BOE unveils a 0.39" FHD OLED microdisplay at SID 2018

In March 2017 OLED maker BOE Technology and OLED Microdisplay maker OLiGHTEK announced a new $170 million joint-venture to produce OLED microdisplays for the consumer VR and AR markets. This will be the world's largest OLED-on-silicon production line that will have an annual production capacity of a million OLED microdisplays, although we have no details on to when it will begin operation.

At SID 2018, BOE quietly demonstrated a new OLED microdisplay - a 0.39" FHD (1920x1080, 5644 PPI) OLED on silicon, that supports a brightness of 3,500 nits and a refresh rate of 90 Hz. It's not clear how close is this display to commercialization, and whether it is part of the JV with OLiGHTEK.

BOE demonstrates its first inkjet-printed OLED prototype at SID 2018

China's largest display maker BOE Display has an active OLED ink-jet printing project, and according to reports the company is establishing an R&D production line (in Hefei) that uses Kateeva's inkjet deposition equipment.

At SID 2018, BOE demonstrated a printed OLED panel for the first time. Surprisingly this is a small mobile OLED display - a 5.5" FHD (400 PPI) flexible AMOLED. It is usually assumed that inkjet printing is limited to around 200 PPI, and so only useful to large area panels (such as TVs or monitors). JOLED's 21.6" 4K printed OLEDs have a PPI of 204, for example. In 2017 Korea-based Unijet's president said that Inkjet printing could reach up to 550 PPI in 2020 by using next-generation laser-droplet technologies.

LG Display demonstrated its latest OLEDs at SID DisplayWeek 2018

LG Display showcased several of its OLED technologies at SID DisplayWeek. The most impressive display was a 77" panel that is both flexible and transparent. The large panel features a 4K (3840x2160) resolution and 40% transmittance. The bending radius of the display is 80 mm. This seems to be the same display announced in June 2017.

LGD also demonstrated, for the first time, its VR OLED display, developed in collaboration with Google. This is a 4.3" 3840x4800 (1443 PPI) glass-based display on an LTPS backplane, that supports a refresh rate of 120Hz.

Video shows Visionox's latest flexible and foldable OLED panels and prototypes

Visionox showcased it latest flexible OLEDs in a recent tradeshow, and Notebook Italia published this interesting video showing all of Visionox's displays.

Visionox is showing several interesting displays - a 5.99" 1080x2160 (403 PPI) AMOLED edge type flexible OLED, a full-screen 5.99" 2160×1440 flexible AMOLED and a 6.21" notch-type 2160×1440 AMOLED, with a touch sensor under the screen.

AUO developed a transparent 13" OLED for AR applications

Taiwan's AU Optronics (AUO) developed a 13-inch 100 PPI transparent OLED display, specifically for AR applications. This is a highly-transparent display - with 68% transmittance.

AUO transparent OLED prototype

AUO 6" transparent OLED prototype (2011)

To achieve such high transparency, AUO optimized the TFT array layer stack, the OLED cathode pattern and the encapsulation. This is the first transparent OLED AUO has developed since 2011. It will discuss this new display at SID Display 2018 - and will hopefully demonstrate it as well.

Google and LGD developed a 1443 PPI 4.3" 120Hz VR AMOLED display

In May 2017, Google announced that it has partnered with "one of the leading OLED makers" to develop a high-end VR display. Google is now set to demonstrate this display at SID 2018 in May.

Google Day Dream VR photo

The new Google-designed display is a 4.3" 18Mp (1443 PPI, probably around 5500x3000 resolution) VR display featuring a refresh rate of 120 Hz. This will be the highest-density OLED display ever (not counting OLED-on-silicon microdisplays). Current VR AMOLEDs in production reach only about 600 PPI.

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.

OLED Ink-jet printing market situation, early 2018

Many OLED producers believe that Ink-Jet printing of OLED emissive materials is the best way to achieve lower-cost OLED TV production, and to enable OLEDs to compete in the medium part of the TV market. Ink-Jet printing is an efficient process (less material waste compared to evaporation) and it can be very quick as well. The main drawbacks of inkjet are the limited resolution and the need for soluble emissive materials which are less efficient compared to evaporation ones.

A Kateeva OLED ink-jet printing system

These challenges are being overcome, and it seems that at least four groups (in Korea, Japan and China) are charging forward towards mass production of ink-jet printed OLEDs. Ink-jet printer makers and soluble material suppliers are also optimistic ink-jet printing commercialization will soon be here as the material performance gap is diminishing.