LG Display announces it is mass producing 1.3" circular plastic-based flexible OLEDs

A few days ago LG Electronics launched the beautiful G Watch R smartwatch, with its 1.3" (320x320) flexible plastic-based OLED panel. Today LG Display announced that it started mass producing those OLED panels.

While it was pretty clear that LGD is behind this flexible OLED, it's good to hear a formal confirmation. LG Display further tells us that the panel is less than 0.6 mm thick and features a 100% color gamut (not sure which standard is that), 300 nit peak luminance and of course an "unlimited" contrast ratio.

Both Samsung and LG unveil new smartwatches with flexible (plastic-based) AMOLEDs

Only three days ago I posted that both Samsung and LG are expected to launch new flexible OLED smart watches, and today both Korean companies pre-announced their new devices before the IFA trade show. Indeed they both used plastic-based flexible OLED panels.

So first up is the beautiful LG G Watch R (shown above) - a circular Android Wear smartwatch that use a 1.3" 320x320 (246 PPI) plastic (flexible) OLED panel. The G Watch R will launch in "early Q4 2014", price isn't disclosed yet.

Samsung reportedly began trial production of wrappable OLEDs

Samsung first unveiled the wrappable YOUM prototype that you see below in January 2013 - a year and a half ago. While the company is already producing flexible OLEDs, and have adopted one in the Galaxy Round, they have yet to release a product with a display that curves around the edges.

Samsung 5'' curved YOUM display prototypeA curved OLED prototype device (Samsung)

According to reports from Korea, Samsung has now begun trial-production of panels that can be wrapped around edges (i.e. with a smaller curvature radius). They are still facing some technical issues with the plastic substrate, so real mass production is not expected soon. But Samsung may release a "technology-demonstrator" product, a limited-volume device just to show off the technology (as they did with the Galaxy Round).

IDTechEx sees plastic-based OLEDs as the next evolution of OLED displays

IDTechEx released a new flexible OLED display market report, in which they say that the next evolution of OLED displays is plastic and flexible displays. They see fast growth in such displays, with sales reaching $16 billion by 2017. The first flagship flexible display will ship in 2017.

Not all OLEDs will be plastic-based, and this will especially be true for TV applications. In fact, IDTechEx sees OLED TVs also growing very quickly - with a projected 42% CAGR in the next ten years (this will be the second fastest growing OLED application after automotives).

The DoE funds four new OLED lighting development projects

The US DoE announced it selected nine new SSL projects which will receive $10.5 million in funding (including the cost-share contribution, the a total of $13.7). Four of these one- to two-years projects are OLED projects (the rest are related to LEDs).

OLEDWorks' project is titled "High-Performance OLED Panel and Luminaire". The company will develop low-cost OLED electrode structure and panel light extraction technologies. Using a system approach to determine the best component combination, OLEDWorks hopes to develop and integrate the cost effective manufacturing technologies necessary to achieve the DoE's performance and cost targets, demonstrated on a large scale. This project will cost $2 million, the DoE funded 50% ($1 million).

AUO shows several OLED panels at SID 2014

Two months ago AUO announced a 1.6" AMOLED for wearable applications. Now at SID Display Week 2014, AUO is showing this new display. The company says that this is the world's first 1.6" in-cell touch AMOLED. The panel is only 0.5 mm thick and is very power efficient.

AUO is also showing a 0.2 mm thick 5" flexible OLED prototype. This panel is made on a plastic substrate and it adopts thin film encapsulation technology - which enable it to reach a minimum bending radius of less than 1 cm.

Plastic Logic shows a 4" 360x128 fully-organic flexible OTFT AMOLED prototype

Back in February, Plastic Logic and Novaled (owned by Samsung) announced that throughout 2014 they will demonstrate truly flexible, plastic, full-organic AMOLED displays. The first demo in February was of a monochrome (red) display - and actually it was only shown on a presentation slide. But Plastic Logic promised us that they will show better prototypes as the year progresses.

Plastic Logic 4'' flexible OTFT AMOLED prototype photo

True to their word, last week, at the Printed Electronics Europe event, plastic logic showed a monochrome 4" 360x128 (95 PPI) flexible AMOLED prototype. This time it was a real demo, as you can see from the photo above. This full-organic AMOLED panel uses Plastic Logic's flexible OTFT backplane and the whole panel can be bent and rolled and still show the image.

Hands on with LG's G Flex plastic OLED flexible phone

A few weeks ago I learned that LG started to market the G Flex smartphone here in Israel. I contacted LGE and they got the Israeli carrier Partner to send me a review unit. First of all - thanks guys!

So I switched phones, left my new GS4 behind and started using the G Flex. Here's a short hands-on review of this phone. Or actually, this isn't a real review - I mostly want to discuss the screen and my experience with this phone. There are many good reviews of this phone online already (here's Engadget's for example). I won't be showing you a video of how it flexes a little - it's been done.

Konica Minolta to build a flexible OLED lighting R2R fab with a monthly capacity of 1 million panels

Konica Minolta announced that it is starting to construct an OLED lighting fab at Konica Minolta Kofu Site (Chuo-shi, Yamanashi Prefecture). This fab will mass produce flexible OLED lighting panels (on plastic substrates). The construction will end in the summer of 2014 and mass production will commence in the fall of 2014.

Konica Minolta says that it reached the conclusion that light, bendable and durable OLED lighting panels on plastic substrates will "deliver new values to customers not only in general lighting and architecture sectors but also in electric appliances and automobile sector". Konica will invest ¥10 billion (almost $100 million) in the new fab.

LG Display details their flexible OLED process, expects the flexible OLED market to reach $41 billion by 2020

LG Display posted a very interesting article explaining their flexible OLEDs, and giving some predictions (based on IHS DisplayBank estimates) about the flexible OLED market. A couple of months ago LG already stated that they see a very bright future for flexible OLEDs and they intend to take the lead in this emerging display market.

So first of all, LGD explains the structure of their flexible OLED panel (see below). It is based on a plastic (polyimide) substrate as we already know, and LG gives some more information about their Face Seal method which was discussed before but with very little details.

Merck - Advancing Display, Advancing LifeMerck - Advancing Display, Advancing Life