OLED technology enables thin, efficient and bright displays and lighting panels. OLEDs are currently used in many mobile devices, some TVs and lighting fixtures. OLED displays offer a better image quality compared to LCD or Plasma displays - and can also be made flexible and transparent.
The actual OLED materials are transparent, and indeed it's possible to fabricate transparent OLEDs (sometimes refereed to as T-OLEDs). Many OLED makers are developing transparent OLEDs, and we have seen prototypes up to 55" in size (the largest and most advanced transparent OLED prototypes have been demonstrated by Samsung and LG). Samsung did intend to start producing 55" transparent OLEDs in 2016, but later decided to stop that program.
Small (up to 2.4" in size) transparent OLED displays have been in the market for several years - but applications have been few and far between. Both Neoview Kolon and Futaba used to produce such displays (in April 2013 we posted a review of Futaba's 2" 160x128 transparent PMOLED panel - but both companies stopped producing these OLEDs and currently it is difficult to acquire non-custom transparent OLEDs.
Transparent OLED Lighting
OLED technology can be used to make lighting panels - these are thin, area-lit and efficient lighting panels, that can be made transparent. Unlike displays, transparent OLED lighting panels have more immediate applications (embedded in windows, for example). In April 2012 we posted our hands-on review with a transparent Tabola OLED lighting panel sample.
OLED-Info's Transparent OLEDs Market Report
OLED-Info offers a comprehensive Transparent OLED Market Report which gives all the information you need to understand this market and the future of transparent OLEDs. The report explains:
- Transparent OLED properties and advantages
- What are the main challenges towards transparent OLEDs
- What kind of transparent OLED displays are currently on the market
- The transparent OLED lighting market
The report package also provides a complete list of transparent OLED developers and makers and their current (and future) products, and a lot more. Read more here!
The latest transparent OLED news:
Panasonic has been showing transparent OLED display prototypes and concepts since 2016, using panels produced by LG Display. Last year Panasonic said it plans to release its first transparent OLED product in 2020, and true to its word, today Panasonic launched the TP-55ZT110 and TP-55ZT100 transparent OLED modules.
The new transparent display is 55-inch in size, and offers a resolution of 1920x1080 (not a surprise as this is the spec of LG's and the world's only transparent 55" OLED panel in production). The whole display weighs just 1.75 Kg. Interestingly the operation temperature range is quite limited at 0-40 degrees Celsius.
Yeolight shows a new segmented OLED automotive taillight prototype, transparent segmented OLED display
China-based OLED lighting developer Yeolight Technology started developing automotive OLED lighting technologies back in 2017, and earlier this year it announced that the Hongqi H9 Sedan, which launched in China, uses the company's OLED taillights. At the 2020 Shanghai International Automobile Lighting Exhibition the company demonstrated a new OLED automotive taillight prototype, called E-Light:
The OLED lighting module, which is shaped like a triangle, uses 50 segments each a right-angled triangle with an area of 19 mm2. The segments are created by photolithography with an accuracy of <10 microns and can be controlled independently with 7 different brightness steps. The controller is a STMicroelectronics L99LDLH32 chip. The complete lighting module setup on display uses 9 such pieces for a total of 450 segments. The whole thickness of each module is 1.8 mm.
In August LG announced that it has supplied transparent 55" OLED panels that are installed on subway train windows, in Beijing (Line 6) and Shenzhen (Line 10).
In this new video above you can see the transparent displays in action. The transparent OLEDs are used to show news, transit maps or other bits of information.
OLED-Info's foldable, flexible, VR/AR, transparent, microdisplays, automotive and graphene OLED market reports updated to October 2020
Today we published new versions of our market reports - that cover the flexible, VR/AR, microdisplays, automotive and graphene OLED markets. OLED-Info provides comprehensive niche OLED market reports, and our reports cover everything you need to know about the niche market, and can be useful if you want to understand how the OLED industry works and what this technology can provide for your own industry. The reports are now updated to October 2020.
- Why flexible displays and lighting panels are so exciting
- What kind of flexible displays are currently on the market
- All about the foldable OLED market and industry
- What the future holds for flexible OLEDs
- How to acquire flexible OLEDs for your products
The report package provides a good introduction to the flexible and foldable OLED market - present and future. It details both flexible displays and lighting technologies. Read more here!
In an interesting report from China, it is claimed that Xiaomi is developing a 27-inch transparent OLED monitor, based on panels supplied by Samsung Display. According to the rpeort Xiaomi plans to release this display by 2021.
Last month Xiaomi announced the world's first "consumer" transparent OLED TV, the Xiaomi Mi TV LUX Transparent Edition that features a 55" 120Hz 120Hz WOLED TV panel. The Mi TV Lux is now shipping in China for 49,999 yuan (around $7,200).
LG Technology Ventures (LG's venture capital investment arm) announced a strategic investment in OTI Lumionics. The investment will help OTI accelerate the adoption of its materials including its including its ConducTorr CPM solution for under display cameras.
A few weeks ago OTI announced that its latest version of ConducTorr Cathode Patterning Material (CPM) is ready for mass production and will start shipping in Q4 2020 for use in next generation mobile devices and other displays.
In early 2019, LG Display started producing 55” transparent OLED TV panels, and these are slowly entering the market - in commercial displays, transportation displays, and perhaps even the consumer market - with Xiaomi’s first “consumer” transparent OLED TV (although at over $7,000 for a 55” display, it is not really priced at consumer level - and its usability is also not clear).
An OLED display is an emissive display, and some of our readers asked us - how is it possible for a transparent OLED TV to show a black color? Is the image above, released by Xiaomi, a fake?
LG Display announced that it has supplied transparent 55" OLED panels that are installed on subway train windows, in Beijing (Line 6) and Shenzhen (Line 10).
The transparent OLEDs are used to show news, transit maps or other bits of information. LG says that it will aim to supply similar solutions to other subway networks around the world. LG did not detail how many such OLEDs were installed at subway trains in China.
Xiaomi announced what could be the world's first mass-produced transparent TV for the consumer market, the Xiaomi Mi TV LUX Transparent Edition that features a 55" 120Hz WOLED TV panel.
The Mi TV LUX uses Xiaomi's AI Master Smart Engine built around a MediaTek 9650 TV chip, and has support for Dloby Atmos. The Mi TV Lux will start shipping on August 16 in China for 49,999 yuan (around $7,200).
OTI Lumionics announced that its latest ConducTorr Cathode Patterning Material (CPM) materials will start shipping by the end of 2020 to customers, which will use these to create OLED displays with under-the-display camera and face unlock technologies.
OTI says that the first mobile devices using OTI’s CPM materials are expected to ship in 2021. Last month we reported that Visionox will soon start shipping AMOLED displays with an under-the-display camera, it could be the Visionox is OTI's first customer. OTI received a strategic investment from LG recently, which could hint that LG could be OTI's customer as well.