TCL invests $187 million in JOLED, to jointly-develop OLED TV inkjet printing technologies

JOLED announced that TCL CSoT has invested 20 billion Yen (around $187 million USD) in the company, and has also signed an agreement to jointly develop OLED TV printing technologies.

This is a very interesting development. TCL has been a long time believer in inkjet printing for OLED displays, and the company has established Juhua Printing in 2016 (together with TianMa and other collaborators) as an "open-innovation platform" to develop ink-jet printing of OLED panels. JOLED was not involved as far as we know in this alliance - so has TCL given up on Juhua and is now aiming to rely on JOLED's technology?

JOLED has been focused on medium-sized displays (for monitors, automotive and signage), and in December 2018 JOLED demonstrated its first OLED TV prototype, a 55" 4K (3840x2160, 80 PPI) panel that offers a 120Hz refresh rate and a color gamut of 100% DCI (135% sRGB). The OLED panel was printed on JOLED's Transparent Amorphous Oxide Semiconductor (TAOS) backplane. In 2018 JOLED told us that it has no plans to produce large size OLEDs at this stage - and this TV is on display just to demonstrate JOLED's printing technology, but now obviously this has changed.

JOLED 55'' OLED TV prototype (FineTech Japan 2018)

JOLED 55" OLED TV prototype

In December 2017 JOLED started commercial low-volume production of its 21.6" 4K OLED panels, at the company's pilot 4.5-Gen line, and in November 2019 the company announced that it has started sampling inkjet-printed OLED display panels in its 5.5-Gen (1300x1500 mm) production line in Nomi, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan. Mass production at the Nomi fab is planned for later in 2020.

In August 2018 JOLED raised around $400 million from four new investors - auto parts maker Denso ($270 million), major trading house Toyota Tsusho ($90 million) and Sumitomo Chemical and Screen Holdings. Later in August, JOLED announced that it has signed an agreement to develop, manufacture, and sell printing equipment together with Panasonic and Screen Finetech. In April 2019 JOLED announced that it has raised around $228 million from INCJ, Sony and Nissha to build post-processing module production lines at its Mobara, Chiba prefecture, plant.

Posted: Jun 20,2020 by Ron Mertens