2018sidebar

유비리서치 마켓트랙/보고서

3사분기 AMOLED 디스플레이 마켓 트랙 발간

Foldable OLED 보고서 출간

2018년 10월 9일
자동차용 OLED 디스플레이 보고서

2018년 9월 11일
IFA2018 TV 전시 동향 보고서 출간

2018년 8월 22일
분기별 TV용 OLED 시장 보고서 출간

2018년 8월 21일
분기별 스마트폰용 OLED 시장 보고서 출간

2018년 8월 1일
2사분기 Cost Analysis

2018년 8월 1일
2사분기 AMOLED 마켓 트랙 II

Foldable OLED 보고서 출간

5G 통신 시대에 가장 필요한 스마트폰은 4K 해상도가 지원되는 7인치 이상의 디스플레이가 있는 제품이다. 휴대폰 사이즈가 7인치 이상이 되면 소형 table PC와 유사한 크기이기 때문에 휴대성이 떨어진다. 7인치 이상의 대형 디스플레이를 유지하며 휴대성을 극대화시킬 수 있는 스마트폰은 접을 수 있는 foldable OLED를 사용한 폴더블폰(foldable phone)이다.

따라서 폴더블 OLED를 생산할 수 있는 패널 업체와 폴더블폰을 팔 수 있는 세트업체, 폴더블 OLED와 폰에 들어 가는 재료와 부품을 공급할 수 있는 기업들이 2020년 이후 기업을 유지할 수 있을 것이다.

본 보고서는 foldable phone의 성공 요소 분석과 foldable OLED 개발 동향, 특히 OLED 시장에서 95% 이상의 시장을 점유하고 있는 독보적인 존재인 삼성디스플레이의 개발 방향 분석과 서플라인 체인 분석, 시장 전망을 통해 향후 foldable OLED의 미래를 예측하였다.

[IMID 2018] Can Blue TADF and Hyperfluorescence meet both efficiency and lifetime?

At IMID 2018 in Busan, BEXCO on August 31, Junji Adachi, CEO of Kyulux disclosed the performance of hyperfluorescence, which adds TADF dopant to the existing fluorescent host and dopant.

The color coordinates of the yellow hyperfluorescence revealed by Junji Adachi are (0.49, 0.50), the FWHM (Full Width at Half Maximum) is 76 nm, the EQE is 15.7% on 1000 nit basis, and the LT50 is 62,000 hours by 1000 nit. And the color coordinates of the green hyperfluorescence are (0.28, 0.65), the FWHM (Full Width at Half Maximum) is 31 nm, the EQE is 20.6% on 1000 nit basis, and the LT50 of 1,000 nit is 48,000 hours.

Junji Adachi also revealed the performance of Blue hyperfluorescence, which is currently under development. The maximum emission wavelength of the blue hyperfluorescence is 470 nm, the EQE at 1000 nit is 22%, and the LT50 at 750 nit is 100 hours. In particular, he predicted that the performance of Blue hyperfluorescence would be further improved in the future, saying that it began to improve rapidly in the first half of 2018.

In the following announcement, Dr. Georgios Liaptsis of CYNORA explained about the deep Blue under development, emphasizing that the wavelength should be 460 nm and the CIEy should be within 0.15. He revealed its performance, adding that CYNORA has been carrying out the necessary research to make the lifetime of deep Blue as long as that of sky Blue even with phenomenon that the life span is getting longer as the Blue goes closer to the sky Blue

Fluorescent blue is currently used for the Blue of all OLED applications. Attention is growing whether Blue TADF or Blue Fluorescence can be commercialized to realize better efficiency and lifetime than existing fluorescent blue.

[IMID 2018] Samsung Display, The key material that will connect the smart world and the individual in the future is the display

At IMID 2018 held in BEXCO, Busan, Korea on August 29, Kwak Jin-Oh, vice president of Samsung Display, delivered a keynote speech on the theme of ‘The Infinite Evolution with Display’. He emphasized “Display will be the key material to link to the smart world and the creation of a new world and environment will be accelerated.”

Comparing the evolution of living things with the evolution of displays, Kwak pointed out the direction of the next-generation displays such as ‘size diversity from small to large size, adaption in design inclusive of full screen and flexible, and convergence with other technologies’.

In terms of size diversity, Kwak said, “High-resolution displays that can feel realism in small and medium-sized area, and displays that can be immersed like a big screen in a movie theater in large area, are required.”

The design adaptation then was referred to design autonomy as one of the values of next-generation displays. He further emphasized the value of rollable and stretchable displays as well as foldable displays in small and medium sized displays.

Kwak said that Samsung is developing rollable displays as well as foldable displays that are currently attracting great interest. Unlike foldable display, rollable display requires consideration of the stress on the front of the panel. He commented “Because there are many things to consider such as the time when it is rolled up, and the number of times it is rolled and unrolled, the company is conducting research to solve them.”

He also introduced a stretchable display that can implement patterns freely, and explained that it is developing various structures using RGB pixel unit and stretchable unit to implement displays that have high reliability with low stress.

Mentioning about biotechnology at the convergence area, he pointed out that new fusion technologies need to be considered such as measurement of oxygen saturation by transmitting light to hemoglobin or changes in the wake up mode and sleep mode of the display depending on the melatonin change.

Finally, Kwak concluded that display is evolving to create a new society and environment, emphasizing that display is the key material to link between the individual and the smart world in the forthcoming 5G era.

[IMID 2018] LG Display, showcased 2-stack RGB OLED for automobile OLED with improved life span.

At IMID 2018 held in BEXCO, Busan on August 29, Kim Kwan-Soo, research fellow of LG Display presented about a new OLED technology for automotive displays.

Kim said that RGB OLEDs applied to mobile devices and WRGB OLEDs applied to TVs do not satisfy customers’ needs in terms of life span. To solve this issue, he introduced 2 stack RGB OLED in which RGB OLED has the same tandem structure as WRGB.

Because 2 stack RGB OLED can be thick due to adding a layer of CCL (charge generation layer) to the multi-layer structure, HTL is made thinner than before and the charge balance of the emitting layer is optimized.

As a result, the 2-stack RGB OLED shows 1.5 ~ 2 times higher emitting efficiency than the 1-stack RGB OLED. Its lifetime is increased by 4 times on T80 basis.

However, the 2-stack structure has a disadvantage in that it has higher power consumption than the general structure. Thus, it is necessary to make efforts to solve this disadvantage.

[IMID 2018] LG Display and Samsung Display exhibited a large number of large, and small & medium sized OLED applications.

LG Display and Samsung Display introduced a number of applications using OLED at IMID 2018 held in BEXCO, Busan, drawing attention from many visitors. In particular, LG Display displayed its strategies mostly for large OLED applications such as 77-inch transparent OLED and 55-inch video wall OLED, while Samsung Display introduced the small and medium sized OLED applications mainly for automotive and virtual reality devices.

First, the panel thickness of the 77 inch transparent flexible OLED introduced by LG Display is 400 μm, the bending radius is 80 mm, and the luminance is 200 nit based on full white.

LG Display explained that it would improve the required transmittance and durability. Also, it commented that the goal is to reduce bezel to 0.5 mm at its display of 4 FHD OLEDs with 3.8 mm bezel.

In addition, LG Display presented a 1200ppi 4.3-inch WRGB OLED for virtual reality devices. One official explained that WRGB OLED, which represents the resolution by etching the color filter, would be advantageous for higher resolution than RGB using the deposition method.

Meanwhile, Samsung Display exhibited a number of automotive OLEDs, including unbreakable OLED for 6.22 inch steering wheel, 1000R curved OLED for passenger monitor, transparent OLED for HUD, S-curved OLED for CIO and rollable OLED. The concerned official expects the OLED to be widely applied to inside automobiles because it has excellent design autonomy, compared to LCD.

He added “Although there are many things to be improved, such as brightness and reliability, it is continuously improving the required performance through the feedback from European customers”.

Furthermore, Samsung Display showcased light field display and 2,000ppi resolution RGB OLED for virtual reality devices.

[IMID 2018] OLEDON, developed ‘curved plane source FMM deposition technology’ for 2250ppi AMOLED for the first time in the world

OLEDON is a company which develops plane source deposition technology for high resolution AMOLED manufacturing. Hwang Chang-Hoon, CEO of  OLEDON announced in IMID 2018 that it developed ‘curved plane source FMM deposition technology’ that can be adopted to 2250ppi AMOLED pixels, for the first time in the world.

Conventional linear source FMM deposition technology has a shadow distance of 3um. The available production range is 570ppi AMOLED resolution. On the other hand, the plane source deposition technology already demonstrated in OLEDON can achieve a resolution of 800 to 1200 ppi of AMOLED with a shadow distance of 0.8 to 1.5 μm. Meanwhile, the newly developed ‘curved plane source FMM deposition technology’ is an upgraded technology of the plane source deposition technology which can realize the maximum resolution of AMOLED to 2250ppi with a shadow distance of 0.18 ~ 0.6μm.

The principle is that light is gathered through a concave mirror, a curved surface is applied to the conventional flat plane source, and the light emitting material does not spread, but is precisely deposited at a desired position, thereby reducing the shadow distance.

If this technology is commercialized, it is expected that it can be widely applied not only to mobile devices but also to virtual reality devices.

JOLED raised 47 billion yen to spur solution process OLED business for automobiles.

JOLED, the world’s first to successfully commercialize solution process OLED products, announced that it had raised a total of 47 billion yen as a third-party capital increase.

According to JOLED, Denso will invest 30 billion yen, Toyota Tsusho 10 billion yen, Sumitomo chemical 5 billion yen and SCREEN Finetech Solutions 2 billion yen. JOLED is known to cooperate with Denso to develop automotive displays and Sumitomo chemical to develop OLED materials for solution process.

In particular, Denso has been mainly using TFT-LCD for automotive displays, but it is expected to lead the development for applying lightweight and easy-to-shape OLED to automobile interior through this investment.

It is expected that this funding will accelerate the establishment of production system for the mass-production of JOLED’s solution process OLED. JOLED announced on July 1 that it would set up a “JOLED Nomi Office” in Nomi-city, Ishikawa, and aim to operate in 2020.

Major production products are medium-sized (10 to 32-inch) solution process OLEDs that will be used for cars or high-end monitors. Also, Toshiaki Arai, chief technologist of JOLED announced that they would target the middle-sized OLED market with solution process OLED, at the 2018 OLED Korea conference hosted by UBI Research in March.

 

2018 imid_ 투명디스플레이와 자동차용 디스플레이 전시를 통한 신규 사업 방향 제시

2018 8월 부산에서 개최된 imid는 점점 전시의 규모를 키워가고 있음을 보여주었다. 대한민국 디스플레이 산업을 이끄는 삼성디스플레이와 엘지디스플레이는 모두 투명 디스플레이를 전시하였다. 엘지디스플레이는 77인치 탑에미션 방식의 투과율40% 투명 디스플레이와 55인치 FHD OLED 패널 3장을 이어 붙인 비디오 월을 전시하였다. 비디오 월은 베젤이 3.5mm 에 불과하며 이 외에도 VR OLED 패널을 전시 지속적인 개발을 통해 성능이 향상되고 있음을 보여주었다.

삼성디스플레이 역시도 투명 디스플레이를 전시하였는데, 엘지디스플레이가 대형 OLED 산업을 이끈다면 삼성디스플레이는 중소형 OLED 산업을 이끄는 위치에 있음을 대변 하듯, 자동차용 사이즈의 투명 디스플레이를 전시하였다. 투명 OLED 디스플레이 사용을 통해 HUD 디자인 발전 가능성을 시사하였으며 이 외에도 다양한 자동차용 플렉서블 OLED 디스플레이를 전시하였다. 이를 통해 삼성디스플레이가 본격적으로 자동차용 OLED 패널 사업을 하고자 하는 의지를 엿볼 수 있었다. 또한 616ppi3.5인치 OLED패널을 사용한 VR1200ppi2.43인치 OLED 패널을 사용한 VR 을 전시하였다.

두 패널 회사들 외에도 머크, 희성소재를 비롯한 다양한 재료와 장비 업체에서도 학회 전시 참여를 통해 학계와 산업에 기여함과 동시에 사업을 소개하는 장소로 활용하고 있었다. 세계 최고의 OLED 산업리서치 업체인 유비리서치도 이번 기회를 통해 2018년 새롭게 구성한 Market Track등의 보고서를 소개하고 있다.

Fingerprint full-screen smart phones begin to compete

<Vivo’s full screen smart phone with in-display fingerprint scanner, Android authority>

The competition for front fingerprint recognition of smart phones is expected to become hot.

In the smart phone with the existing home button, the front fingerprint sensor was installed on the home button. Fingerprint security enhances security, but recently, full screen Smartphone without home button has been released and fingerprint sensor has been moved to the back of Smartphone. This has caused disadvantages such as an uncomfortable hand shape when touching a finger to the fingerprint sensor and fingerprints on the camera lens.

In order to improve these points and to implement a complete full-screen Smartphone, the development of integrating full-screen fingerprint recognition with display is continuing.

The method of full-screen fingerprint recognition is largely examined by both optical and ultrasonic methods. The optics are inexpensive and easy to mass-produce, but the OLED substrate must be transparent because the sensor is to be located below the OLED panel. Therefore, it is applicable to rigid OLED using glass as a substrate, but it is difficult to apply to flexible OLED using colored PI as a substrate. The ultrasonic method is most stable in accuracy and durability, but it has a disadvantage of high manufacturing cost.

Currently, Chinese set makers have begun to launch smart phones with optical front fingerprint recognition. The Galaxy S10, which will be released next year by Samsung Electronics, is being watched for the adoption of ultrasonic full-screen fingerprint recognition. LG Display is also developing a display with front fingerprint recognition.

As such, the sales for full-screen smart phones with front fingerprint recognition are expected to be started in earnest. Competition in the smartphone market is expected to become more intense in the second half.

Samsung Electronics, Display Business division’s operating profit in the second quarter of 2018 was KRW 140 billion.

Samsung Electronics announced its sales of KRW 58.48 trillion and operating profit of KRW 14.87 trillion through the earnings conference call of the second quarter, 2018 on July 31. Its sales decreased by 4% YoY and the operating profit increased by KRW 800 billion. Sales decreased 3% QoQ and operating profit fell by KRW 800 billion QoQ.

According to Samsung Electronics, the display panel business recorded sales of KRW 5.67 trillion and operating profit of KRW 140 billion, due to slowing demand for flexible OLED panels and declining sales of LCD TV panels. Despite improved utilization of rigid OLED, OLED division’s earnings declined QoQ due to continued weak demand for flexible products.

Competition with LTPS LCD is expected to intensify at rigid OLED in the second half of 2019, but earnings are to improve on increased sales following the recovery of flexible product demand. Sales and operating profit are projected to improve in the second half on the back of production of flexible OLED for Apple’s new iPhone models from 2Q.

Samsung Electronics plans to expand its share of OLEDs for mobile devices by strengthening its differentiated technology and cost competitiveness, and to strengthen its capacity for new products such as foldable OLEDs. Samsung official said that foldable OLED will contribute to growth from next year rather than immediate performance in the second half of the year.

IT • Mobile (IM) division posted sales of KRW 24 trillion and operating profit of KRW 2.67 trillion. Operating profit fell 34.2 percent from KRW 4.06 trillion in the same period a year ago, and also fell sharply from the previous quarter (KRW 3.77 trillion). In 2Q, handset sales reached 78 million units, of which 90% are smart phones. 5 million units of tablet were sold. The average selling price (ASP) of the handsets is in the second half of US$ 220. The Consumer Electronics (CE) division posted sales of KRW 10.4 trillion and operating profit of KRW 510 billion in the second quarter of the year. Overall sales and operating profit of the first half of the year were KR W 20.14 trillion and KRW 0.79 trillion, respectively. TV profits improved thanks to robust sales of high value-added products such as QLED TVs amid the global sports events. On the other hand, SEC’s facility investment in the second quarter was KRW 8 trillion. By business, semiconductor area accounted for KRW 6.1 trillion and KRW 1.1 trillion was invested for display area. In the first half, a total of KRW 16.6 trillion was invested; including KRW 13.3 trillion in semiconductors and KRW 1.9 trillion in display.

LG Display, Showed OLED lighting for unmarried mothers

LG Display delivered 30 OLED lighting units, made by its employee volunteers, and baby products to 30 unmarried mothers.

This volunteer activity was carried out by the talent services of OLED lighting employees. OLED lighting business division donated 30 flexible OLED lighting panels, and the product planning team customized the lightings for breastfeeding for unwed mothers.

On July 27, the employee volunteers assembled light fixtures, which were customized by woodworking parts through social enterprises, and panels as finished products. In addition, various items needed for a baby and cheer letters for the unwed mothers were packed together. The packaged gift sets were delivered to 30 unmarried mothers living at the unmarried mothers’ facilities through the Eastern Social Welfare Society on July 30.

OLED lighting reduces light flickering and blue light, which affect eye health. And its mild light protects you from eye fatigue. It is also regarded as an eco-friendly product because it generates less heat and has no harmful substances. Since it is the organization that best knows the characteristics of OLED lighting, it suggested the service of delivering the OLED lighting for breastfeeding, made by its members, suitable for the baby-care environment.

Kim Yong-Jin, manager of the OLED lighting sales team who participated in the volunteer service, said “I feel it was worthwhile to deliver the OLED lighting directly to the necessary neighbors although I have dealt with it for business. When I see the neighbors who were delighted with little help, I have to think once again that service activity is so much fun.

