UBI Research estimates that the flexible OLED market will generate $1.8 billion in revenues in 2015, and will grow quickly at a 60% annual growth rate (CAGR) to reach $17.6 billion by 2020. The primary application driving this grwoth will be tablet pcs.
UBI also says that Samsung decided to change the encapsulation technology used in their upcoming A3 production line. In their current flexible OLED production, Samsung uses the old Vitex technology which is slow and expensive.
We know that Samsung is considering other encapsulation deposition technologies, including Veeco's FAST-ALD and Universal Display's UniversalBarrier. A while back it was reported that Samsung also developed an improvement to the Vitex encapsulation technology, reducing the number of layers from six to three, and improving the yields.
A3 is a 6-Gen (1850x1500) production line that will be used exclusively for flexible OLED production. SDC aims to start operation during the first half of 2015, and the pace of the ramp-up depends on the market situation. It was estimated that the investment required for the new fab will total $3 to $5 billion. The first production line will cost around $2 billion, and SDC has not yet committed to further expansion, they will away market confirmation.
Samsung is currently producing flexible OLEDs in a 5.5-Gen line with a capacity of only 8,000 substrates per month (just for comparison - SDC's glass-based OLED capacity is 140,000 monthly 5.5-Gen substrates). We do not know what will be the capacity of the A3 line, but hopefully it will be a lot higher than the current flexible line.