TCL CSoT says that it will start producing OLED displays using an inkjet printing process in the second half of 2024. This is excellent news and good to know CSoT is still on track for initial production in 2024. The company says it will first target the IT and medical sector.
The company says that the cost of producing OLEDs using its inkjet printed panels will be lower compared to the currently-used FMM based method, and its OLEDs will offer superior performance (in lifetime, mostly) as its process enables higher aperture.
TCL demonstrated a new 14" 2.8K (240 PPI) printed OLED panel, which could be one of the products the company aims to produce in its new line. This panel has an adaptive refresh rate (30-120Hz).
TCL's focus on medium-sized IT and medical displays is a bit surprising, as the industry historically expected ink-jet printing to be adopted for larger TV panels. But the TV market is in a slump right now, while the IT market is seeing increased demand for OLED panels so this could be what is behind TCL's decision.
Earlier this year at Displayweek 2023, TCL demonstrated many inkjet printing OLED display prototypes, including 14" and 17" displays. You can see these in the video above.
TCL also showed several Inkjet printed OLED TV prototypes over the years, so it will be interested to see whether it looks to produce such panels also, maybe in a second phase.
In 2020, TCL (CSoT) invested 20 billion Yen (around $187 million USD) in JOLED, and has also signed an agreement to jointly develop OLED TV printing technologies. Following JOLED's bankruptcy, there are reports that CSoT is considering buying JOLED's OLED production equipment, and moving it to China, to boost its inkjet printing line.
In 2020 CSoT started building a $6.8 billion 8.5-Gen inkjet printing line in Guangzhou (the T8 line). Back then it estimated that production will begin in 2023. So obviously there's a delay, but if CSoT indeed manages to initiate production in 2024, this could be a defining moment for inkjet printing technologies in the OLED industry.