<Source: LG Display>

How much will be the investment cost for 8Generation QD-OLED TV?

In the “2018 OLED Equipment Report” recently published by UBI Research, the required investment cost was analyzed for the QD-OLED that Samsung Display started to develop.

QD-OLED, which is being developed by Samsung Display, is a method of displaying three colors of RGB by separating green and red from the light emitted from blue OLED through QD (quantum dot) material. The light passing through the QD material once again passes through the color filter and displays a richer color.

QD-OLED is similar to the manufacturing method of WDRGB OLED produced by LG Display. First, both companies use oxide TFTs. At WRGB OLED, blue is applied twice and red and green are deposited between them. In contrast, QD-OLED is fabricated by depositing only blue material twice. Both methods use the open mask with an empty center.

For both QD-OLED and WRGB OLED, the color filter manufacturing cost is assumed to be same; however, QD-OLED should be equipped with additional equipment to coat QD materials.

According to the report, it is expected that the investment cost is to be equal because the similar equipment can be used for module, cell, encapsulation and evaporator. Since WRGB OLED is bottom emission type, it is formed together when backplane is formed including TFT. However, QD-OLED adopts top emission method. A color filter is separately formed on the top glass substrate and the QD layer is patterned thereon. Therefore, QD-OLED requires higher investment cost than WRGB OLED.

The report describes that based on 8Generation 26K, the investment cost for QD-OLED is estimated to be US$ 1.1 billion, which is 1.03 times higher than WRGB OLED (US$ 1.07 billion). In contrast, the required investment cost to manufacture OLED by inkjet method, which JOLED is promoting commercialization, is projected as US$ 0.88 billion, which is to be about 80% of QD-OLED.

UBI research just issued 2018 2Q AMOLED Display Market Tracks

UBI Research recently published “2Q18 AMOLED Display Market Tracks”, which includes market updates of the second quarter of 2018. The report covers OLED display panel makers’ investment status, OLED display market forecasts from 2018 to 2022, OLED demand and supply trends, and competitiveness analysis of OLED Smartphone business for Samsung Display and other OLED display panel makers.

The market update, published with the Excel spreadsheet, describes the production line status and the added line status through future investments of the 15 OLED display panel makers worldwide. Also, it describes not only the major OLED application market such as smart phones and TVs, but also the market forecast by country.

The demand for OLED mobile sets (including smart phones and smart watches) in the first quarter of 2018 dropped to 98 million units from 130 million units in the fourth quarter of last year, due to the lower-than-expected performance of the premium smartphone market, where Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy S series and Apple’s iPhone occupy most of the market. OLED mobile set market is to recover gradually until 3Q, when Apple’s new smartphone model is launched, and by the end of 2018, the demand is expected to recover as to the similar level of the same period of last year. In addition, Samsung Display is anticipated to have a positive impact on the recovery of the Smartphone market in the second half of the year by securing competitiveness by lowering the sales price of rigid OLED panel for mobile phone to about US$ 25 to compete with LCD in China.

Consumers' smartphone replacement cycle is getting longer due to the reason that there is no revolutionary change in the new model compared to the past, and the Smartphone penetration in most of the countries except for India, South America and Africa is reaching the limit. Accordingly, the outlook for the downturn is mostly forecasted in the recent smartphone market. There is a growing interest in technology and design to apply a different form factor to revive the market. In this regard, Samsung Electronics' foldable OLED smartphone, which is scheduled to be released later this year or early next year, is expected to create a new momentum. Attention is focused on whether a folding- type flexible display (Dynamic Flexible Display) will be succeeded as a new type of smartphone from the existing edge-type flexible display (Static Flexible Display).

 

UBI Research predicts that the OLED Smartphone market will grow from 430 million units in 2018 to 900 million units in 2022, and the market for foldable OLED Smartphone is to be from about 1million units in 2019 to 18million units in 2022. This reflects the expansion of OLED panel production lines by panel makers such as LG Display and BOE, besides Samsung Display. It will be updated as new applications are developed in future and the Smartphone market moves forward.

In OLED panel market, OLED panel for Smartphone still occupies 91% of the whole market. Samsung Display has accounted for 90% of total OLED panel market performance and LG Display is followed with about 7.8% share.

OLED TVs, which are continuously increasing in demand worldwide compared to the Smartphone market, are expected to be in short supply this year. LG Display, the only OLED TV panel supplier, will continue to invest in production for the next five years. With the recent approval of new production facility for OLED TV panel in Guangzhou, the full-scale equipment move-in is expected this year. In Paju P10 investment plan, it was confirmed that LG Display will invest in OLED TV panel production line instead of LCD line investment which was examined before. Thus, the OLED TV market is projected to grow to US $ 5.6 billion. 

LG Display “Strategic direction is OLED. Uncompetitive LCD lines are planned to be switched.”

In the 2Q earnings release conference call hosted on the 25th July, Kim Sang-don, LG Display CFO, said, “Looking back at the first half of 2018, the market was in a difficult situation due to the slump in prices, the traditional off-peak season and increased display supply from China. We expected the market conditions to be stabilized in the first half of this year from the bad market condition of the second half of last year, but it has continued to decline more rapidly and steeply. However, with starting the second half of 2018, it has been observing that the price is rising since July owing to upcoming favorable seasonality and customer restocking.”

“Although the market situation has changed favorably in the second half of the year, it is different from the past supply and demand cycle because of the uncertainty of forecasts. Moreover, the oversupply and asymmetric competition in the display market are unavoidable.” LG Display announced that it will maintain its conservative strategy in the second half of the year as the unpredictability is still high.

LG Display’s sales revenue in the second quarter of 2018 was KRW 5,611 billion, decreased by 15% compared to the second quarter of 2017. Operating loss in the second quarter of 2018 recorded KRW 228 billion. This compares with the operating loss of KRW 98 billion in the first quarter of 2018 and the operating profit of KRW 804 billion in the second quarter of 2017. The company suffered a large deficit due to a continued and steep decline in panel prices and lower demand in panels following the previous quarter. Although the shipment was increased by 2% QoQ, the selling price per area (m2) was decreased by 4%.

As a positive indicator, the TV panel price fell sharply, but the overall panel price decline was only 1% due to the competitive position of OLED panels. The market is anticipated to turn into positive situation in the third quarter, compared to the first half of the year, since panel shipments are expected to increase with the orders to restock the inventory.

LG Display, which is currently conducting both LCD and OLED business with small and medium sized panels and large area panels, mentioned clearly about its future strategic direction including the direction for the second half of the year as “concentrating on OLED business and focusing on high value of LCD business” in this conference call.

LG Display announced that it will focus more on differentiated LCD features and technologies in the IT sector such as narrow bezel, IPS borderless, and oxide technology, as well as high-value-added products such as larger-size TV panels and commercial displays, considering that a structural oversupply in panels and fierce competition among display makers are expected to continue down the road.

In addition, LG Display will achieve a turnaround to profit in the OLED TV sector in the third quarter of 2018. By making its final decision to invest in its Gen 10.5 OLED panel production line in Paju, Korea, and by starting mass production in the latter half of 2019 at its Gen 8.5 OLED production line now under construction in Guangzhou, China, LG Display will accelerate the expansion of the global large-size OLED market. Furthermore, additional production facilities for OLED 8.5 generation are known to be considered with the plan that the rationalization of LCDs during the year is also to be implemented although there was no direct mention of the timing and specific lines. For the plastic small and medium-sized OLED panel business, which is experiencing difficult times, compared to large area OLED, for which LG is expanding the production capacity in response to increasing demand, it said that they are preparing for future markets with the necessary strategic technologies with the emphasis of mobile and automotive markets. The E6-1 line, which has been mentioned as a production plant for Apple, is expected to begin mass production in the fourth quarter of this year, revealing the possibility of a possible supply of display to the iPhone OLED model in 2018. In addition, demand for OLED panels is increasing in the automobile market, and it is expected that full-scale business will start in the second half of next year. At the current order backlog, it is confirmed that OLED panels are in the late stage of about 10%. This means that much of the work has already been done. Finally, LG Display is well aware of the lack of funding and funding shortfalls over its competitors in relation to its future preparations. The company plans to reduce its capex by about 3trillion won by 2020, with a substantial portion of depreciation and amortization It is possible through internal working capital management and it plans to borrow the rest. LG Display confirmed that it has not reviewed the rights issue several times in the market, and LG Display has thoroughly prepared a variety of OLED portfolios, revealing its commitment to success by differentiating it from its competitors in the area of latecomers.

TV向け第8世代QD-OLEDへの投資額は?

最近、UBI Researchが発行した『AMOLED製造・検査装置産業レポート』では、Samsung Displayが開発を始めたQD-OLEDへの投資額がどれくらいなのかを分析した。

Samsung Displayが目指しているQD-OLEDは、青色OLEDから放出される光が量子ドット(Quantum Dot、QD)材料を通って緑色と赤色に分離され、RGBの3色を実現する方式で製造される。QD材料を通り抜けた光は、再びカラーフィルターを通り、さらに豊かな色を表現できるようになる。

このようなQD-OLEDの製造方式は、LG DisplayのWRGB OLEDと似ている部分が多い。まず、TFTは2社ともにOxide TFTを使用している。WRGB OLEDは青色が2回塗布され、その間に赤色と緑色が蒸着される。それに比べ、QD-OLEDは青色材料のみ2回蒸着して製造される。蒸着用マスクは、両方ともオープンマスク(Open Mask)を使用する。

 

 

QD-OLEDとWRGB OLEDのカラーフィルターの製造費は同様であると考えられるが、QD-OLEDの場合、QD材料をコーティングする装置を追加導入しなければならない。

本レポートによると、モジュールとセル、封止、蒸着装置は、同じ装置が使用される可能性があり、投資額もほぼ同様になると予想される。しかし、WRGB OLEDは背面発光方式のため、TFTを含めたバックプレーンを製造する際に同時に形成される反面、QD-OLEDは前面発光方式のため、上部のガラス基板にカラーフィルターを個別に形成し、その上に再度QD層をパターニングして製造する。その結果、QD-OLEDにはWRGB OLEDより高い投資額が必要となる。

第8世代の26Kを基準に投資額を計算してみると、QD-OLEDは11億米ドルで、10億7,000万米ドルのWRGB OLEDに比べて1.03倍高くなることが見込まれる。一方、JOLEDが事業化を進めている印刷方式OLEDの製造に必要な投資額は8億8,000万米ドルで、QD-OLEDの80%程度になるとみられる。

 

Daejeong Yoon(ydj7211@ubiresearch.com)

 

Foldable OLEDの核心、カバーウィンドウの競争激化

<KOLON Industries(左)とSKC(右)の透明PIフィルム、参考:KOLON Industries>

 

Foldable OLEDの量産が今年末に開始されると期待される中で、Foldable OLEDの主要材料の一つであるカバーウィンドウの競争が激しくなる見込みだ。Foldable OLEDはディスプレイが折りたたれる特性から、従来のカバーウィンドウに使用されていたガラスは割れるため、続けて使用することができない。

従って、割れないカバーウィンドウとして透明PIと薄板ガラスの開発が、積極的に進められている。特に透明PIフィルムに関しては、Sumitomo Chemicalと韓国のKOLON IndustriesやSKCの競争が予想される。Sumitomo Chemicalは、Samsung Electronicsが来年発売予定のFoldableスマートフォンに採用されるFoldable OLEDカバーウィンドウ向け透明PIフィルムを供給する最初のメーカーになるという。

しかし、透明PIフィルムのカバーウィンドウは、ガラスのカバーウィンドウの硬度と外観特性を満たせないため、改善が必要な状況にある。Samsung DisplayはSumitomo Chemicalの透明PIフィルムの他にも、多くのメーカーの透明PIフィルムを検討している。

Sumitomo Chemicalの透明PIフィルムと激しく競い合っているメーカーは、韓国のKOLON IndustriesとSKCである。KOLON Industriesは約10余年前から透明PIフィルムを開発しており、現在唯一透明PIフィルム量産設備を備えているメーカーである。SKCもフィルムの製造技術力を基に、2017年末に透明PIフィルムの設備投資を行った。

他に、薄板ガラスをFoldable OLED用カバーウィンドウとして開発する動きも出ている。主要メーカーにはAsahi GlassとドイツのSCHOTTがあり、厚さ0.1mm以下の実現に向けて開発を進めている。しかし、薄板ガラスも折りたたまれた状態では、耐久性に問題があると知られている。

Foldableスマートフォンの発売時期が迫ってきている中、OLEDパネルメーカーとカバーウィンドウ材料メーカーがどのような材料と構造、特性のFoldable OLED用カバーウィンドウを採用するかに業界の関心が集まっている。

**

 

Material Science、中国最大のOLED製造メーカーに赤色プライム層材料を量産供給

OLED材料メーカーのMaterial Scienceは、来月の8月から赤色プライム層材料を中国最大のOLED製造メーカーに、量産供給することを16日明らかにした。

赤色プライム層材料は、赤色を発する発光層(EML)と正孔輸送層(HTL)の間に蒸着され、発光効率を高める材料である。陰極から出た電子がEMLを過ぎてHTLまで侵入しないように防ぐことで、OLED発光効率を高くするため、OLED機器の使用時間を増やすことができる。

Material Scienceが開発した赤色プライム層材料は、2016年に中国LTOPTOと設立した合弁会社LTMSで生産して供給する予定だ。合弁パートナーのLTOPTOは、LCD用液晶とOLED原料などを生産する化学会社である。

LTMSは昨年の2017年上半期に、中国陝西省西安に量産設備を構築し、今回の契約によって8月から稼働を開始する。LTMSは現在、月産500㎏規模の生産設備を備えているが、今後、中国内のOLEDメーカーと追加供給の契約が締結されれば、月産1tまで生産設備を拡大する予定だ。月500㎏という生産能力は、第6世代OLEDの生産ライン6本(マザーガラス投入基準で月9万枚)に供給できる規模である。

UBI Researchが発行した『AMOLED Emitting Material Market Track_1Q18』によると、赤色プライム層材料市場は、2018年から2022年まで年平均成長率35%を記録し、2022年には2億4,800万米ドル規模になるとみられる。

 

Daejeong Yoon(ydj7211@ubiresearch.com)

 

Material Science、中国最大のOLED製造メーカーに赤色プライム層材料を量産供給

OLED材料メーカーのMaterial Scienceは、来月の8月から赤色プライム層材料を中国最大のOLED製造メーカーに、量産供給することを16日明らかにした。

赤色プライム層材料は、赤色を発する発光層(EML)と正孔輸送層(HTL)の間に蒸着され、発光効率を高める材料である。陰極から出た電子がEMLを過ぎてHTLまで侵入しないように防ぐことで、OLED発光効率を高くするため、OLED機器の使用時間を増やすことができる。

 

Material Scienceが開発した赤色プライム層材料は、2016年に中国LTOPTOと設立した合弁会社LTMSで生産して供給する予定だ。合弁パートナーのLTOPTOは、LCD用液晶とOLED原料などを生産する化学会社である。

 

LTMSは昨年の2017年上半期に、中国陝西省西安に量産設備を構築し、今回の契約によって8月から稼働を開始する。LTMSは現在、月産500㎏規模の生産設備を備えているが、今後、中国内のOLEDメーカーと追加供給の契約が締結されれば、月産1tまで生産設備を拡大する予定だ。月500㎏という生産能力は、第6世代OLEDの生産ライン6本(マザーガラス投入基準で月9万枚)に供給できる規模である。

 

UBI Researchが発行した『AMOLED Emitting Material Market Track_1Q18』によると、赤色プライム層材料市場は、2018年から2022年まで年平均成長率35%を記録し、2022年には2億4,800万米ドル規模になるとみられる。

FlexiGO, developed the durability test equipment capable of accurate evaluation for foldable materials

With the recent announcement that Samsung Electronics and Huawei are aiming to launch smart phones with foldable OLED, folder-type smartphones are drawing attention.

 Display companies are converting glass materials used in the existing substrates and cover windows into plastic materials. Consequently, the durability of plastic materials is becoming an important issue.

There are various types of durability tests, but the most typical durability inspection is the folding test. The folding test is an experiment that repeatedly bends and unfolds the foldable materials including plastic. Typically, a mechanical device is used for pivoting the rotating plate after fixing some part of the foldable material to the fixed plate and fixing the other remaining part to the rotating plate. However, in the conventional devices, the axis of foldable material is different with that of the rotating plate, the foldable material moves along the rotation path of the rotating plate, not the original rotation path of the material. Thus, there is a possibility that a tensile force acts on the folder material. To solve this problem, FlexiGO recently developed Foldy series, new durability test equipment to test foldable materials.

<FlexiGO’s folding test equipment, Source: flexigo.co.kr>

In addition to the conventional fixed plate and rotating plate, the Foldy series adds a motion controller that supports the fixed plate to move forward and backward for the foldable to be moved only through the original rotation path, so that no other stress is applied to the material. As a sliding device is mounted on the motion controller, the fixed plate moves forward and backward, and the rotating plate performs a rotary motion so that the foldable material can slide on the rotating plate.

The Foldy series includes micro vision, surface profiling, and colorimeter. Foldy-10 and Foldy-100 products can be adopted for the durability test in different test environments. In addition, it is possible to mount an additional inspection system, so it is expected that the accurate durability test of various accurate foldable materials is to be possible.

8K OLED TV、下半期には見られるのか?

