Pro Touch bar devices) and LG Display (for the Apple Watch display).

Read the full story Posted: Sep 16,2019

Korea will invest $6.5 billion to lower its dependence on Japanese imports

The South Korean government says it will spend around $6.5 billion in the next five years to help the local materials, components and equipment sectors and lower its dependence on Japanese imports. This follows Japan's government decision to restrict some material exports, including fluorinated polyimide, to South Korea, following a diplomatic tension between the two countries.

Korea hopes to ensure a stable supply of 100 strategic items (selected from a list of 1,100 industrial items that are imported mostly from Japan) and will assist local R&D activities, lower import barriers and reach out to suppliers in other countries. Korea mostly aims to protect its chips, displays, cars, electronics, equipment and chemicals industries.

Read the full story Posted: Aug 06,2019

PlayNitride shows advanced flexible and transparent Micro-LED displays

PlayNitride demonstrated its latest Micro-LED displays at SID DisplayWeek 2019 - a 7.56" 720x480 (114 PPI) transparent MicroLED, a flexible Micro-LED on a polyimide substrate and a high-brightness, high-resolution passive matrix MicroLED aimed towards wearable applications.

PlayNitride aims to release its first Micro-LED display products by the end of 2019. In 2017 the company started to sample micro-LED panels and shipped samples to 10-20 potential customers.

Read the full story Posted: Jul 19,2019

OLED production in Korea could be halted by the end of July due to Japan's restriction of free exports

A few days ago we reported on Japan's government decision to restrict some material exports, including fluorinated polyimide, to South Korea, following a diplomatic tension between the two countries.

Polyimide is required for OLED production, and Japan controls about 90% of the world's production. According to a new report from Korea, Samsung and other companies have warned the Korean government that production in some plants could be halted as early as by the end of July if these materials are not available. It is not clear what is the situation of Samsung's (and LG's) OLED production.

Read the full story Posted: Jul 08,2019

Japan to restrict exports of some materials to Korea, could effect OLED production

Japan's government decided to restrict some material exports to South Korea. The restricted materials are fluorinated polyimide, resist - and high-purity hydrogen fluoride. Japan is the world's leader in production of these materials (about 90% of fluorinated polyimide and resist) which makes it difficult for producers to find alternatives.

These restrictions could mean that both Samsung and LG Display may find it difficult to keep OLED production at its current level. Both companies have accumulated a large stock of these materials, but if these restrictions hold up for a long time this could be a problem for the South Korean OLED makers (and a boon for Chinese OLED makers, of course).

Read the full story Posted: Jul 01,2019

China's first flexible semiconductor industry base project release, has the exclusive technology

The following is a sponsored post by Shaanxi Kuntech Semiconductor Technology

The press conference for the landing and launching of Shaanxi Kuntech Flexible Semiconductor Service Manufacturing Base Project was grandly held in West Fengxi New City, West Xian Xin New District, Shaanxi province on the morning of October 16, with its theme being "Shinning Shaanxi and Shaping the Future World".

Kuntech flexible AMOLED prototype photo

A number of Chinese government leaders, partners from home and abroad, as well as the media attended the event, where the duo direction foldable AMOLED display with internal and external folds developed by the R&D team was also displayed.

Read the full story Posted: Oct 22,2018

Tianma demonstrates its latest foldable, flexible and rigid AMOLEDs at SID 2018

Tianme had an large booth in SID, showcasing many display technologies and demonstrating its latest LCD and OLED panels. Tianma started producing rigid and flexible OLEDS in April 2017 at the company's 6-Gen fab in Wuhan, and at SID the company demonstrated its 5.5" on-cell rigid AMOLEDs now in production. Tianma told us that this display was adopted in smartphones by Lenovo and Asus.

Tianma also demonstrated several flexible OLEDs in many configurations which we will list below. Almost all of the panels were based on the same basic display - a flexible 5.99" WQHD 1440x2280 (537.5 PPI) AMOLED produced on a polyimide substrate. Tianma showed this panel in a regular design, and also in a notch-type design.

