DSCC: Samsung to begin pilot QD-OLED production in 2019

DSCC estimates that Samsung will begin pilot production of QD-OLEDs in 2019, with a capacity of 5,000 monthly 8.5-Gen substrates. If this is successful, Samsung will double the capacity in 2020 and add a further 30,000 yearly substrates in 2021 and again in 2022. Material revenues for Samsung's QD-OLED TVs will reach $56 million in 2022.

Material revenue forecast for QD-OLED TVs (DSCC, 2016-2022)

DSCC admits, though, that as Samsung faces several technical challenges before it could launch commercial QD-OLED TVs, its forecast could be way off - there's a good chance that SDC will cancel the project, or it could increase capacity at a much faster rate than DSCC estimates and even scale-up production to 10.5-Gen.

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.

ETNews: Samsung is developing hybrid QD-OLED TVs

ETNews posted an interesting article, claiming that Samsung Display is developing a new TV technology that combines OLED emitters with quantum-dot photo-luminescence materials. The basic idea is to use blue OLED emitters and then convert the blue light to white light using quantum-dots combined with color filters (QDCFs) to add red and green colors.

Samsung OLED TVs (2013)

This seems to be a rather complicated design, but it could be much easier to produce compared to a true RGB OLED TV, as there is no need for precise OLED patterning. This is similar to LG's WRGB OLED TVs which use a white OLED source (made from yellow and blue emitters) and color filters on top.

DSCC: Ink-Jet printing could lead to 17% cost reduction in 55" OLED TV production

LG Display currently produces all its OLED TV panels using an evaporation (VTE) process. Market research company DSCC says that ink-jet printing is more efficient than current VTE processes as it will result in simpler displays (no need for color filters, for example, as used by LG's current WRGB displays). Ink-Jet printing will also enjoy lower depreciation costs and lower indirect expenses such as water and electricity.

55'' OLED TV cost evaporation vs Ink-Jet (DSCC, 2017)

DSCC estimates that an ink-jet printed 55" OLED TV panel will cost 17% less to produce compared to a VTE produced panel. An ink-jet printed panel will theoretically be significantly brighter (as the color filters absorb a large portion of the light), however solution-based OLED materials have traditionally lagged behind evaporation ones (Merck though says that the latest soluble materials are on-par with evaporation ones).

IHS: AMOLED production capacity set to grow over 300% in the next 5 years

IHS Markit says that global AMOLED production capacity is set to grow from 11.9 million square meters to 50.1 million sqm in 2022 - that's a 320% growth in 5 years. Samsung and LGD will remain the market leaders and Korea will have a market share of 71% in 2022 (down from 93% in 2017). China-based OLED makers will have a market share of 26% in 2022 (up from 5% in 2017).

AMOLED production capacity (WOLED vs RGB, 2012-2022, IHS)

IHS says that the majority of OLED capacity will still be used to produce RGB (direct-emission) OLEDs in 2022. RGB OLED production capacity will grow from 8.9 million sqm in 2017 to 31.9 million sqm in 2022. WOLED (WRGB) OLED TV panel capacity will grow from 3 million sqm in 2017 to 18.2 million sqm in 2022.

Sony launches its long-awaited A1E OLED TV

As expected, Sony finally launched its first OLED TV (well, except the 2008 11" XEL-1). The XBR-A1E Bravia OLED TV features a flat 4K OLED panel. The TVs are based on the Android TV platform and feature HDR (both HDR10 and Dolby Vision HDR) and a built-in speaker which is part of the stand behind the TV to create a stand-less form factor. Sony will offer the TVs at 55", 65" or 77" and the TVs will ship later in 2017.

Sony A1E OLED TV photo

The OLED panel themselves are produced by LG Display. According to reports, LGD agreed to supply Sony with 100,000 panels each year.

AUO introduces a bi-directional foldable AMOLED display

A couple of weeks ago, at IDW 2016, AU Optronics introduced a new bi-directional foldable AMOLED display. This display can be bent both inwards and upwards, unlike previous foldable AMOLED prototypes which can only be bent in one direction.

AUO foldable bi-directional AMOLED structure

AUO says that the AMOLED structure limits the flexibility, and to overcome this the company replaced the circular polarizer usually used with a thin (10um) color filter array (apparently this is an WRGB display). AUO also used specially-located TFT and TFE (encapsulation) layers that endure many folding cycles - AUO says that the display can be bent more than 1.2 million times in 4mm curvature radius. The entire display thickness is 100 um.

LG to introduce 3-stack structure for its 2017 OLED lighting and TV panels

During the International Display Workshops that was help a few weeks ago in Fukuoka Japan, LG Display discussed its new WOLED tandem stack that it plans to introduce soon to its OLED TVs and lighting panels.

LG WOLED 2-stack/3-stack structure (2016-2017)

LG Display says that its new stack is a "3-stack-OLED" while its existing stack is a "2-stack-OLED". As you can see in the image above, LG apparently counts each emissive layer as a different stack in this case.

UBI: solution-processed OLED TVs to emerge by 2019

UBI Research predicts that OLED TVs produced using a solution-based process will start to appear in the market in 2019. Evaporation-processed WOLED TVs will still be the market leader with a 85% market share (of the total OLED TVs) in 2021.

WOLED vs  solution-processed OLED TV market (2017-2021, UBI)

Solution-based OLED emitters are not as efficient or long-lasting as evaporation OLEDs, but ink-jet printing will enable to reduce costs compared to evaporation, and for OLED TVs this can make business sense, especially as a WOLED (WRGB) structure is less efficient than a direct-emission RGB architecture. UBI sees solution-based OLEDs competing with WRGB OLEDs for the mid-range TV market, not the premium one.