 

プレミアムTV市場の競争がさらに激しくなる見込みだ。SonyのOLED TV市場参入とLG Electronicsの攻撃的な価格下げによって、プレミアムTV市場でOLED TVのシェアは拡大している。しかし、LCD陣営では8Kの高解像度戦略で対応しており、プレミアムTV市場に広がるOLEDの勢いを止めることができるのかに注目が集まっている。

 

Sharpは既に昨年から8K LCD TVを世界で初めて販売し、Samsung Electronicsも今年始めのCESで8K TVを展示したことに続き、下半期には8K QLED(QD-LCD)製品を発売する予定だ。OLED陣営では、LG DisplayがCESで88型8K OLED TVを展示したが、8K OLED TVを下半期に発売できるのかはまだ分からない。

 

現在、量産が進んでいるOLED TVは、背面発光(Bottom emission)構造で、TFTを通して採光するため、ピクセルでTFTを除いた部分から光が放出される方式だ。そのため、同じサイズのTVでも、解像度が高くなるほどピクセルサイズは小さくなるものの、TFTサイズの減少には制約があるため、光が放出される範囲がさらに狭くなる。同じサイズで高解像度を実現するためには、開口率を最大限に高めるか、または発光材料の性能を改善する必要がある。

 

開口率を向上させる方法には、前面発光(Top emission)構造の採用がある。前面発光構造は、光がTFT方向ではなく、封止方向に放出されるため、背面発光構造より高い開口率を確保することができる。しかし、現在、不透明なメタルシートの封止を、透明な材料に変えなければならないことや、カラーフィルターを封止の上側に形成するために、工程を変更しなけらばならないという問題が生じる。

 

発光材料に関しては、青色TADFや新しい青色材料の開発が積極的に行われている。LG Displayが公開した88型8K OLED TVには、背面発光構造が採用されているため、画面密度が約100 ppiとなり、現在販売されている55型4Kの80 ppiより20%高い。単純にディスプレイ全体のサイズとピクセルサイズを比較してみると、55型4Kのピクセルが88型8Kのピクセルより約40%ほど大きいという計算ができる。

 

つまり、55型4Kと同レベルの輝度と寿命を確保するためには、TFTの設計を最適化し、発光材料の性能を向上させ、40%小さくなるピクセルサイズをカバーしなければならない。

 

果たして8K OLED TVはこのような問題を全て解決し、今年の下半期に本格的な発売開始が予想される8K LCD TVに立ち向かい、無事に発売できるのか、業界の関心が寄せられている。

8K OLED TV, Can we see it in the second half of the year?

 

Competition in the premium TV market is expected to be cutthroat.

The market share of OLED TV is on the rise in the premium TV market due to Sony’s entry into the OLED TV market and LG Electronics’ aggressive price cuts. However, LCD camp is responding with 8K high-resolution strategy, and attention is focused on whether it can prevent the rise of OLED in the premium TV market.

Sharp has already started selling 8K LCD TVs for the first time in the world since last year. Samsung Electronics showcased 8K TV at CES earlier this year, and will launch 8 K QLED (QD-LCD) products in the second half of the year. In the OLED camp, LG Display exhibited 88inch 8K OLED TV at CES, but the launch of 8K OLED TV in the second half is still unknown.

OLED TVs, which are currently in mass production, are based on bottom emission type. Thus, the light is emitted from the remaining portion of the pixel except the TFT region since the light is emitted through the TFT. Therefore, in the same size TV, as the resolution increases, the pixel size becomes smaller, but the area where the size of the TFT is reduced is limited, so that the area where the light is emitted becomes narrower. Consequently, in order to realize a high resolution at the same size, it is necessary to broaden the aperture ratio as much as possible or improve the performance of the emitting materials.

 

As a way of increasing the aperture ratio, there is a method of applying a top emission structure. Since the top emission structure emits light in the encapsulation direction, not the TFT direction, it can secure a wider aperture ratio than the bottom emission. However, there are pending problems that the encapsulation using opaque metal sheet should be changed to a transparent material and the color filter should be formed above the encapsulation with the change of the process.

The development of TADF blue and new blue materials is actively underway in the emitting material side.

The 88inch 8K OLED TV released by LG Display is made with a bottom emission structure and its ppi is about 100, which is about 20% higher than 80 ppi of the 55inch 4K currently being sold. When the pixel size is compared with the whole display size, the 55 inch 4K pixel is calculated to be about 40% wider than the 88inch 8k pixel.

In order to achieve the same level of brightness and lifetime as 55inch 4K, it is necessary to optimize the TFT design and improve the performance of the emitting materials to make up for the 40% decrease in pixel size. The industry is paying attention to whether the 8K OLED TV will be launched, with resolving above-mentioned issues, against the 8K LCD TV, which is expected to be released in the second half of the year.

What is the investment cost for large-area OLED that will lead the premium TV market?

■ Investment cost comparison and analysis for WRGB OLED, solution processed OLED and QD-OLED
■ Total OLED process equipment is expected to form a market of US$ 58.8 billion from 2018 to 2022, and inspection equipment market is estimated as US$ 8.4 billion

In the premium TV market, the market share of OLED TVs is steadily rising, and the number of OLED TV camps is gradually increasing. OLED TV adopts color filter to WRGB OLED, and currently LG Display only mass produces the OLED panels.

On the other hand, Samsung Display is developing QD-OLED (blue OLED + quantum dot color filter) to compete with WRGB OLED in the premium TV market. Blue OLED is a technology in which the blue light emitted from OLED passes through a quantum dot layer and a color filter to represent red and green colors.

<Expected structure of QD-OLED>

UBI Research analyzed the structure and investment amount of WRGB OLED and QD-OLED, which are the latest issues, in the‘AMOLED Manufacturing and Inspection Equipment Industry Report’ published on June 6. In addition, the investment amount of the solution process OLED, which has got the industry attention due to its possible implementation of real RGB in large-area OLED, is also analyzed and compared.

As a result of analyzing the equipment investment cost based on the 8th generation 26K, the QD-OLED investment cost is 3% higher than WRGB OLED and the investment cost of solution process OLED is 19% less than that of WRGB OLED.

In the QD-OLED investment cost, it is reflected that QD color filter is separately formed and its laminating process is added. For the analysis of solution processed OLED investment cost, color filter is excluded and ink-jet printer is applied instead of deposition equipment.

In addition, the report forecasts the overall OLED equipment market from 2018 to 2022. The total OLED overall equipment market is expected to reach US$ 106.7 billion from 2018 to 2022. The market for process equipment is projected as US$ 58.8 billion and inspection equipment market is to be US$ 8.4 billion.

The second half of 2018 just started, Chinese OLED panel makers are chasing Korea. Where are they?


작성자: 오하나 (Analyst, hanaoh@ubiresearch.com)
The display industry has been in a state of confusion by the recent leaking of OLED display panel production technology into China.

As of 2018, five companies (BOE, Everdisplay, Tianma, Truly, and Visionox) have OLED production lines in China, among which only BOE has a line that can produce OLED displays (“Plastic OLED”) using plastic substrates, applied to the premium smart phones such as Samsung Galaxy and Apple’s iPhone. Other panel makers are building lines to produce plastic OLED displays targeting mass production this year and next year.

Monthly production capacity planned by Chinese panel makers by the end of 2020 is about 250K, which is more than the monthly production capacity of Samsung Display (about 180K). If China produces a similar level of panels through mass production, it is clear that Korea cannot defeat China in terms of production costs. The main application of the 6G plastic OLED display is a smart phone; however, the global Smartphone market has slowed down since 2015, especially in the premium Smartphone market, there seem no new markets. If mass applications such as smartphones are not developed, panel makers that do not have cost competitiveness will be hard to survive due to a large oversupply in the near-term and falling panel prices.

Korea is evaluated to have a considerable technical advantage since the production of plastic OLED displays requires a high level of technology and process know-how for the time. However, the industry expects that Chinese government’s support for the panel makers with the background of capital as part of the “China Manufacturing 2025” strategy, will shorten the technology gap quickly.

Chinese panel makers ahead of their mass production by 2019 are also reported to be more aggressively scouting Korea’s major OLED engineers. There are about 100 Korean OLED engineers in Chengdu (B7) plant that produces plastic OLED display of BOE. GVO is also known to have recently hired some important OLED engineers with high salaries. CSOT, which has been known to suffer difficulties from the initial research stage, seems to be expediting the construction of mobile OLED production line, employing Korean OLED engineers at major processes from last year. In addition, HKC, which is not a panel maker, is reported to have hired OLED engineers. This is interpreted as a work for investing in the OLED production line of HKC which has only LCD line, and HKC has recently been named as the merger of TIANMA OLED division.
As of 2018, there are no panel makers in China that can produce OLED display panels at the level produced by Korean panel makers. Although the production capacity and sales structure of Chinese panel makers are different from those of Korea, it is difficult to define yields on the same basis. However, the yield of BOE’s Chengdu (B7) plant, known as the mass production line, is still investigated as a single digit. Other panel makers also expect the product quality and yield problems to be difficult to be resolved by the first half of 2019 even if the mass production lines are launched within the year.

In order for the display industry, which contributes significantly to the Korean economy, to maintain its dominant position in the global display industry, it must maintain its competitiveness through various product development, production and sales strategies. Meanwhile, the size of the display industry needs to grow for the growth of the worldwide OLED industry. In order for Chinese panel makers to supply OLED panels with diverse applications, securing the yield might be the key.

The second half of 2018 just started, Chinese OLED panel makers are chasing Korea. Where are they?


작성자: 오하나 (Analyst, hanaoh@ubiresearch.com)
The display industry has been in a state of confusion by the recent leaking of OLED display panel production technology into China.

As of 2018, five companies (BOE, Everdisplay, Tianma, Truly, and Visionox) have OLED production lines in China, among which only BOE has a line that can produce OLED displays (“Plastic OLED”) using plastic substrates, applied to the premium smart phones such as Samsung Galaxy and Apple’s iPhone. Other panel makers are building lines to produce plastic OLED displays targeting mass production this year and next year.

Monthly production capacity planned by Chinese panel makers by the end of 2020 is about 250K, which is more than the monthly production capacity of Samsung Display (about 180K). If China produces a similar level of panels through mass production, it is clear that Korea cannot defeat China in terms of production costs. The main application of the 6G plastic OLED display is a smart phone; however, the global Smartphone market has slowed down since 2015, especially in the premium Smartphone market, there seem no new markets. If mass applications such as smartphones are not developed, panel makers that do not have cost competitiveness will be hard to survive due to a large oversupply in the near-term and falling panel prices.

Korea is evaluated to have a considerable technical advantage since the production of plastic OLED displays requires a high level of technology and process know-how for the time. However, the industry expects that Chinese government’s support for the panel makers with the background of capital as part of the “China Manufacturing 2025” strategy, will shorten the technology gap quickly.

Chinese panel makers ahead of their mass production by 2019 are also reported to be more aggressively scouting Korea’s major OLED engineers. There are about 100 Korean OLED engineers in Chengdu (B7) plant that produces plastic OLED display of BOE. GVO is also known to have recently hired some important OLED engineers with high salaries. CSOT, which has been known to suffer difficulties from the initial research stage, seems to be expediting the construction of mobile OLED production line, employing Korean OLED engineers at major processes from last year. In addition, HKC, which is not a panel maker, is reported to have hired OLED engineers. This is interpreted as a work for investing in the OLED production line of HKC which has only LCD line, and HKC has recently been named as the merger of TIANMA OLED division.
As of 2018, there are no panel makers in China that can produce OLED display panels at the level produced by Korean panel makers. Although the production capacity and sales structure of Chinese panel makers are different from those of Korea, it is difficult to define yields on the same basis. However, the yield of BOE’s Chengdu (B7) plant, known as the mass production line, is still investigated as a single digit. Other panel makers also expect the product quality and yield problems to be difficult to be resolved by the first half of 2019 even if the mass production lines are launched within the year.

In order for the display industry, which contributes significantly to the Korean economy, to maintain its dominant position in the global display industry, it must maintain its competitiveness through various product development, production and sales strategies. Meanwhile, the size of the display industry needs to grow for the growth of the worldwide OLED industry. In order for Chinese panel makers to supply OLED panels with diverse applications, securing the yield might be the key.

OLED equipment market is expected to reach US$ 31.5 billion in 2019

■ The total OLED equipment market is projected as US$ 106.7 billion in 2018-2022.

■ From 2018 to 2022, China is expected to account for 64% of the total investment while Korea will account for 29%.

The total OLED equipment market is projected as US$ 106.7 billion from 2018 to 2022.

According to the ‘1H18 AMOLED Equipment Market Track’ published by UBI Research, the total OLED equipment market is expected to reach US$ 106.7 billion in 2018-2022. The equipment market of 2018 is estimated to be a total of US $ 21.1 billion in, and the largest investment of US$ 31.5 billion is expected in 2019.

<2018~2022 OLED equipment market forecast>

Dae-Jeong Yoon, Researcher of UBI research said “In 2019 and 2020 of the next five years, Korea and China panel makers are key drivers for the investment. By 2019, Korean panel makers are likely to focus on large-area OLED investment and Chinese panel makers will focus on small and medium-sized flexible OLED Investment.”

According to the market track, China will account for 64% of the total equipment market from 2018 to 2022 while Korea will account for 29%. Thus, the two countries will lead the OLED equipment investment. In 2018 and 2019, global panel makers are expected to invest the total amount of US$ 52.7 billion, which might be the largest scale.

<Overall equipment market share by country in 2018~2022>

In this market track, the overall equipment market analysis is categorized by equipment, process, company, generation, and substrate. The investment cost including logistic equipment and inspection equipment for each process was calculated, and the cost for touch related equipment was excluded for the market analysis.

In addition, ASP and quarterly sale revenue of each equipment are also described from 2016 to the second quarter of 2018, which will help the related companies to develop future direction, business strategy, and technology and market trend analysis.

LCD Smartphone is 4K era, what about OLED Smartphone?

In the past MWC 2017, Sony unveiled the world’s first Smartphone with 4K LCD and it is scheduled to release the Xperia XZ2 Premium with 4K LCD on July 4. Attention is growing whether 4K resolution market is to be launched in earnest in smartphones.

<Xperia XZ2 Premium of Sony, Source: theverge.com>

TV market is already moving beyond the 4K to the 8K. Samsung Electronics and Sharp released new TVs with 8K resolution in the first half and Sony plans to release 8K TVs in the second half. LG Display also exhibited 88inch 8K OLED TV at CES 2018. As such, 8K TV is entering the premium TV market, and smart phones are expected to increase the number of products with 4K resolution in response to the higher resolution of TVs.

In the Smartphone, 4K has been implemented in LCD; however, in the case of OLED, QHD resolution is still dominant for the 4 consecutive years.

<Resolution change of Samsung Galaxy series, Source: UBI Research DB>

This is because there are many restrictions on the fine metal mask (FMM) technology that is being applied to OLED manufacturing. The thickness of FMM applied to the current production is about 20 ~ 30um. For 4K fabrication, the thickness should be as thin as 10um, but it is difficult for existing FMM manufacturing method.

As a result, FMM replacement technologies are being developed for high resolution implementation. Typical technologies under developing, include laser FMM patterning with laser, electroforming manufactured by electroplating method, a fine hybrid mask that is used to form a frame by electroplating on a film and pattern the film with a laser, and a surface source that realizes a high resolution by vertically setting the deposition incident angle.

Deposition technologies for high-resolution manufacturing at various exhibitions and conferences are being introduced. Depending on the availability for securing mass production, it is expected to see not only 4K OLED Smartphone, but also high-resolution AR and VR devices of RGB method.

LCD Smartphone is 4K era, what about OLED Smartphone?

In the past MWC 2017, Sony unveiled the world’s first Smartphone with 4K LCD and it is scheduled to release the Xperia XZ2 Premium with 4K LCD on July 4. Attention is growing whether 4K resolution market is to be launched in earnest in smartphones.

<Xperia XZ2 Premium of Sony, Source: theverge.com>

TV market is already moving beyond the 4K to the 8K. Samsung Electronics and Sharp released new TVs with 8K resolution in the first half and Sony plans to release 8K TVs in the second half. LG Display also exhibited 88inch 8K OLED TV at CES 2018. As such, 8K TV is entering the premium TV market, and smart phones are expected to increase the number of products with 4K resolution in response to the higher resolution of TVs.

In the Smartphone, 4K has been implemented in LCD; however, in the case of OLED, QHD resolution is still dominant for the 4 consecutive years.

<Resolution change of Samsung Galaxy series, Source: UBI Research DB>

This is because there are many restrictions on the fine metal mask (FMM) technology that is being applied to OLED manufacturing. The thickness of FMM applied to the current production is about 20 ~ 30um. For 4K fabrication, the thickness should be as thin as 10um, but it is difficult for existing FMM manufacturing method.

As a result, FMM replacement technologies are being developed for high resolution implementation. Typical technologies under developing, include laser FMM patterning with laser, electroforming manufactured by electroplating method, a fine hybrid mask that is used to form a frame by electroplating on a film and pattern the film with a laser, and a surface source that realizes a high resolution by vertically setting the deposition incident angle.

Deposition technologies for high-resolution manufacturing at various exhibitions and conferences are being introduced. Depending on the availability for securing mass production, it is expected to see not only 4K OLED Smartphone, but also high-resolution AR and VR devices of RGB method.

