DSCC lowers its foldable OLED market forecasts - now sees 68 million panels shipped in 2023

DSCC updated its foldable OLED market forecasts, saying that it now expects the market to grow slower than it anticipated earlier this year. In 2019 DSCC sees 360,000 foldable panels produced in 2019, with less than 250,000 actual devices sold. By 2023, the market will grow to over 68 million units (a CAGR of 272%) generating over $8 billion in revenues.

Foldable OLED market forecast (2019-2023, DSCC August 2019)

Smartphones will remain the leading devices to adopt foldable OLEDs throughout the forecast period, and starting in 2020 DSCC sees clamshell designs with at least a 60% unit share. DSCC sees ultra-thin glass as becoming a significant player, with Samsung adopting SCHOTT UTG starting in 2020. Ultra-thin glass enables an aggressive folding radius, scratch resistance, hardness and a similar touch experience to current glass based displays.

INT Tech unveils its ultra-high density OLED display technology

Taiwan-based INT Tech unveiled its proprietary glass-based high pixel density OLED technology, that enables the production of over 2,200 PPI displays on glass. Such high resolution displays can find applications in the visually demanding devices in the medical market, the defense market and also for VR headsets.

INT Tech 2.17-inch 2228 PPI OLED display prototype
INT Tech demonstrated a 2.17” 2,228 PPI prototype (see image above). This technology can compete with OLED microdisplays (Silicon based) for high-end VR solutions for 2 merits: they can be larger than silicon-based OLED microdisplays to achieve higher FOV, and they are at a much lower cost.

OLEDWorks flexible OLED lighting panels, now branded as Wave, are now commercially available

In March 2018 OLEDWorks launched its first flexible OLED panels, branded as BendOLEDs. The company now announced that the panels are now commercially available - and rebranded as LumiCurve Wave, which is the first panel in OLEDWorks LumiCurve product family.

OLEDWorks Lumicurve Wave photo

The LumiCurve Wave is produced on Corning's 0.1mm thin Willow Glass flexible glass substrate. OLEDWorks says that the Wave panels are extremely thin and light and deliver the superb light quality and excellent color rendering that is uniquely achievable with OLED.

AGC developed an ultra-thin flexible cover glass suitable for foldable devices

Asahi Glass developed an ultra-thin chemically strengthened 0.07 mm flexible glass that has a bending stress of over 1200 MPa - which makes it possible to use this as a cover glass for foldable devices with a curvature radius of 2.5 mm or even lower.

AGC 0.1 mm flexible glass (2011)

To create this glass, AGC developed a new process that achieved 80% higher impact-failure resistance compared to glass with conventional chemical strengthening. AGC will discuss this new glass at SID Displayweek 2018 in May - and will also hopefully demonstrate it.

Corning announces that Samsung uses its Lotus NXT as a carrier glass in flexible OLED production

Corning announced that Samsung Display is using the company's Lotus NXT glass as the carrier glass in its latest flexible OLED panels, including those that are used in the Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones. Both these new flagship phones also adopt Corning's Gorilla Glass 5 cover glass.

Corning Louts NXT Glass photo

Samsung Display is producing its flexible OLEDs on a flexible polyimide substrate, and the Lotus NXT glass is used as a carrier glass during production (it is removed at the end of the process).

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.

Von Ardenne and the Fraunhofer FEP to intensify their cooperation on flexible glass coating

Von Ardenne announced that the company developed an innovative machine to process flexible glass. The FOSA LABX 330 Glass enables a roll-to-roll glass coating process. This first of its kind machine was developed as part of the German KONFECT project, launched in 2015, together with partners Fraunhofer FEP, Schott and Tesa.

Von Ardenne FOSA LabX 330 Glass photo

Von Ardenne now says that it intends to intensify its cooperation with the Fraunhofer FEP in the flexible glass coating field. The Fraunhofer will present coating samples of glass produced using the new machine for the first time at LOPEC 2017.

The Fraunhofer FEP demonstrate the first PI-SCALE flexible OLED prototypes

In March 2016 the EU launched a new project, called, PI-SCALE, that aims to create a European-wide pilot line which will enable companies of all sizes to quickly and cost effectively test and scale up their flexible OLED lighting concepts and turn them into market ready products.

PI Scale first demonstrator OLED lighting (Fraunhofer FEP)

As one of the core-founders in this project, the Fraunhofer FEP is soon set to present the first demonstrators of flexible OLED out from this project. The OLED prototype you see above was deposited using a roll-to-roll by Nippon Electric Glass, on an ultra-thin glass.

The Fraunhofer FEP developed a glass-on-glass lamination process for flexible OLED production

The Fraunhofer FEP announced new large-area flexible OLED lighting panel prototypes that have been fabricated on ultra-thin glass and encapsulated with a ultra-thin glass foil in the same process.

Large-area OLED glass-on-glass lamination (Fruanhofer)

The new process developed at the Fraunhofer institute is able to deposit OLEDs on the flexible glass and encapsulation it using an additional flexible glass layer - all in a a single roll-to-roll manufacturing step.

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.