Samsung is getting ready to release flexible OLEDs soon, and have announced that these displays will be branded as YOUM displays. Today the OLED association released some interesting information regarding Samsung's flexible OLED manufacturing program. According to this report, products that use these displays will be introduced in Q4 2012, while mass production will begin as early as next month.
Back in May 2011 Samsung announced a joint venture with Japan's Ube Kosan to develop and produce polyimide resin - to be used as substrates for their flexible displays in a $18 million investment. Now we hear that the curing equipment for the hardened polyimide will be provided by Korea's Tera Semicon.
The process also requires additional steps: lamination and delamination of the polyimide to protect it from the high temperature deposition process. This uses a Laser Lift Off tool (LLO), provided by Korea's AP System.
In YOUM displays SMD will no longer use FMM, but will adopt a hybrid patterning process. In the new process LITI will be used to pattern the red and green materials while thermal deposition with no patterning will be used for the blue material. This enables SMD to achieve over 300 ppi.
The new displays will use thin-film encapsulation, a technology originally developed at Vitex Systems (which Samsung bought in 2010). The new panels will be thin at 0.5 mm, and will withstand shock. The material used in the new encapsulation will be more expensive then glass, and it's expected that the flexible displays will carry a premium over glass based OLEDs. The encapsulation equipment itself is made by SNU, while SFA and Wonik IPS have both developed similar equipment and are being qualified by Samsung.