2019년 OLED 전체 장비시장 315억 달러 규모 기대

■ 2018년부터 2022년까지 전체 OLED 장비 시장 1067억 규모 형성 예상

■ 2018년부터 2022년까지 중국이 64%, 한국이 29%의 점유율로 투자 주도 예상

OLED용 장비시장이 2018년부터 2022년까지 1067억 달러가 형성 될 전망이다.

유비리서치가 발간한 ‘1H18 AMOLED Equipment Market Track’에 따르면, OLED용 전체 장비 시장은 2018년부터 2022년까지 1067억 달러 규모가 될 전망이다. 2018년 장비 시장은 총 211억 달러 규모를 형성할 것으로 예상되며, 2019년에는 315억 달러 규모의 가장 많은 투자가 진행 될 전망이다.

<2018~2022년 OLED 전체 장비 시장 전망>

유비리서치 윤대정 연구원은 “향후 5년 중 2019년과 2020년에 한국과 중국 panel 업체들의 가장 투자가 예상된다”며 “2019년까지 한국 panel 업체들은 대면적 OLED 위주로, 중국 panel 업체들은 중소형 flexible OLED 위주로 투자가 진행 될 것으로 전망된다”고 밝혔다.

본 마켓트랙에서 국가별 OLED 장비 시장은 2018년부터 2022년까지 중국이 64%, 한국이 29%의 점유율을 보이며 두 국가가 OLED 장비 투자를 주도 할 전망이다. 2018년과 2019년에 글로벌 panel 업체들은 527억 달러 규모로 가장 많은 투자 할 전망이다.

<2018~2022년 국가별 전체 장비 시장 점유율 전망>

본 마켓트랙에서는 OLED 장비 시장 분석을 위해 장비별과 공정별, 업체별, 세대별, 기판별 등으로 상세히 분류하였다. 각 공정별 물류 장비와 검사 장비를 포함한 투자 비용을 산출하였으며, touch관련 장비는 시장 분석에서 제외하였다.

이 밖에도 장비별 ASP와 2016년부터 2018년 2분기까지 분기별 장비 판매 실적도 다루어 관련 업체들의 향후 개발 방향과 사업 전략 수립, 기술과 시장 트렌드 분석에 도움이 될 것으로 예상된다.

How will Samsung Electronics secure its premium TV market share?

Choog Hoon Yi, president of UBI Research, presented about the issues and predictions for 2018 premium TV market at the seminar on the OLED market review in the first half of the year, held by UBI Research on June 28.

He said “The TV demand for 60 inches or more will be expanded from 12 million units in 2016 to 33 million units in 2021 as the investment for Gen10.5 will be increased and therefore the cost for panels will be decreased.

TV prices are expected to decline in 2018 as panel prices fall. In case of Samsung Electronics, TV shipments in the first quarter of 2018 declined 4% YoY to 9.7million units, which led to an operating profit of 4% in its VD division. This is 10% lower than the operating profit of LG Electronics’ HE division.

Lee mentioned ” Samsung Electronics is expected to focus on securing operating profits even if its sales are down. Therefore, they will concentrate on promoting mega-sized products over 65 inches.”

Currently, Samsung plans to use QD-OLED as a TV panel to increase its market share in the premium TV market. QD-OLED is a technology that uses blue OLED as a light source and the light passes through a quantum dot color filter (QDCF) to realize red and green colors.

Lee added that “The success factor of QD-OLED is to be the production of 8K OLED panel of 65 inch or above, but the saturation of premium TV market due to the early investment of LG Display’s 10.5 generation OLED will be a threat.

According to the ‘2018 OLED Emitting Material Industry Report’ published by UBI Research in April, since the QD-OLED is top emission type, the aperture ratio is increased by about 70% compared to the bottom emission, which emits light in the TFT direction. Thus, it is more advantageous to implement 8K resolution and high luminance than the existing WRGB OLED. In addition, it is expected that it will be possible to reach BT.2020, UHD color standard, by using QD material with high color recall rate as color filter.

<The structure of Original WRGB OLED (left) and QD-OLED (right). Source: UBI Research>

Meanwhile, UBI Research predicted that OLED TV sales would grow by about 30% annually to about US$ 5.7 billion in 2022.

How will Samsung Electronics secure its premium TV market share?

Choog Hoon Yi, president of UBI Research, presented about the issues and predictions for 2018 premium TV market at the seminar on the OLED market review in the first half of the year, held by UBI Research on June 28.

He said “The TV demand for 60 inches or more will be expanded from 12 million units in 2016 to 33 million units in 2021 as the investment for Gen10.5 will be increased and therefore the cost for panels will be decreased.

TV prices are expected to decline in 2018 as panel prices fall. In case of Samsung Electronics, TV shipments in the first quarter of 2018 declined 4% YoY to 9.7million units, which led to an operating profit of 4% in its VD division. This is 10% lower than the operating profit of LG Electronics’ HE division.

Lee mentioned ” Samsung Electronics is expected to focus on securing operating profits even if its sales are down. Therefore, they will concentrate on promoting mega-sized products over 65 inches.”

Currently, Samsung plans to use QD-OLED as a TV panel to increase its market share in the premium TV market. QD-OLED is a technology that uses blue OLED as a light source and the light passes through a quantum dot color filter (QDCF) to realize red and green colors.

Lee added that “The success factor of QD-OLED is to be the production of 8K OLED panel of 65 inch or above, but the saturation of premium TV market due to the early investment of LG Display’s 10.5 generation OLED will be a threat.

According to the ‘2018 OLED Emitting Material Industry Report’ published by UBI Research in April, since the QD-OLED is top emission type, the aperture ratio is increased by about 70% compared to the bottom emission, which emits light in the TFT direction. Thus, it is more advantageous to implement 8K resolution and high luminance than the existing WRGB OLED. In addition, it is expected that it will be possible to reach BT.2020, UHD color standard, by using QD material with high color recall rate as color filter.

<The structure of Original WRGB OLED (left) and QD-OLED (right). Source: UBI Research>

Meanwhile, UBI Research predicted that OLED TV sales would grow by about 30% annually to about US$ 5.7 billion in 2022.

JOLED, Production of medium sized solution process OLED in 2020

JOLED announced that it will mass-produce mid-size solution processed OLED applicable to automobiles and monitors in 2020.

On June 26, JOLED, a subsidiary of Japan Display, said that it will open a ‘JOLED Nomi Office’ in Nomi City, Ishikawa prefecture on July 1 with the operation target in 2020.

<JOLED Nomi Office, Source: j-oled.com>

The flagship product is expected to be a medium sized (10 ~ 32 inch) solution process OLED for automobiles and high-end monitors.  At the 2018 OLED Korea conference held by UBI Research in last March, Toshiaki Arai, chief technologist of JOLED said that it would target the middle-sized OLED market with solution process OLED.

<JOLED development roadmap, announced at the 2018 OLED Korea conference>

JOLED, Production of medium sized solution process OLED in 2020

JOLED announced that it will mass-produce mid-size solution processed OLED applicable to automobiles and monitors in 2020.

On June 26, JOLED, a subsidiary of Japan Display, said that it will open a ‘JOLED Nomi Office’ in Nomi City, Ishikawa prefecture on July 1 with the operation target in 2020.

<JOLED Nomi Office, Source: j-oled.com>

The flagship product is expected to be a medium sized (10 ~ 32 inch) solution process OLED for automobiles and high-end monitors.  At the 2018 OLED Korea conference held by UBI Research in last March, Toshiaki Arai, chief technologist of JOLED said that it would target the middle-sized OLED market with solution process OLED.

<JOLED development roadmap, announced at the 2018 OLED Korea conference>

OLED material makers, why are they going to China?

Recently, OLED material makers are seeking to establish their R & D centers in China.

According to the industry sources, LG Chemical is considering to establish OLED material technology center in Chengdu, China. Merck also announced on June 20 that it will establish its OLED Technology Center in Shanghai, China.

An official from Merck said, “By establishing OLED Technology Center in China, we expect to shorten the product launch period since close cooperation with Chinese companies is possible.In addition, the center will be used as a joint workplace for creating ideal solutions with Chinese companies since it is located in Shanghai.”

This trend of OLED material makers is interpreted as aiming at the growing Chinese market.

If they build their base in China, it will be easy to use the localization strategy specialized in the Chinese market and to secure their suppliers.

According to UBI research, the OLED market in China will grow at a CAGR of 75%, four times faster than Korea, which is currently the largest market.

In the ‘2018 OLED Emitting Material Industry Report’ issued in June, UBI predicts “ While Korean OLED emitting material market will grow at a CAGR of 21%, China’s OLED material market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 69%, to about US$ 1.16 billion in 2022. This will account for about 38% of the total OLED material market.”

<Emitting material market forecast by country, source: UBI Research>

OLED material makers, why are they going to China?

Recently, OLED material makers are seeking to establish their R & D centers in China.

According to the industry sources, LG Chemical is considering to establish OLED material technology center in Chengdu, China. Merck also announced on June 20 that it will establish its OLED Technology Center in Shanghai, China.

An official from Merck said, “By establishing OLED Technology Center in China, we expect to shorten the product launch period since close cooperation with Chinese companies is possible.In addition, the center will be used as a joint workplace for creating ideal solutions with Chinese companies since it is located in Shanghai.”

This trend of OLED material makers is interpreted as aiming at the growing Chinese market.

If they build their base in China, it will be easy to use the localization strategy specialized in the Chinese market and to secure their suppliers.

According to UBI research, the OLED market in China will grow at a CAGR of 75%, four times faster than Korea, which is currently the largest market.

In the ‘2018 OLED Emitting Material Industry Report’ issued in June, UBI predicts “ While Korean OLED emitting material market will grow at a CAGR of 21%, China’s OLED material market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 69%, to about US$ 1.16 billion in 2022. This will account for about 38% of the total OLED material market.”

<Emitting material market forecast by country, source: UBI Research>

What’s the change for full screen implementation?

After Apple launched iPhoneX, applied with notch OLED to implement a wider full screen in 2017, many smartphone makers such as Huawei, Vivo and Oppo started to introduce similar types of smartphones.

 

The total number of notch-type OLED smartphones, which have been revealed since 2017, is 36, accounting for 10% of total OLED smartphones.

The reason why smartphone makers apply notch-type display is to provide consumers with the large screen size in a limited phone size. However, in the notch type, there is a limitation in expanding the display area (DA), which is the ratio of the display to the smart phone, due to the camera and the front speaker. Thus, the smartphone makers seem to implement the camera function with adopting a popup method.

On June 12, Vivo introduced the smartphone NEX with DA 91.2%.The camera is embedded in the device in the form of a pop-up, and the display itself serves as a speaker and fingerprint sensor. By minimizing the bezel, Vivo achieved a full screen.

Oppo showcased Find X in Paris, France on June 19. Oppo also adopts the camera function as a pop-up method, similar to Vivo, to implement a full screen. It has a 3D face recognition sensor. DA of Oppo’s Find X is 93.8%, which is about 2.7% larger than that of Vivo. This is about 10% larger than Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy S8 +, which had the biggest DA in 2017, and 11% larger than iPhone X.

<Vivo NEX and Oppo Find X, source: netmag.pk, GSMArena>

Analysis of the average DA from 4Q 2017 to 2Q 2018 after the launch of the Notch model, shows that the notch type DA is about 9% and the camera pop type DA is about 17 % wider than that of the conventional smartphones (excluding notch type). By switching the front camera into a pop-up form, more than 90% DA can be realized.

As such, smartphone makers are making various changes to realize full screen. There is a growing interest in how to minimize the bezel for the launching a smartphone with a wider DA.

What’s the change for full screen implementation?

After Apple launched iPhoneX, applied with notch OLED to implement a wider full screen in 2017, many smartphone makers such as Huawei, Vivo and Oppo started to introduce similar types of smartphones.

 

The total number of notch-type OLED smartphones, which have been revealed since 2017, is 36, accounting for 10% of total OLED smartphones.

The reason why smartphone makers apply notch-type display is to provide consumers with the large screen size in a limited phone size. However, in the notch type, there is a limitation in expanding the display area (DA), which is the ratio of the display to the smart phone, due to the camera and the front speaker. Thus, the smartphone makers seem to implement the camera function with adopting a popup method.

On June 12, Vivo introduced the smartphone NEX with DA 91.2%.The camera is embedded in the device in the form of a pop-up, and the display itself serves as a speaker and fingerprint sensor. By minimizing the bezel, Vivo achieved a full screen.

Oppo showcased Find X in Paris, France on June 19. Oppo also adopts the camera function as a pop-up method, similar to Vivo, to implement a full screen. It has a 3D face recognition sensor. DA of Oppo’s Find X is 93.8%, which is about 2.7% larger than that of Vivo. This is about 10% larger than Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy S8 +, which had the biggest DA in 2017, and 11% larger than iPhone X.

<Vivo NEX and Oppo Find X, source: netmag.pk, GSMArena>

Analysis of the average DA from 4Q 2017 to 2Q 2018 after the launch of the Notch model, shows that the notch type DA is about 9% and the camera pop type DA is about 17 % wider than that of the conventional smartphones (excluding notch type). By switching the front camera into a pop-up form, more than 90% DA can be realized.

As such, smartphone makers are making various changes to realize full screen. There is a growing interest in how to minimize the bezel for the launching a smartphone with a wider DA.

Automobile OLED is going to lead automotive display market.

Last May, Audi announced that it implemented a camera function in the side mirrors of the electric vehicle SUV e-tron quattro and built an OLED display inside to realize an air resistance coefficient of 0.28 cd. Audi noted that this not only improves fuel efficiency, but also eliminates a blind spot to help drivers drive.

<Interior concept photo of Audi e-Tron released in 2015, Source: insideevs.com>

In addition, all the interior displays are applied with OLED in e-tron quattro. OLED is considered to be suitable for automotive displays because it can achieve higher contrast ratio, faster response speed, and higher visibility due to wide viewing angle, compared to LCD.

Continental corporation, a supplier of automotive parts, also introduced several advantages of mirrorless cars with two OLEDs on its homepage and stated that it is possible to provide better visibility even in dark or rainy conditions.

Meanwhile, not only Samsung Display and LG Display but also Chinese panel makers are introducing various OLED products to market.

Samsung Display exhibited its rollable CID (center information display) and curved 12.4- inch CID, which can be used to adjust the screen size using OLEDs, in SID 2018 held in May.

<Samsung Display’s 12.4 inch curved CID applied with OLED>

Also, a variety of automotive products using OLEDs such as 6.22-inch unbreakable steering wheel OLED and 4.94-inch transparent OLED head up display HUD (head up display) were introduced.

BOE exhibited 12.3-inch automotive flexible OLEDs in SID 2018, and Tianma and Truly introduced automotive rigid OLEDs in Lighting Japan 2018 held in January 2018.

<12.3-inch flexible automotive OLED of BOE>

Since the automotive display field requires more customization than mobile devices and TVs, it is attracting attention as an industry that is expected to generate high added value.

Samsung Electronics emphasized the automotive OLED panel business as a future business at the Investors Forum held in Singapore in early June, and estimated that “OLED panels for electric field will grow from 100,000 sheets this year, to 1 million sheets in 2020 and 3 million sheets in 2022.”

Display size of OLED smartphone to be launched soon becomes bigger.

Many smartphones have been released, with large-sized full screen OLED while removing the home button.

Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Note 9, scheduled to be launched this August, is expected to be applied with 6.4-inch OLED, according to the industry sources. It is 0.1 inches larger than the Galaxy Note 8 with the removed home button, for the first time in the Galaxy Note series.

In addition, Apple is expected to release a smartphone applied with 6.5-inch OLED, as the iPhone series, in the second half of this year. Apple, which has steadily increased its display size since the iPhone 6+ model in 2015, is anticipated to apply 6.5-inch OLED to iPhone plus models later this year.

Huawei is also expected to introduce 6.9-inch OLED for the Mate 20, which is scheduled to be launched in the second half of this year. Most of analyses say that the decision has targeted Chinese users who tend to opt for a larger smartphone, in order to secure the leadership in the Chinese market.

The average display size of OLED smartphones stood at 5.45 inches in 2016 and 5.5 inches in 2017. In 2018, however, the average size has increased to 5.98 inches with the launch of 5.8 inches and larger OLED smartphones.

In addition to the above-mentioned OLED smartphones, Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy A6 Star, Xiaomi’s Mi 8 Explorer, Asus’s Asus ROG Phone, and many other smartphones with 6 inches or bigger sized OLED are to be released.

Recently, the smartphone market has been leveling up with many users who utilize various contents through smartphones. In line with the strategy of set makers trying to differentiate their products with the display sizes in the smartphone market, the average display size of OLED smartphones is likely to be more than 6.0 inches soon.

Display size of OLED smartphone to be launched soon becomes bigger.

Many smartphones have been released, with large-sized full screen OLED while removing the home button.

Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Note 9, scheduled to be launched this August, is expected to be applied with 6.4-inch OLED, according to the industry sources. It is 0.1 inches larger than the Galaxy Note 8 with the removed home button, for the first time in the Galaxy Note series.

In addition, Apple is expected to release a smartphone applied with 6.5-inch OLED, as the iPhone series, in the second half of this year. Apple, which has steadily increased its display size since the iPhone 6+ model in 2015, is anticipated to apply 6.5-inch OLED to iPhone plus models later this year.

Huawei is also expected to introduce 6.9-inch OLED for the Mate 20, which is scheduled to be launched in the second half of this year. Most of analyses say that the decision has targeted Chinese users who tend to opt for a larger smartphone, in order to secure the leadership in the Chinese market.