Read the full story Posted: Jun 06,2018

Guangzhou New Vision demonstrates its latest flexible and foldable OLEDs

China's Guangzhou New Vision demonstrated its latest flexible and foldable AMOLED displays at SID DisplayWeek. According to the company in the video below, these displays will enter production in 1.5 years.





As can be seen in the video, the company is developing flexible OLEDs with a resolution of 400 PPI on oxide-TFT backplanes and Polyimide substrates. New Vision also develops printing technologies (for both OLED and QLED displays, interestingly) - but these are still in an early stage, it seems.

Read the full story Posted: Jul 24,2017

Digitimes: Samsung and LG aim to reduce their reliance on foreign organic material producers

Digitimes Researcher states that currently Samsung Display and LG Display both rely on imported organic materials used in OLED production, but the two Korean makers aim to decrease this reliance. Both companies are buying stakes in companies outside of Korea (for example Samsung's Novaled acquisition and Sun Fine Chem investment) in order to obtain patents and move production in house, mostly at LG Chem and Samsung SDI.

Corning Lotus XT glass photo

The polyimide used as a substrate in flexible OLEDs, for example, is produced by Japanese Ube Industries - and used by both LG and samsung. Several organic materials used in the OLED stack are produced by Universal Display (PHOLED emitters), Idemitsu Kosan, Dow Chemical and Merck. Both companies use glass mostly from Corning and high-temperature thin film for the back-end processing from 3M.

Read the full story Posted: Mar 22,2017

Researchers at Tohoku University develop a super flexible liquid-crystal device

Researchers at Tohoku University in Japan developed a super flexible organic liquid crystal device, which they say are promising for next-generation highly-flexible LCD displays. The new device is formed from ultra-thin plastic (polyimide) substrates that are firmly bonded by polymer wall spacers.

Super flexible LC structure (Tohoku University)

The transparent polyimide substrate (made by Mitsui Chemicals) are about 10 um thick each, and feature heat resistance and the ability to form fine pixel structures, including transparent electrodes and color filters. The refractive index anisotropy is extremely small, making wide viewing angles and high contrast ratio possible.

Read the full story Posted: Dec 01,2016

Yole Developpement sees OTFT-based flexible OLEDs within 2-3 years

Yole Developpement released a new report covering the OTFT market for flexible displays and other applications. According to Yole, some display makers in Taiwan and China are currently in the process of industrializing OTFT-based displays - flexible LCDs at first, with flexible OLEDs coming within 2-3 years.

OTFT penetration for displays (2016-2022, Yole)

The mobility of OTFTs are already high enough for LCDs (higher than a-Si) - but still not enough for OLEDs. But in 2-3 years this should be resolved, with low-performance (200 PPI) OLED displays for wearables, some consumer applications and embedded automotive OLEDs possible within 2-3 years.

Read the full story Posted: Nov 24,2016

Screen Holdings starts making flexible OLED deposition equipment

Japan's Screen Holdings (previously Dainippon Screen Mfg), a manufacturing equipment maker, announced that it started producing mass-production systems for OLED deposition - and began supplying these to display makers in April.

Screen Holdings is already making OLED deposition systems, but only R&D tools. The company finished the development of 6-Gen tools that can coat on polyimide substrate - for flexible OLED production.

Read the full story Posted: May 18,2016

Samsung to use a hybrid glass-polymer in its upcoming foldable OLEDs

According to reports, Samsung is gearing up to introduce their first foldable OLED smartphone device by the end of 2016, as Samsung's mobile phone unit is under pressure to innovate and recapture its lost market share.

Transistors deposited on Solip Technology's Hybrimer

According to an interesting report from Korea, Samsung has been collaborating with a KAIST spin-off called Solip Technology that developed a foldable glass that will be used in Samsung's upcoming foldable OLEDs. Samsung is considering placing a strategic investment in Solip as this material is a key technology for Samsung.

Read the full story Posted: Feb 18,2016