The average display size of OLED smartphones stood at 5.45 inches in 2016 and 5.5 inches in 2017. In 2018, however, the average size has increased to 5.98 inches with the launch of 5.8 inches and larger OLED smartphones.

In addition to the above-mentioned OLED smartphones, Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy A6 Star, Xiaomi’s Mi 8 Explorer, Asus’s Asus ROG Phone, and many other smartphones with 6 inches or bigger sized OLED are to be released.

Recently, the smartphone market has been leveling up with many users who utilize various contents through smartphones. In line with the strategy of set makers trying to differentiate their products with the display sizes in the smartphone market, the average display size of OLED smartphones is likely to be more than 6.0 inches soon.

Vivo released OLED smart phone with more than 90% display area.

Vivo, a Chinese Smartphone maker, announced on June 12 that it will launch a new full-screen OLED Smartphone ‘NEX’ as its flagship line.

NEX is the mass production model of ‘APEX’ which Vivo showed in MWC 2018 held in February. By hiding the camera at the top of the Smartphone and embedding fingerprint recognition in the display, Vivo accomplished D.A (display area) up to 91.2%.

The camera is provided in a pop-up form only when the picture is taken with the interfaced application. The speaker is built into the OLED display, and the display carries sound.

<Vivo’s new flagship model ‘NEX’, Source: netmag.pk>

Meanwhile, NEX is to be the first OLED Smartphone with over 90% D.A. Galaxy S8, the first full-screen OLED Smartphone with removing a home button, is 83.6% of D.A. D.A of the Vivo X20 Plus UD, the Smartphone that had the largest D.A to date, is 85.8%. According to GSMARENA, the NEX S, the high-end model of NEX, is equipped with a Snapdragon 845 processor, 8GB RAM, 128/256GB storage and 4000mAh battery in a 6.59 inch FHD OLED. The entry-level model NEX A is applied with Snapdragon 710 Processor, 6GB RAM and 128GB of storage on the same OLED display.

Vivo released OLED smart phone with more than 90% display area.

Vivo, a Chinese Smartphone maker, announced on June 12 that it will launch a new full-screen OLED Smartphone ‘NEX’ as its flagship line.

NEX is the mass production model of ‘APEX’ which Vivo showed in MWC 2018 held in February. By hiding the camera at the top of the Smartphone and embedding fingerprint recognition in the display, Vivo accomplished D.A (display area) up to 91.2%.

The camera is provided in a pop-up form only when the picture is taken with the interfaced application. The speaker is built into the OLED display, and the display carries sound.

<Vivo’s new flagship model ‘NEX’, Source: netmag.pk>

Meanwhile, NEX is to be the first OLED Smartphone with over 90% D.A. Galaxy S8, the first full-screen OLED Smartphone with removing a home button, is 83.6% of D.A. D.A of the Vivo X20 Plus UD, the Smartphone that had the largest D.A to date, is 85.8%. According to GSMARENA, the NEX S, the high-end model of NEX, is equipped with a Snapdragon 845 processor, 8GB RAM, 128/256GB storage and 4000mAh battery in a 6.59 inch FHD OLED. The entry-level model NEX A is applied with Snapdragon 710 Processor, 6GB RAM and 128GB of storage on the same OLED display.

Vivo released OLED smart phone with more than 90% display area.

Vivo, a Chinese Smartphone maker, announced on June 12 that it will launch a new full-screen OLED Smartphone ‘NEX’ as its flagship line.

NEX is the mass production model of ‘APEX’ which Vivo showed in MWC 2018 held in February. By hiding the camera at the top of the Smartphone and embedding fingerprint recognition in the display, Vivo accomplished D.A (display area) up to 91.2%.

The camera is provided in a pop-up form only when the picture is taken with the interfaced application. The speaker is built into the OLED display, and the display carries sound.

<Vivo’s new flagship model ‘NEX’, Source: netmag.pk>

Meanwhile, NEX is to be the first OLED Smartphone with over 90% D.A. Galaxy S8, the first full-screen OLED Smartphone with removing a home button, is 83.6% of D.A. D.A of the Vivo X20 Plus UD, the Smartphone that had the largest D.A to date, is 85.8%. According to GSMARENA, the NEX S, the high-end model of NEX, is equipped with a Snapdragon 845 processor, 8GB RAM, 128/256GB storage and 4000mAh battery in a 6.59 inch FHD OLED. The entry-level model NEX A is applied with Snapdragon 710 Processor, 6GB RAM and 128GB of storage on the same OLED display.

In Premium TV market, OLED portion is growing.

Following Bang & Olufsen and SONY, Philips’ OLED TV was launched in Korea on June 11, 2018.

Philips’ OLED TV, applied with LG Display’s OLED panel, is available in two models; 55 – inch and 65 – inch. It features a quad – core CPU, HDR 10, Dolby Vision and DTS surround.

<Philips OLED TV, Source: Philips>

In coming September, Germany’s Loewe plans to launch three (bild5, bild7, bild7 edition) 65-inch OLED TVs using LG Display’s panel, and also Hisense is scheduled to release OLED TV this month.

Especially, when Hisense, which is the leader in the Chinese TV market, releases OLED TVs, it is expected to enhance the awareness about OLED TV in China as well as increase the portion of OLED in the premium TV market.

In April, Kim Sang-don, CFO of LG Display, said in the conference call “The number of existing OLED camps was expanded to 15 from 13, adding two. LG Display will actively respond to increasing market demand by expanding productivity through the reduction of tack time and by converting Chinese fab and, if necessary, domestic LCD fab to OLED fab.”

In the ‘OLED/Display comprehensive seminar’ held by UBI Research, So Hyun-chul, director of Shinhan Financial Investment, said that Sony ranked the first in the premium TV market in 12 years and Sony’s share price rose 445% with its main driving force of OLED TV.

In addition, LG Electronics’ HE division achieved an operating margin of 8.1% last year. In the major set makers, OLED seems to be the Key factor that increases the company’s sales and improves the market share in the premium TV market. As such, OLED portion is anticipated to expand further in the premium TV market.

Meanwhile, UBI Research predicts that OLED TV sales will be increased by about 30% annually and the revenue is projected as about US$ 5.7 billion in 2022 through the ‘2018 OLED Panel Industry Report’, which was published in February.

In Premium TV market, OLED portion is growing.

Following Bang & Olufsen and SONY, Philips’ OLED TV was launched in Korea on June 11, 2018.

Philips’ OLED TV, applied with LG Display’s OLED panel, is available in two models; 55 – inch and 65 – inch. It features a quad – core CPU, HDR 10, Dolby Vision and DTS surround.

<Philips OLED TV, Source: Philips>

In coming September, Germany’s Loewe plans to launch three (bild5, bild7, bild7 edition) 65-inch OLED TVs using LG Display’s panel, and also Hisense is scheduled to release OLED TV this month.

Especially, when Hisense, which is the leader in the Chinese TV market, releases OLED TVs, it is expected to enhance the awareness about OLED TV in China as well as increase the portion of OLED in the premium TV market.

In April, Kim Sang-don, CFO of LG Display, said in the conference call “The number of existing OLED camps was expanded to 15 from 13, adding two. LG Display will actively respond to increasing market demand by expanding productivity through the reduction of tack time and by converting Chinese fab and, if necessary, domestic LCD fab to OLED fab.”

In the ‘OLED/Display comprehensive seminar’ held by UBI Research, So Hyun-chul, director of Shinhan Financial Investment, said that Sony ranked the first in the premium TV market in 12 years and Sony’s share price rose 445% with its main driving force of OLED TV.

In addition, LG Electronics’ HE division achieved an operating margin of 8.1% last year. In the major set makers, OLED seems to be the Key factor that increases the company’s sales and improves the market share in the premium TV market. As such, OLED portion is anticipated to expand further in the premium TV market.

Meanwhile, UBI Research predicts that OLED TV sales will be increased by about 30% annually and the revenue is projected as about US$ 5.7 billion in 2022 through the ‘2018 OLED Panel Industry Report’, which was published in February.

Samsung Display’s 1Q 2018 shipment declined, but it is expected to recover in 2Q.

According to UBI Research’s first quarter display market track, Samsung Display’s OLED shipments for smart phones dropped to 88 million units, down 26.0% from the previous quarter, and 4.7% year-on-year decrease.

On the other hand, the sales revenue was US$ 5.37 billion, down 32.4% from the previous quarter and 30.4% year-on- year increase.

<Samsung Display’s sales performance of OLED for Smartphone, 1Q, 2018>

For rigid OLED, the utilization rate of rigid OLED mass production lines dropped in 1Q due to the keeping adoption of LCD in Samsung Electronics’ entry-level model and the decline in demand from Chinese set makers. For flexible OLED, its capacity utilization rate also declined due to falling demand from Apple and sluggish sales of Galaxy S series .

UBI Research mentioned, “In the first quarter of 2018, the sales were sluggish due to falling demand of set makers; however, the full-screen rigid OLED demand began to increase in April, and accordingly the utilization rate of rigid OLED production lines began to rise gradually. From June, the utilization rate is expected to recover to the previous year level. Also, the flexible OLED mass production lines will be likely to be in full operation since Samsung Electronics will start mass production of the next model and Apple will start mass production of new models.”

The overall OLED market was totaled as US $ 6.12 billion in the first quarter of 2018, of which the OLED market for smart phones was 91.1% and the market of OLED for TV was 5.7%.

The OLED market for smartphones is projected to reach 4.4 billion units in 2018, and Samsung Display is expected to hold a market share of 93.4%.

<2018 OLED market forecast>

Market for OLED materials and components is forecast to grow to US$37 billion in 2022.

In the 2018 OLED material and component report and Market Track published by UBI Research, the entire market for OLED materials and components market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 29% by 2022, forming a market of US$ 37 billion in 2022.

<Market forecast for OLED materials and components>

The overall OLED material and component market forecasted in this report is calculated based on the panel makers’ available capacity and includes all the materials and components for OLED production.

The total OLED material and component market is counted as US$ 9,794 million in 2017 and is expected to grow by 35% to US$ 13,264 million in 2018.

Major growth drivers are mentioned as capacity expansion of Samsung Display and LG Display inclusive of Gen6 flexible OLED mass production lines of Chinese panel makers.

UBI Research commented “Utilization of Samsung Display in the first quarter of 2018 was poor, but it is turning to normal from the second quarter, and LG Display and Chinese panel makers are also aiming to mass-produce this year. In particular, it will have a major impact on the growth of the materials and components market in 2018 whether Samsung Display’s A4, LG Display’s E5, E6 and BOE’s B7 lines will be in full operation.”

In the 2018 OLED material and component report, the market is forecast for 20 kinds of major materials and components used in OLED for mobile devices and large-area OLED, including substrate glass, carrier glass, PI and organic materials for TFT. In addition, the report covers industry trends and key issues related to the core materials, while Market Track forecasts the expected purchase volume and purchase amount by panel makers.

Market for OLED materials and components is forecast to grow to US$37 billion in 2022.

In the 2018 OLED material and component report and Market Track published by UBI Research, the entire market for OLED materials and components market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 29% by 2022, forming a market of US$ 37 billion in 2022.

<Market forecast for OLED materials and components>

The overall OLED material and component market forecasted in this report is calculated based on the panel makers’ available capacity and includes all the materials and components for OLED production.

The total OLED material and component market is counted as US$ 9,794 million in 2017 and is expected to grow by 35% to US$ 13,264 million in 2018.

Major growth drivers are mentioned as capacity expansion of Samsung Display and LG Display inclusive of Gen6 flexible OLED mass production lines of Chinese panel makers.

UBI Research commented “Utilization of Samsung Display in the first quarter of 2018 was poor, but it is turning to normal from the second quarter, and LG Display and Chinese panel makers are also aiming to mass-produce this year. In particular, it will have a major impact on the growth of the materials and components market in 2018 whether Samsung Display’s A4, LG Display’s E5, E6 and BOE’s B7 lines will be in full operation.”

In the 2018 OLED material and component report, the market is forecast for 20 kinds of major materials and components used in OLED for mobile devices and large-area OLED, including substrate glass, carrier glass, PI and organic materials for TFT. In addition, the report covers industry trends and key issues related to the core materials, while Market Track forecasts the expected purchase volume and purchase amount by panel makers.

Samsung Display’s 1Q 2018 shipment declined, but it is expected to recover in 2Q.

According to UBI Research’s first quarter display market track, Samsung Display’s OLED shipments for smart phones dropped to 88 million units, down 26.0% from the previous quarter, and 4.7% year-on-year decrease.

On the other hand, the sales revenue was US$ 5.37 billion, down 32.4% from the previous quarter and 30.4% year-on- year increase.

<Samsung Display’s sales performance of OLED for Smartphone, 1Q, 2018>

For rigid OLED, the utilization rate of rigid OLED mass production lines dropped in 1Q due to the keeping adoption of LCD in Samsung Electronics’ entry-level model and the decline in demand from Chinese set makers. For flexible OLED, its capacity utilization rate also declined due to falling demand from Apple and sluggish sales of Galaxy S series .

UBI Research mentioned, “In the first quarter of 2018, the sales were sluggish due to falling demand of set makers; however, the full-screen rigid OLED demand began to increase in April, and accordingly the utilization rate of rigid OLED production lines began to rise gradually. From June, the utilization rate is expected to recover to the previous year level. Also, the flexible OLED mass production lines will be likely to be in full operation since Samsung Electronics will start mass production of the next model and Apple will start mass production of new models.”

The overall OLED market was totaled as US $ 6.12 billion in the first quarter of 2018, of which the OLED market for smart phones was 91.1% and the market of OLED for TV was 5.7%.

The OLED market for smartphones is projected to reach 4.4 billion units in 2018, and Samsung Display is expected to hold a market share of 93.4%.

<2018 OLED market forecast>

The competition for ultra-high resolution of OLED that led virtual reality was started.

Recently, set makers are introducing VR devices with higher resolution OLED than mobile devices, and OLED panel makers are focusing attention on developing ultra-high-resolution OLEDs designed for VR devices.

VIVE PRO, which was unveiled at CES 2018, was officially launched in Korea through a new product presentation. VIVE PRO is equipped with 3K resolution and 615ppi OLED, which are upgraded 78% from 448ppi of the previous HTC VIVE.

<HTC VIVE Pro, Source: vive.com>

In addition, OLED panel makers has introduced a number of ultra-high-resolution OLEDs for VR devices. In SID 2018, LG Display unveiled an OLED for 1443ppi VR device, jointly developed with Google. The resolution of conventional OLEDs was at 538ppi level, but LG Display accomplished UHD (3840 x 4800) resolution by applying WRGB + CF.

<LG Display’s 1443ppi OLED, introduced in SID 2018>

Samsung Display also exhibited VR devices made with two 2.43-inch OLED panels at 1,200ppi resolution in SID 2018. The resolution of this VR device, applied with RGB OLED, is much higher than the previous year’s 858ppi.

Sony also announced the commercialization of ‘ECX339A’, a micro OLED for 4,032ppi VR devices, in May. It is also possible to support a frame rate of up to 240fps at 0.5 inches in size. The mass production schedule is November 2018.

Since the distance between the eyes and the display is very short, a VR device shows a ‘side door effect’ in which the pixel patterns of the display are displayed in a lattice form when the resolution is low. As this problem increases eye fatigue and diminishes the reality, panel makers are focusing on high-resolution OLED development, and set makers such as Sony and Facebook (Oculus VR) are applying high-resolution OLEDs to the VR devices.

Recently, not only set makers but also OLED panel makers have introduced a number of high-resolution OLED and VR devices, which have been upgraded more than ever before. Attention is growing whether higher resolution VR devices will be commercialized in the future.

Xiaomi re-adopts OLED in two years.

After two years of the launch of Redmi Pro and Mi Note2 in 2016, Xiaomi adopted OLED again.

On May 31, Xiaomi unveiled its flagship smartphones such as Mi8, Mi8 Explorer Edition, Mi8 SE, and its smart watch Mi band3, to mark the eighth anniversary of its founding.

Xiaomi implemented the full-screen by applying a notch design to the Mi8. The size of the OLED applied to the Mi8 is 6.21 inch and the resolution is 2248×1080 (402ppi). The display area, which represents the percentage of display to smartphone, is 83.8%.

Compared with the iPhoneX, it features the same notch design, OLED application, and vertical dual camera. However, the size of the display is about 0.4 inch bigger, and the display area is about 0.9% wider. Unlike iPhoneX, there is a difference that there is a bezel at the bottom.

<Comparison between iPhoneX and Mi8, source: GSMARENA>

Compared to the Redmi Pro launched in 2016, the display increased by about 21%, DA by about 16%. In comparison with the Mi Note2, the display was widened by about 9% and DA by about 13%.

<Comparison of display size and display area for the smartphones applied with OLED>

The display of the Mi8 Explorer Edition has the same specifications as the Mi8. However, you can see the parts of the smart phone directly by eye because the back side is transparent. Like the VivoX21, fingerprint recognition is possible from the front of the display.

Xiaomi’s Mi8 SE applies with a 5.88-inch OLED with a resolution of 1080×2244 (423ppi), and Mi band3, the successor to Mi band2, has a 0.78-inch OLED.

The Mi8 and Mi8 SE is to be released on June 5 and 8 and will be sold for RMB 2,699 (about Korean Won 450,000) and RMB 1,799 yuan (about Korean Won 300,000 won) respectively. The release date of Mi8 explorer is not yet fixed and its supply price is expected to be RMB 3,699 (about Korean Won 620,000).

[SID 2018] OLEDON, presented about X-mixing plane source deposition technology for AMOLED efficiency enhancement.

In SID 2018, Hwang Chang-Hoon, CEO of OLEDON, announced a new plane source FMM deposition technology that can produce ultra-high resolution AMOLED of 2,250 ppi.

According to the announcement, the linear source currently applied to mass production has a problem of causing superimposition of fine adjacent patterns in a high resolution implementation due to a shadow distance of 3 μm. But Hwang said he succeeded in reducing the shadow distance of the patterns by 0.18 um using plane source, which is the smallest shadow distance ever introduced.

<Shadow effect comparison between current process and the process applied with the plane source, Source: OLEDON>

Hwang added that he developed ‘X-mixing’ technology in which the host and dopant thin films were separately deposited on the metal surface and then the host molecules and dopant molecules were automatically diffused through the plane evaporation to form the light emitting layer. Hwang commented, “It is not easy to control the composition of the dopant by using the linear source evaporation technology, which vaporizes the host material and the dopant material at the same time. However, since X-mixing technology can control the composition, it is possible to achieve a material utilization rate up to 4 times higher than the conventional method.”

<SIMS data comparison between the emitting layer deposited by conventional method and the emitting layer deposited by the plane source, Source: OLEDON>

<Dopant gradient data of the emitting layer applied with X-mixing technology, Source: OLEDON>

Hwang said, “In case of green OLED produced by X-mixing technology, 40% improvement in the emitting efficiency was verified, compared to the existing technology. OLEDON is currently under development of the optimized X- mixing development for forming exciton and the mask aligner with new concept sub-micron precision.

<Luminance data for green OLED produced by X-mixing technology and green OLED produced by the conventional method, Source: OLEDON>

Finally, Mr. Hwang mentioned that based on the development results, he plans to install a plane source FMM evaporator capable of manufacturing ultra-high resolution micro OLED devices in Dankook University.  (Reference: OLEDON homepage: www.oledon.co.kr)

Sony, announced the commercialization of 0.5-inch micro OLED with UXGA resolution

Sony announced the upcoming release of the ‘ECX339A’, a 0.5-inch OLED micro-display with UXGA resolution. According to Sony, it has achieved the world’s smallest pixel pitch of 6.3 μm, enabling a resolution 1.6 times higher than its predecessor, “ECX337A “(0.5-inch QVGA (1280 × 960)).

<Sony’s 0.5 inch micro OLED ‘ECX339A’, Source: sony.co.jp>

By employing newly-designed peripheral circuits that operate on half the voltage of previous model, it supports a high frame rate of up to 240 fps, with dual line progressive driving technique and low power operation.

<Comparison of OLED resolution between new product(left) and previous product(right), Source: sony.co.jp>

According to Sony, the high resolution of the existing micro display had problems such as deterioration in picture quality and deterioration in viewing angle due to pixel pitch reduction; however, they have been improved by Sony’s transistor layout, process optimization, and compensation circuit. In addition, the color filter is deposited directly on the silicon substrate, reducing its distance from the light emitting layer, and the filter’s color array has been modified to secure the viewing angle properties while achieving high resolution.

<Structure and viewing angle image, new product (left) and previous product (right), Source: sony.co.jp>

The mass production schedule for the ECX339A is November 2018, and the sample price is set at JPY 50,000 (Tax not included). Sony expects this product to be applied to high-end cameras and head-mounted displays for virtual reality, which require the highest picture quality.

<ECX339A, key specifications, Source: sony.co.jp>

 

[SID2018] Samsung display’s OLED technology, one step closer to full screen

At the SID2018 exhibition in Los Angeles, a new concept OLED with no front speakers on the Smartphone was introduced.

Samsung Display’s new “Sound on display” removes the speaker at the top of the smart phone. Instead, it has a piezo electric actuator on the back of the panel that can turn the electrical signal into vibration. This is the mechanism by which the actuator vibrates the OLED panel to produce sound. It is the same method as LG Display’s “Crystal sound OLED”.

When this technology is utilized, the speaker can be removed from the front of the smart phone, resulting in a wider display area. Following the trend that the home button is embedded in the display, OLED will continue to evolve in the direction that the speaker is also embedded in the display.

TCL announced “Establishing large-area OLED panel production plant”, is solution processed RGB OLED mass production accelerated?

China TCL will invest RMB 42.8 billion (US$ 6.71 billion) in Shenzhen to establish a factory for large-area OLED panel production. According to South China Morning Post, TCL recently announced that it will produce 90,000 units on the basis of 70-inch panel in the new production line of Gen 11 (3370 mm x 2940 mm) with the goal of mass production in March 2021 in the data submitted to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. The main products are to be known as 65-inch and 75-inch OLED panels, and 65-inch, 70-inch and 75-inch display panels with 8K resolution.

TCL will form a partnership with the China Development Fund for the necessary financing and will set up a new production line at TCL’s semiconductor subsidiary with RMB 20.3 billion.

Large-area OLED to be produced by TCL is expected to adopt solution process RGB. At the ‘4th OLED Korea conference’ hosted by UBI Research in March, James Lee, deputy chief engineer of TCL mentioned about the development of next-generation premium TV with the screen size of 70-inch or more and 8K resolution, based on the solution process.

Lee said, “The price difference between OLED TV and premium LCD TV is estimated to be reduced to 1.4 times when the price of large-area OLED panel is lowered by the operation of LG Display’s Gen 10.5 plant in 2020. We are developing solution process technology for large area OLED and it will be applicable to Gen11 factory. ”

Gen 11 production line is capable of producing six sheets of 75-inch OLED panels, being able to achieve a yield three times higher than Gen 8.5 production line and a cutting efficiency of over 95%. In addition, it is possible to produce large-area OLED panels with a real RGB structure instead of the WRGB structure when solution process is applied. Based on this, TCL emphasized that the construction of the Gen 11 solution process OLED mass production line is essential. Meanwhile, TCL has jointly established JUHUA Printing Display Technology with Tianma, a Chinese company, in 2016 through CSOT, which is a subsidiary of TCL, and is continuously developing the inkjet printing process by a Gen 4.5 R&D pilot plant.

Foldable OLED device is nearing commercialization. What are the technical challenges to be solved?

Attentions are growing for the foldable smartphone since it can provide a wider screen and higher resolution than the display of conventional smartphones, while maintaining the portability of the smartphone. The foldable smartphone is a smartphone when folded, and it becomes a tablet PC when it is unfolded. Following Samsung Electronics, Huawei is also aiming to launch a smartphone with a foldable display this year.

Yi Choong-Hoon, president of UBI Research, said, “Ideal foldable displays require such kind of reliability that there is no problem even with more than 300,000 times folding at the bending radius of 1R or less. For this, some changes or innovations are needed in the material and structure of the display.

In the ‘2018 OLED Component & Material Report’ published by UBI Research on May 21, 2018, the key issues and development trends for foldable OLED display with a bending radius of 1R are described together with the classified contents of structural change to secure reliability at thickness reduction and alternative material development.

<Change in OLED panel thickness accoding to bending radius, 2018 OLED component & material report, UBI Research>

In addition, the report covers the application status, development trends, and market forecast of key components and materials for rigid OLED and flexible OLED for mobile device, and large-area OLED for TV. Thus, it is helpful for the related part and material companies to develop their future directions, establish business strategies, and analyze technology and market trends.

Samsung Electronics, is increasing full screen rigid OLED adoption.

Samsung Electronics is expected to launch next-generation smartphones with full-screen rigid OLEDs, next to the popular Galaxy A8 (2018) series. Accordingly, attention is focused whether the sluggish rigid OLED market will revive.

In early May, Samsung Electronics unveiled ‘Galaxy A6 (2018)’ and ‘Galaxy A6 + (2018)’ with full screen rigid OLED, eliminating the home button. The Galaxy A6 (2018) adopts rigid OLED with HD + (1480 x 720) resolution at 5.6 inch, and the Galaxy A6 + (2018) is applied with rigid OLED with FHD + (2220 x 1080) resolution at 6.0 inch

<Samsung Galaxy A6(2018), Source: GSM-specs.com>

On the other hand, the official rendering image of Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy J6 (2018), another entry-level smartphone, was leaked through WinFuture, the German media on May 16.

<Samsung Galaxy J6(2018), Source: WinFuture>

The Galaxy J6 (2018) is expected to have 5.6-inch rigid OLED with FHD + (2220 x 1080) resolution. Both the Galaxy A6 series and the Galaxy J6 are expected to be launched around the end of May.

Recently, the demand for rigid OLED for smartphone market has decreased due to the introduction of full screen LCD as well as LCD adoption in low-priced smartphones. Consequently, the utilization rate of rigid OLED mass production line has also decreased. According to UBI Research, rigid OLED shipments rose steadily from 2014 to 2016, but 290 million units were shipped in 2017, 8% down from the previous year.

However, the full screen rigid OLED, which was launched in the second half of 2017, started to be adopted in the VIVO X20 and Galaxy A8, and has been expanded to be applied to a number of smartphones such as the Galaxy A6 series and Galaxy J6. As the utilization rate of rigid OLED mass production lines is expected to normalize from the second half of this year, attention is growing whether rigid OLED market will be rebounded again.

LG OLED TV was selected as the best TV for 3 consecutive years.

At the best 2018 TV released recently by Consumer Reports, US consumer magazine, LG Electronics’ 65-inch OLED TV ‘OLED65C8PUA’ was selected as the best product among all the products.

<LG Electronics’ OLED65C8PUA, Source: lg.com>

Consumer Reports notes that the OLED65C8 has a good balance of price and performance. With the excellent quality of images including excellent high definition, UHD performance, and infinite viewing angles, it mentions that ThinQ AI platform, an artificial intelligence platform, is also excellent.

LG Electronics’ OLED TV series has remained in the first place for three consecutive years since being selected as the best product in 2016. In particular, the OLED TV released this year was upgraded to higher quality by installing ‘Alpha 9′, a proprietary image quality chip developed by LG Electronics, to reduce noise to half compared with previous models, and to achieve accurate colors with more sophisticated color coordinates.

On the other hand, LG Electronics’ OLED TV continues to secure its position in the premium TV market. LG Electronics announced at the conference call held on April, 26th that the sales revenue and operating profit of its HE (Home Entertainment) business division were recorded KRW 4.12 trillion and KRW W577.3 billion, respectively in the first quarter of 2018. In particular, OLED TVs and UHD TVs led the growth. The operating margin reached 14.0%.

According to LG Electronics, it will continue to operate TV business with profitability. The proportion of OLED TV sales is expected to grow from 10 percent last year to mid 10% ~20% of the total TV sales this year.

OLEDWorks announces ‘OLEDSurface Light Module’ which integrates OLED light and driver.

OLEDWorks, specialized in OLED lighting, recently announced the launch of ‘OLEDSurface Light Module’, which integrates OLED lighting, driver and frame.

The OLEDSurface, 8.1m in thickness and 90grams, has a color temperature of 3000K or 4000K and brightness of up to 300 lm. It can be easily mounted to any flat surface such as walls or ceilings, and does not require an additional heat dissipation system. The module also includes a low voltage constant current driver and a 0-10V dimming-compatible driver.

“The beauty of the OLEDSurface Light Module allows designers of all skill levels to effortlessly install elegant light tiles for the pure, direct view light experience that is uniquely OLED. In addition, developers will realize cost savings for low voltage wiring, optional elimination of junction boxes, and no need for a plenum that hides bulky heat sinks and drivers.” explained Giana Phelan, OLEDWorks’ director of business development.

Applied with Brite OLED lighting panel, the OLEDSurface runs from any low voltage power source (28-48VDC) with typical power consumption of 5.4W.

Brite OLED lighting panel is one of OLEDWorks’ flagship products and the new Brite 3 series was unveiled at Light + Building 2018. The Brite3 products consist of square, rectangular and round type of rigid OLED lighting and bendOLED type of flexible OLED lighting. Rigid OLED lighting panel has a lifetime of 100,000 hours and efficiency of 80 lm/w and bendable OLED lighting panel provides an efficacy of up to 63lm/W with a lifetime of up to 50,000 hours.

<Brite 3 series OLED lighting panel introduced at Light+Building 2018>18

 

Is accelerating the localization for FMM, which can realize ultra-high resolution?

Since Fine Metal Mask (FMM) plays a role of depositing pixel and RGB organic materials, FMM is a factor that determines the resolution and yield of OLED. However, FMM is currently confronted with some limitations that thermal expansion occurs during the deposition process or shadow effects arise due to its weight.

In addition, the total amount of FMM is imported at high prices in the form of finished products which are made by Japanese Dainippon Printing (DNP)’ etching process with the rolled invar produced by Hitachi Metals.

Under the circumstances, domestic and overseas related industries are concentrating on developing FMM in various ways such as laser processing, but they are still in R & D stage.

The research team of Professor Park Yong-Bum of New Material Engineering Department of Sunchon University announced on 9th May that it succeeded in developing the technology of electroforming invar manufacturing technology. This is a technique for separating the metal attached to the cathode while utilizing the electroplating, and making FMM.

<Thermal expansion curves and microstructure of electroforming invar, source: Suncheon University>

According to the research team, invar can be produced as a sheet material, and the shape of the patterned cathode can be copied as it is, through this technology. In addition, the thickness of FMM can be reduced to about 7μm, about half the thickness of the current FMM, which might be helpful to realize super high image quality.

Professor Park said, “The level of Japanese research on the electroforming invar has been pursued to the bottom of our research team, and China has entered into development with a large amount of capital.” In order for Korean companies to gain international competitiveness, I thought the academic circles needed to support it actively. Consequently, I have decided to publish all the databases that have been built and researched for nearly 20 years through papers.”

Attention is focused whether it is to be successful in localizing FMM, the total amount of which has been imported.

SCREEN Holdings, Strengthening OLED business through construction of new factory in Hikone City, Shiga Prefecture

SCREEN Holdings announced on the 8th May that it will build a new manufacturing factory for display equipment and deposition equipment at its Hikone office in Shiga Prefecture.

<SCREEN Holdings’ New factory completion image, Source: screen.co.jp>

According to SCREEN Holdings, the construction of a new plant is aimed at expanding its market share by strengthening the production capacity of existing equipment. It is planned to be completed in October, 2018 with the total construction cost of 2 billion yen.

Based on this investment, SCREEN Holdings is expecting to build a clean environment capable of responding to the production of manufacturing equipment for flexible display, including OLED, which requires miniaturization.

Meanwhile, SCREEN Holdings has introduced its OLED equipment consistently. It showcased its OLED production equipment for automotive in July 2017 and 6G OLED TFT and TSP slit coater in November 2017.

<SCREEN Holdings’ OLED equipment for automotive, Source: asia.nikkei.com>

 

BLUE OLED, is rapidly emerging as a competitor of WRGB OLED

In the premium TV market, the share of OLED TVs is steadily increasing, and the price gap with LCD is gradually decreasing. As a result, LCD TV (QD-LCD TV) companies using quantum dot technology are sluggish in the premium TV market.

OLED TV uses white OLED and OLED panel with color filter (hereafter referred to as WRGB OLED), which is mass-produced only by LG Display.

Samsung Display is known to actively develop blue OLED + QDCF (blue OLED), which is one of the technologies to compete with WRGB OLED in the premium TV market.

UBI Research predicted that Samsung Display would implement blue OLED + QDCF with top emission method and it would be more advantageous to implement 8K and BT 2020 than WRGB in its ‘2018 OLED Material Industry Report’ published on April 18.

<Expected stack structure for Blue OLED, 2stack (left), 3stack (right), 2018 AMOLED emitting materials Report, UBI Research>

8K and BT2020 are to be adopted for the premium TVs. Also, the development of blue materials is expected to be aggressively progressed according to Samsung Display’s development of blue OLED. The blue material currently used in OLED is a fluorescent material that is insufficient in the efficiency and lifetime than phosphorescent material used in red and green. Blue phosphorescent materials have been developed continuously but they have not been applied to mass production due to the scarcity of materials and technical barriers. Therefore, blue fluorescent materials are stacked two or more times to improve efficiency and lifetime for large area OLED, and blue OLED is expected to use more than 2 stack structure.

 

With this trend, the market for blue emitting materials is expected to continue to grow. In 2017, blue materials (host and dopant) formed market of US$ 70 million.  According to the 2018 AMOLED emitting material market track published by UBI Research, blue material is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 32% by 2022 and reach US $ 272 million sales.

<Blue material (host and dopant) market forecast, 2018 AMOLED emitting materials Market track>

 

Foldable smart phone, can it absorb tablet PC market?

“If foldable Smartphone is launched and commercialized in earnest, the high-priced tablet PC market is likely to disappear.”

Choong-hoon Yi, president of UBI Research, said in ‘the Latest OLED Technology Trends Seminar’ held at COEX in Seoul on the 26th April, 2018.

He also mentioned “The foldable smart phone is expected to be implemented as a 5.2 inch display with a 7.2 inch display folded in half. In addition, a bar-type display is to be added to the outside to check time and other information.”

Yi analyzed, “Foldable Smartphone can provide a momentum to revitalize the stagnant Smartphone market, and a positive aspect that can induce new investments to secure a sufficient number of panels due to the increase in the display screen size.”.

“If foldable smartphones are launched and commercialized, there is a possibility that the expensive tablet PC market will be disappeared. Foldable Smartphone can bring the tablet PC market which is being led by Apple.”He added.

Yi then predicted that foldable smart phones would implement 4K since their screen size is larger than normal smart phones. “OLED smart phones, which currently remain in QHD resolution, are expected to be difficult to implement it in five years due to the problems in masks, wiring widths and exposure systems; however, foldable smart phones are more free from these problems.” He said.

Finally, Yi pointed out the market success factors of the foldable smart phone as pioneering the Smartphone market for over $ 1,000, development of dedicated applications/contents and early establishment of 5G communication technology for data transmission such as video streaming.

Meanwhile, he estimated that OLED panels for foldable smartphones would be shipped to 100 thousand units in 2018, and 2.83 million units would be shipped in 2022.

<Shipment forecast of OLED panels for foldable Smartphone, Source: Q2’18 OLED panel market track @UBI Research>

 

In order to accelerate the mass production of solution processed OLED?

At the latest OLED technology trends seminar organized by UBI Research in Seoul COEX on April 26th, professor Seo presented about the status of solution processed OLED for large-area TV production.

Professor Seo emphasized that there are four technical challenges to advance the mass production of solution processed OLED.

 

The first challenge is the development of materials that can form stable and flat thin films. When the emitting material for solution process is applied, the solvent causes a convection phenomenon due to solubility and boiling point. Therefore, it is difficult to make a flat film because the speed at which the solvent flows is different for each region.

 

The second is the development of cross linked HTL materials. Emitting material companies are mixing cross-linking agents into HTL materials for solution process to solve intermixing problems between layers. However, a pinhole is formed due to a cross linking reaction with the surrounding small molecular materials when crosslinked materials in small molecule type are used. This kind of pinhole lowers the uniformity of the thin film, and therefore it is necessary to develop crosslinked HTL materials that can improve the reproducibility and lifetime of OLED in solution process.

 

The third is the jetting condition. He proposed a jetting condition that can minimize the volume deviation of the emitting material for solution process every head since it is necessary to drop the emitting material for solution process of less than 4 pl to the desired position in the size of 20-50 um to realize 8K. Lastly, he commented that it is required to optimize the drying process of solvent. UBI Research described that the solution OLED process has a simple (5 layer) structure and high material utilization efficiency compared to the conventional deposition process. In addition, it is possible to manufacture large-area OLED with RGB structure without the division of mother glass at Gen8 or higher. When major panel makers adopt solution process, it is available to reduce the manufacturing cost of OLED due to the decrease of equipment and equipment scale as well as material cost and labor cost reduction. According to the 2018 Annual OLED Display Industry Report and 2018 Emitting material Industry Report published by UBI research, solution processed OLED is to be mass produced from 2019 in earnest, and the shipment is expected to be 0.2 million units in 2019 and 9.2 million units in 2022. Accordingly, the emitting material market for solution process is estimated to grow to US$ 110 million in 2022 from US$ 9 million in 2019.

Micro LED TV, is the price competitive compared to OLED TV?

“It needs to consider how to resolve the price competitiveness compared to other displays, such as OLED, before Micro LED is to be applied to the big screen TVs of 60 inches and 70 inches in future.”

 

Moon Dae-Gyu, professor of Soonchunhyang University, mentioned as above while explaining the micro LED technology at the ‘latest OLED technology trends seminar’ organized by UBI Research in Seoul COEX on April 26th, 2018.

 

“Micro LED is attracting attention as a technology capable of realizing a high resolution display of 1,000 ppi or more. Since micro LEDs are individually obtained from a LED wafer by the photo process, they are not affected by the size and shape of a substrate, and have the merits that the advantages of existing LED such as luminance, lifetime and low power consumption, can be applied as they are.” professor Moon added.

In addition, it is expected to be a good environment to show the advantages of micro LED in the field where power consumption is very important, such as wearable appliances. He also predicted that it is possible to implement display in no tile form in very large display area such as public display and digital wall, which might be easy segments for micro LED to enter.

 

However, regarding the mass production of micro LED TV, which is becoming a recent issue, Moon said, “In order to implement 4K, 24.8 million LED chips (with a size of 10 μm/chip) are required. At the 4 inch wafer, which is currently being commercialized, 4K panels can be produced twice only. Thus, it is doubtful whether micro LED is competitive compared to LCD and OLED in terms of mass production.”

Commenting about TFT uniformity and pixel uniformity of the micro LED, he mentioned “TFT uniformity can be sufficiently compensated by the compensation circuit that is currently applied to OLED, but it should be considered how to solve the color imbalance problem.”

Micro LED TV, which was introduced by Samsung Electronics in CES 2018, and received a lot of attentions at the time, but it was disagreed about commercialization. In particular, Kang In-Byung, CTO of LG Display, pointed out, “About 25 million LEDs are needed to realize 4K micro LED TV. Even if 1 LED is 1 Korean Won, the cost might be 25 million. And when the circuits and boards are added, it would be a huge price.”

LG Electronics expect OLED TV sales portion to grow to mid 10% ~ 20% of total TV sales this year

LG Electronics announced at the conference call held on April, 26th that the sales revenue and operating profit of its HE (Home Entertainment) business division were recorded KRW 4.12 trillion and KRW W577.3 billion, respectively in the first quarter of 2018. The sales declined due to the seasonal weakness, compared with the previous quarter, but grew 7.4% YoY. In particular, OLED TVs and UHD TVs led the growth.  Operating profit grew 76.5% YoY thanks to the continued premium product sales growth, material cost drop, and improved cost structure. The operating margin reached 14.0%, which is the first time that the HE division has achieved a double-digit OP margin. As for the second quarter forecast, LG Electronics said, “We expect TV demand to increase slightly compared to the same period of last year due to the impact of sports events on the market. In particular, the rapid growth of the premium TV market is expected to continue.”

LG Electronics also mentioned “With the plan for sales growth to be continued by responding timely to the demand for additional sports events, and strengthening sales of new products, we are going to maintain sound profit structure by increasing sales of OLED TVs and UHD TVs and enhancing cost competitiveness.”

 

Ha Jin-Ho, Senior Vice President of HE Division, LG Electronics said “ Achieving 14% operating profit in the 1st quarter, 2018 means that we have strengthened our brand centered on value, with no more volume sales.’’ OLED TV has brought synergistic effects, and we will continue to operate TV business with profitability. The proportion of OLED TV sales is expected to grow from 10 percent last year to mid 10% ~20% of the total TV sales this year.” he added.

LG Display “expects OLED TV sales portion to account for mid 20% of total sales this year, and is to review switching LCD fab to OLED if necessary.”

Kim Sang-Don, LG Display’s CFO, said in a conference call on the 25th, “It has been successful with regard to customer demand forecast and high-end positioning for large area OLED panels.” “OLED TVs accounted for around 15% of LG Display’s sales last year and that number is expected to grow to the mid-20% range this year.” he commented. “In 2018, the production for large area OLED panels will be in the range of 2.5 ~2.8 million units, which makes it difficult to meet all the demand due to the limited capacity. Therefore, LG Display plans to aggressively respond to the market demand by expanding productivity by reducing tact time, mass-producing large area OLED panels in its Chinese fab in 2019, and converting its domestic LCD fabs to OLED fabs, if necessary.” he said.

Also he added “It now has 15 big customers for its OLED TV panels, drawing more manufacturers from China, as well as key buyers Sony and LG Electronics, LG Display will strive to achieve good results in terms of profitability next year”.

Regarding small and medium-sized POLED, CFO Kim said, “As the investment cost is high with the high market volatility, we are considering very conservatively investment. We will make conservative decisions based on the best possible assessment of potential risks.” But he said, the company is constantly working in response to the expectations that POLED will become a design form factor not only for smart phones but also for automobiles and foldable. He further commented that the response and collaboration from its primary customers are favorable particularly for the automotive POLED, the investment stance is to be maintained; however, its speed and scale will be adjusted by monitoring its adaptability and market demand. In addition, for the question of the technical problem of small and medium-sized POLED which is known through recent media, he replied that it might not be filtered with lack of fact checking and it is not based on fact.

On the other hand, LG Display’s revenue fell 19.6 percent to KRW 5,673 billion in the first quarter of 2018 from KRW 7,062 billion in the first quarter of 2017 and decreased by 20% from KRW 7,126 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017. The company also had an operating loss of KRW 98 billion in the first three months this year, compared with the operating profit of KRW 1,027 billion in the first quarter of 2017. The net loss in the first quarter of 2018 was KRW 49 billion, compared with the net income of KRW 679 billion in the first quarter of 2017.

Saying “The loss was due to the weak demand for panels with the decline in LCD panel prices and an unfavorable exchange rate”, CFO Kim Sang-Don commented “ In order to secure future competitiveness, LG Display will reduce LCD investment and shift to OLED business to secure long-term profit. Given the company’s strategy of shifting to an OLED-focused business structure, it will continue to focus on differentiated products.”

Samsung Electronics’ Display Business Operating Profit in 1Q 2018 slowed down to KRW 410 billion

Samsung Electronics reported sales of KRW 60.56 trillion and operating profit of KRW 15.64 trillion in the first quarter of 2018 at the conference held on April 26. Its display division generated sales of KRW7.54 trillion with the operating profit of KRW410 billion. Display sales QoQ and YoY are -32.6% and 3.4%, respectively, and operating profit QoQ and YoY are -70.9% and -68.5%, respectively. OLED sales accounted for 70% of its total display sales. According to Samsung Electronics, the profitability of OLED segment in the first quarter of 2018 declined due to a decrease in demand from major customers and intensified competition with LTPS LCD for rigid OLED. In spite of the downturn in sales due to seasonal weakness and the decline in panel prices, LCD division achieved similar profitability as the previous quarter, thanks to the increased sales portion of high value-added products such as large-size and UHD and continuous cost reductions.

 

OLED demand is expected to continue to decline in the second quarter of 2018, and Samsung Electronics plans to expand its customer base while striving to secure competitiveness through cost reduction and production efficiency improvement. Although LCD segment is also expected to continue to show oversupply in 2Q 2018 due to the launch of new LCD lines, Samsung Electronics plans to secure profitability through timely development of high value-added and differentiated products, and cost reduction activities. Samsung Electronics said the demand of OLED panels for mobile devices is anticipated to gradually recover in the second half of 2018, while flexible products are expected to be the main focus of premium products. Also it emphasized that Samsung will expand its market share by expanding customer base through new technologies and new products, and strengthening cost competitiveness, together with technology differentiation with LCD and enhancement of new applications capacity. For the LCD segment, uncertainties are to be increased as Chinese panel makers continue to expand production volumes with the fierce competitions competition among companies. Samsung mentioned that it will continue to focus on differentiating with the large and high-end premium products and strengthening strategic partnerships with major customers to secure profitability.  In the first quarter of 2018, Samsung Electronics sold 86 million mobile phones and 5 million tablets. The sales for mobile phone sales in Q2 2018 are expected to decline compared to the previous quarter, and tablet sales are expected to maintain the level of the previous quarter.

 

Total investment of Samsung Electronics in the first quarter of 2018 was 8.6 trillion won, of which 0.8 trillion won was invested in the display. Although the investment plan for this year has not been finalized yet, it is expected to decline from 2017 due to the rapid expansion of flexible OLED production, new technology development, and facility investment to prepare for market growth last year. Choi Kwon-Young, Vice President of Samsung Display said, “Currently, the mass production of A4 line is ready for operation in accordance with the agreed schedule with the customer. And A3 line is trying to minimize the drop in operation rate.” He continued “We are under development by focusing on Quantum dot and 8K technologies to meet customer needs for big screen TV market. Also we are interested in various next-generation display technologies including micro LED.”

 

Samsung Electronics has continued research and development for the commercialization of foldable phone, and now it is working with various companies to improve the product’s completeness.” Samsung said. Further, it added “We are focusing on improving the completeness of the product so that it can give real value to the consumers rather than simply launching it for the first time in the world. If the parts performance and durability for the implementation of the foldable phone are more stabilized, and various use cases are found with the emergence of new form factor, we will disclose separately the timing of its commercialization.”

Can BLUE OLED be used for OLED TV?

Samsung Display selected blue OLED + QDCF (blue OLED) as next generation display technology following LCD TV, and started the necessary development.

Blue OLED is a technology, in which blue light emitted from blue OLED passes through a quantum dot color filter to represent red and green colors (b). The WRGB OLED used in OLED TV is a method in which white light passes through a color filter and implements RGB colors (a).

The ‘2018 OLED Materials Industry Report’ published by UBI Research on April 18 describes whether blue OLED, which Samsung Display has started to develop, can become TV OLED panels. The expected development direction and performance (efficiency and lifetime) of blue OLED + QDCF are analyzed. In particular, current status and development trends (fluorescence, phosphorescence, TADF) of blue emitting material, which is the core material of blue OLED, are covered.

Since blue OLED of Samsung Display is top emission type, the aperture ratio is increased by about 70% compared to the bottom emission, which emits light in the TFT direction, so that 8K resolution and high brightness are realized better than the conventional WRGB OLED. In addition, it is expected to reach BT. 2020, the UHD color standard, which was established by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in 2012, using QD material with high color reproduction rate as color filter.

In the future premium TV market, 8K and BT. 2020 are necessary conditions for display. WRGB OLED is also being actively developed to implement 8K and BT2020. Attention is focused on the impact of the development of blue OLED in the premium TV market led by WRGB OLED.

In addition, the report analyzes the market status and development trends of the related companies, including overall technology development directions and key issues for new materials such as soluble OLED materials and near IR materials.

OLED smartphones launched in the first quarter of 2018 exceeded the average DA 80%

Analysis of OLED smartphones released in the first quarter of 2018 shows that the average display size of OLED smartphones and the display area (DA), which represents the size of the display compared to the size of the smartphone, have increased significantly.

In the first quarter of 2018, 13 OLED smartphones were launched from five major companies. Samsung Electronics released the largest number of OLED smartphones with 5 models and Vivo launched 3 models, Oppo 2 models, Elephone 2 models and Huawei 1 OLED smartphone respectively.

Of the 13 types of OLED smartphones launched during 1Q, 2018, 12 full screen OLED smartphones have been released with removing the home button on the screen. Among them, four smartphones adopted the notch design. In the first quarter of 2018, the smartphones with full-screen OLED, which had been adopted in order to expand the display size from the limited smartphone size from the second half of 2017, were launched in earnest.

<OLED smartphones released in the first quarter of 2018>

As the full screen OLED smartphones were released, the average size of display and DA also increased sharply.

The average display size of OLED smartphones launched in the first quarter of 2018 was 6.01 inch. This is 6.7% up from 2016 and 7.7% up from 2017. In addition, the display area (DA) is 81.6%, which is much larger than 71.6% in 2016 and 74.1% in 2017.

<Change in display size and DA by year>

Meanwhile, the average ppi of OLED smartphones released in 2018 was 422.9, which was 5.9% higher than in 2016, but similar to the average ppi of 422.2 in 2017. This is because the number of high-resolution OLED smartphones with a QHD level or higher have been released since 2017.

Following OLED, notch design to LCD becomes a marketing trend in 2018?

At the 6th China Information Technology Expo (CITE 2018) held in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China from April 8 to 11, 2018, a number of panel makers and set makers exhibited notch-designed display panels and smart phones.

 

In CITE 2018, five panel manufacturers exhibited in CITE 2018; BOE, EDO, GVO, Tianma and CSOT. Among them, BOE, Tianma and CSOT exhibited notch-designed display panels.

 

First, BOE introduced 6.2-inch OLED panels applied with notched design. The OLED panel exhibited by BOE has a resolution of 2992 x 1440 with 537 ppi and 400 nit brightness.

 

LCD panels also began to adopt Notch Design. Tianma presented a 6.18-inch LCD panel with a notch design. CSOT also exhibited two 6.25-inch LCD panels and a 6.18-inch LCD panel applied with notched design.

<’Notch design’ display panels exhibited in CITE 2018>

Vivo, a Smartphone maker, also exhibited the X21 with a notch design. The X21, released in March, has a resolution of 1080 x 2280 with 6.28 inch screen.

<Vivo X21, OLED Smartphone with notch design>

Since Apple first unveiled its OLED smart phone with the notch design on iPhone X, a number of smart phone makers such as Vivo, Oppo, and Huawei have begun to release OLED smart phones. In this exhibition, many panel makers presented a large number of LCD panels to which Notch Design is applied. Attention is growing whether Notch Design can become a trend in the small and medium sized display market in 2018.

Idemitsu Kosan, Establishment of a Subsidiary related to OLED Materials in the city of Chengdu, China

Idemitsu Kosan reported on a recent press release that it reached a basic agreement with the government of the Chengdu Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone in the city of Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China, on the establishment of a local subsidiary.

 

Based on the growth of display industry in China, Idemitsu Kosan recently announced that it is investing in OLED manufacturing, and it will strengthen its supply structure and technological support in preparation for further growth in the demand for OLED materials in China.

The name of the wholly owned subsidiary of Idemitsu Kosan is Idemitsu Electronic Materials (China) Co., Ltd. with the capital of about JPY 1.3 billion.

 

Idemitsu Kosan said it plans to complete the construction of the new company’s facility in 2019 and start material production.

UBI Research, just published ‘AMOLED Manufacturing Process’ report on latest AMOLED process

Recently the smart phone market is led by smart phones that use full screen OLED, and premium TV market is dominated by OLED TVs. In order to realize full screen OLED and UHD resolution large area OLED, different structures and processes have been applied, but it is difficult for the display related companies to grasp them in detail.

UBI Research just published the ‘AMOLED Manufacturing Process’ report, which analyzes the latest processes both for small and medium- sized OLED and large area OLED.

 

As the report analyzes the structure and manufacturing process by dividing AMOLED into small & medium size and large area with additional description and diagram for the inspection process of small & medium sized AMOLED, it is expected to help to understand the overall structure and core processes of AMOLED.

 

Chapter 1 of the report covers the overall structure both for small & medium sized OLED and large area OLED, ranging from AMOLED substrates to modules. In Section 2, the double poly (polyimide) process, LTPS TFT & oxide TFT process, pixel process both for OLED & solution processed OLED, process by encapsulation, cell process, and module process are sequentially analyzed. In Chapter 3, the inspection & measurement process of small and medium-sized AMOLED is described with all the list of major equipment. Also, Samsung Display’s pad bending process both for 9-mask LTPS TFT and 13-mask LTPS TFT, and LG Display’s oxide TFT process for large-area OLED are described from Chapter 4. Since the equipment and materials used at each process are analyzed in detail, the report is very helpful to understand easily the latest TFT process.

<Rigid OLED structure, add on type>

 

LG Display 88-inch 8K OLED TV was released to the public through CITE held in Shenzhen, China.

CITE, an electronics trade show held in China on April 10, 2018, had a relatively lukewarm atmosphere with significantly fewer visitors than last year. It seems to have been influenced by the lack of special IT issues, compared to last year when it was crowded with the attention of many general visitors.

 

Especially, there were no new products on the TV appliance side. Most of the exhibitors displayed the same products as those of last year or 2018 CES. On the other hand, LG Display unveiled its 88-inch 8K OLED TV, which had been hiding in its own booth, at the front of the booth. CSOT also showcased OLED displays made with printing technology that had been publicized several times during several conferences. 8K OLED TV is to be the future of the high-end premium TV as it clearly shows the advantages of OLED display such as contrast ratio, sharp image quality and color reproduction through large screen. CSOT’s 31-inch display is meaningful because it exhibited the results of CSOT’s printing OLED technology development. It is preparing for a new investment of about 20K TV line next year. The exhibited product was manufactured by using top emission Ink-jet printing technology to oxide TFT. The peak brightness is 150 nit at 144 ppi.

<88 inch 8K OLED TV – LG Display>

<31inch Ink-jet printed OLED Display – CSOT>

Vivo, which was the first to unveil the smart phone X21 with a built-in fingerprint sensor, displayed only the X21 model at its booth.  As a result of the actual registration testings, the fingerprint was recognized several times compared to the existing fingerprint registration, and the test recognition rate was not bad, but the response speed was slightly slower than opening the screen with the home button. In addition, most panel makers exhibited displays similar to the notch design of the iPhone X, which created various issues over the past six months, and set makers such as Vivo and Oppo released similar notch type smart phones. According to one official of some panel maker, the response to the design is not positive, but he said the company made it along with Apple. In his personal opinion, he preferred full screen design. Despite the sluggish performance of iPhone X, it still shows Apple’s strong market influence that the smart phones of the similar designs were released.

 

BOE, which started the operation of its Chengdu factory in 3Q 2017, exhibited various OLED panels made using plastic substrates. One official of BOE expressed confidence that it is only Samsung Display and BOE that can mass produce flexible OLED panels using plastic substrates across the globe.

Changes in OLED panel market for smartphones

According to the ‘2018 1Q AMOLED Display Market Track’ published by UBI Research, OLED panel shipments for smartphones are projected to grow at an annual average growth rate of 15.8%, from 450 million units in 2018 to 850 million units by 2022. This is a 9.6% decline from the CAGR 25.4% expected in the fourth quarter of 2017.

<Shipment forecast of OLED panel for smartphones >

The reason shipment forecast of OLED panels for smartphones is declined compared with 4Q,2017 is because smartphone trends have been reflected recently. The smartphone market is sluggish due to the prolonged replacement period of smartphones and the lack of new technology. In addition, the average size of smartphones has enlarged faster than expected, and the size of smartphones is expected to increase gradually with the anticipation for the launch of foldable OLEDs, leading to a slowdown in the shipment growth.

 

For flexible OLED, ASPs have risen due to the lack of supply, caused by mainly dependent on Samsung Display, and Chinese set makers are burdened by its high prices. As low-priced full-screen LCDs are emerging, it is forecasted that demand for rigid OLEDs will decline since Chinese set makers are adopting more LCDs than OLEDs in rigid smartphones.

Panel makers in Korea and China have aggressively invested in the Gen6 OLED line in 2016 and 2017. Starting this year, however, they are reviewing the investment and operation time frame of mass production lines, with looking into the smartphone demand. As OLED panels for smartphones account for more than 90% of the total OLED panel market, it is an important factor for the investment flow of panel makers.

 

Meanwhile, ‘2018 1Q AMOLED Display Market Track’ is based on the market performance data and projected system that UBI Research has accumulated over 15 years. It consists of 8 (eight) modules in total: Panel cost analysis, Market forecast, Supply and demand analysis, Market performance (sales), Competitiveness analysis of panel makers, ASP, Supply chain analysis and investment & Mass production line status.

LG Display, showing next generation OLED technology at ‘CITE 2018’

LG Display is showing OLEDs applied to various applications in the ‘China Information Technology Expo 2018’ held in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China from April 9 to 11, 2018.

 

CITE is the largest information/electronic exhibition in Asia hosted by China’s Ministry of Communications and the local government of Shenzhen, held every year recording more than 1,500 exhibitors participating and about 160,000 visitors attending.

 

Based on the slogan ‘OLED is already in the spotlight’, LG Display is demonstrating not only picture quality, but also the possibilities of OLED products in terms of application range and design.

 

OLED is widely regarded as the best display in the world in terms of brightness, color accuracy and viewing angle. In particular, large area OLED, has gained popularity in the premium market, which LG Display has developed uniquely and meets various consumer needs with different image quality and new design potential.

 

LG Display exhibited the world’s first 88-inch 8K OLED, which was unveiled earlier this year, attracting visitors. It is the largest of all existing OLED TV products and delivers four times (7680×4320 resolution) sharper picture quality than UHD (3840×2160 resolution). OLED is a self-luminous display, and is easy to realize high resolution 8K since there is no brightness drop due to the reduction of the aperture ratio. With LG Display’s innovative process/design and compensation technology added, OLEDs are expected to lead the ultra-large/ultra-high-definition market by realizing true 8K.

<The first 8K OLED TV in the world, source: LG Display>

LG Display also exhibited the 65-inch CSO (Crystal Sound OLED) with speakers, and won the CITE 2018 Technology Innovation Gold Award for the most innovative products. It is an innovative product that makes the sound system internal to the panel, bringing sound directly from the screen. Instead of listening to the sound coming from separate speakers, it matches the position of the screen and sound, maximizing the sense of presence and immersion.

<65 inch CSO (Crystal Sound OLED), source: LG Display>

In addition, it introduces various application possibilities while showcasing a 77-inch UHD wallpapers OLED, which can be closely adhered to the wall to enhance the interior effect of the living room, and a round shaped pillar product consisting of six 77-inch UHD OLEDs.

 

Meanwhile, LG Display showed OLED lighting in China for the first time in this exhibition. OLED lighting is environmentally friendly because it consumes less power and heat than conventional lightings, and is a premium light source that minimizes eye fatigue by being close to natural light. It is free to implement curved surfaces like OLED displays, and provide consistent light as a unique surface light source. OLED lighting panels are available in various shapes: circular, square, rectangular, and others.

 

Saying “OLEDs with the potential to expand into a variety of applications will provide differentiated value to consumers,” Yeo Sang-Duk, CMO (chief marketing officer) of LG Display commented “We will continue to lead the OLED market with Chinese customers in the Chinese market where the acceptance of new technologies and new products is the fastest in the world.”

 

According to the ‘2018 OLED Display Annual Industry Report’ published by UBI Research in February, the OLED market is predicted to grow at an annual average of 22% from US$35.7 billion in 2018 to US$ 78.2 billion in 2022.

OLED smartphones of the notch design type, will become trends in 2018?

Since Apple first unveiled its OLED smartphone in the notch design type on iPhone X, lots of smartphone makers are to release OLED smartphones in succession. Attention is focused whether notch-type OLED smartphones will be become trends in the smartphone market in 2018.

Apple, which introduced notch-type OLED smartphones for the first time, is expected to launch notch-type smartphones for all three iPhone models in 2018. According to Mac Rumors, Apple will release an iPhone X successor with 5.8-inch OLED, a 6.5-inch OLED iPhone X Plus (tentative name) and a 6.1-inch LCD iPhone 9 (tentative name) in the second half of 2018.

<iPhone series expected to be released in 2018, Source: appleinsider.com>

In addition, there have been announcements for OLED smartphones of the notch design type such as Oppo R15, Vivo X21 and Huawei P20 Pro. Recently, it has been reported that the notch-type OLED are to be applied to Xiaomi Mi 7 and LG G7.

Huawei unveiled the flagship smartphone Huawei P20 and Huawei P20 Pro through a public event on March 27 in Paris, France. Both models also have a notch at the top of the displays, with a 5.8- inch LCD on the P20 and a 6.1-inch OLED on the P20 Pro, and support AOD (always on display) feature. Huawei also gives you the option to hide the notch. In the display settings for the devices, you can opt to flank the notch with black, so it practically disappears.

<Huawei P20 Pro, Source: bgr.com>

On the other hand, the Xiaomi Mi 7 is expected to adopt a notch design type OLED. According to China Focus, the evidence for a display notch was found since XDA developers noticed the notch related phrase in the Xiaomi operating system ‘MIJU 9’ setting wording while analyzing the leaked firmware file. The Xiaomi Mi 7 is said to support the AOD function along with the notch-type OLED.

The LG G7 is also expected to adopt a notch. Only, it’s incorporating a software trick to make the notch optional. According to the rendering image of xda-developers and the concept rendering video of Science and Knowledge, YouTube channel, LG G7 features a 6-inch OLED with a 19-to-9 aspect ratio and a resolution of 1440 x 3120. The LG G7 launch date will be towards the end of April or beginning of May according to the latest release date rumors.

<Rendering image of LG G7, Source: xda-developers.com>

The notch design is a type of full screen display that is applied to maximize the screen size on a limited smartphone size. Attention is focused whether OLED smartphones of the notch design type are expected to become a new trend in the smartphone market in 2018.

QD-OLED TV, is it to be the next generation premium TV?

Samsung Electronics is currently occupying the premium TV market with QD-LCD TVs, which use ‘PL-QD (photoluminescence quantum dot) technology’. This technology has a mechanism in which the material stimulated by external light re-emits light.

The operating profit of the consumer electronics division (CE), which controls QD-LCD TVs, fell more than Korean won 1 trillion in last year and the operating profit ratio was only 3.6%.

On the other hand, LG Electronics’ HE business division achieved a record operating profit of Korean won 1,566.7 billion and an operating margin of 8.1% through OLED TV. Sony also turned its operating profit into a surplus by quickly taking over the premium TV market with OLED TV.

OLED TV has had a positive effect in driving corporate sales growth.

Samsung Electronics has been developing EL-QLED, with EL-QD (electroluminescence quantum dot) technology, to increase its market share in the premium TV market. However, efficacy, lifetime and mass production technology of quantum dot, which is the material of QLED, is not yet secured.

Recently, QD-OLED TV technology, which uses blue OLED as a light source and that implements red and green colors through a quantum dot color filter (QDCF), is attracting attention.

<Expected structure for QD-OLED, Source: Samsung Display Blog>

By using QDCF, it is possible to easily make desired colors by adjusting the size of the QD material and improve the color reproduction rate. This is because the color gamut is enlarged to BT2020, so it is close to natural color and it is possible to deliver vivid picture quality more clearly. In addition, QD-OLED TV has a top emission structure, which makes it easy to secure the aperture ratio, thereby improving resolution and screen uniformity.

However, in QD-OLED TV, there are various problems to be solved such as lifetime and efficiency of blue OLED, and technology of ink-jet printing process. Given that the industry is still in the early stages of reviewing the business possibility, QD-OLED TVs are expected to go into mass production after 2020.

Attention is focused on the QD-OLED TV’s entry into the premium TV market and its impact.

Flexible, started to be used in the OLED lighting market

The trend toward flexible design is on the rise in the OLED lighting market, too.

At Light + Building 2018, not only LG Display but also OLEDWorks and Sumitomo Chemical exhibited flexible OLED lightings, highlighting their differentiations from LED lightings.

In particular, OLEDWorks and Sumitomo Chemical attracted a lot of attention from the audience by introducing their flexible OLED panels respectively.

OLED Works released a flexible OLED panel “Brite 3 FL300C” with thin glass. The specifications are 10,000 hours (life time) and 57 lm/W @ 8,300 cd/m2 or 50,000 hours and 63 lm/W @ 3,000 cd / m2.

Sumitomo Chemical’s flexible OLED panel was fabricated through solution process on a PI substrate, with the life time of about 20,000 hours and 50 lm/W @ 1,500 cd/m2 and is.

<Flexible OLED lighting panels, OLEDWorks(left) and Sumitomo Chemical(right)>

The two flexible OLED lighting panels introduced by the two companies, which are prototypes, are similar to the performance of LG Display’s flexible lighting OLED panel, which is currently in production, with 55 lm/W and life time of 30,000 hours. When these two companies start mass production of flexible OLEDs, it is expected to make a big change in the market of flexible OLED lighting panels.

Meanwhile, LG Display, the leader in the OLED lighting market, launched the OLED lighting brand “Luflex” last December. At Light + Building 2018, LG Display exhibited various designs of lightings that can be implemented with flexible OLED lighting panels, which attracted the biggest attention of the fair attendants. Six award-winning products of the LG OLED Design Competition 2017 were exhibited, and there were many comments that the lightings are distinguished from LED lightings by maximizing the advantages of flexible OLED lighting.

<Winning works of LG OLED Design Competition 2017>

 

10 OLED related companies in Germany established ‘OLED Licht Forum’

10 OLED-related companies and research institutes in Germany announced the founding of the ‘OLED Licht Forum’ at Light & Building 2018, the world’s largest lighting and architecture exhibition in Frankfurt, Germany, on 19 March. The ‘OLED Licht Forum’ is established by ten German companies, including: OLEDWorks, OSRAM, Merck, BASF Coatings, EMDE, Fraunhofer, Hema electronic, Irlbacher, APEVA and Walo-TL to develop and promote OLED lighting technology.

The companies that make up this alliance plan to develop new applications of OLED lighting by sharing their expertise on OLED technology in areas such as research and development, supply chain, and OLED lighting panel manufacturing.

The Forum aims to develop and utilize OLEDs as future lighting solutions through exchange of experiences, conferences, lectures and visits to institutions, thereby providing a broad base for utilizing OLED lighting. As the first part of these activities, it will open an OLED showroom for people to experience OLED lighting directly.

 

“This non-profit alliance aims to leverage their expertise to further develop OLED as a sustainable light source for a variety of applications.” said Michael Grund, Head of OLED & Quantum Materials for the Performance Materials business sector of Merck. The alliance is also dedicated to fostering community within the greater lighting industry by facilitating the exchange of experience and know-how.

OLED lighting for automotive rear lamps, market will be opened in earnest?

OLED lighting applied to automotive rear lamps was introduced again.

At Light + Building 2018 in Frankfurt, Germany held from March 18 to March 23, 2018, LG Display exhibited the rear lamp to be applied to Mercedes-Benz S-class coupe. The OLED rear lamp, which was first shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show last October, is made up of 33 rigid OLED panels and a combination with LED.

<Mercedes-Benz S-class coupe’s OLED rear lamp introduced by LG Display>

The LG Display official expressed expectations for the OLED tail lights saying that “Rigid OLED lighting panel for rear lamps can meet all the requirements of the automobile manufacturers, including 15 years of life time and temperature testing of -40 to 80 degrees Celsius.” ”Since OLED allows greater design freedom and flexibility which other lights cannot follow, the OLED market for automotive rear lamps will grow significantly if the requirements of automakers are satisfied, by OLED panels inclusive of flexible OLED panels.”

Mercedes-Benz S-class coupe with OLED rear lamp is expected to be released in the first half of this year, and about 20,000 units will be produced in a limited series.

According to UBI Research, the market for OLED lighting for automobiles will grow at a CAGR of 81.1% percent from 2018 to 2023 to reach over 67 million units in 2023.

<Shipment forecast for OLED lighting panels for Automotive>

Meanwhile, LG Display received great attention from visitors at the Light + Building 2018 exhibition, by showcasing the rear lamp proto type with flexible OLED lighting panel, OLED lighting applied with crystal sound for the first time in the world, and various design lights using flexible OLED lighting panels.

<LG Display’s rear lamp proto type applied with flexible OLED lighting panel>

 

Denso, to invest 30 billion yen in JOLED to compete with Korean panel makers in the automotive display market

<JOLED’s OLED panel introduced by Denso at CES 2018, Source: asia.nikkei.com>

According to the Nikkei newspaper, Japanese auto parts maker Denso is expected to invest 30 billion yen in JOLED to compete with Korean panel makers in the automotive display market.

Through this investment, Denso will have a 15% stake in JOLED and become one of the largest shareholders of the State-backed Innovation Network Corp. Japan Display also owns 15% of JOLED.

It is very important for a next-generation car to have a display system that allows the driver to easily receive information from various sensors and cameras. JOLED is known to actively enter the automotive display market by partnering with Denso, a company that is specialized in automotive electronics and control systems.

JOLED and Denso are planning to develop OLEDs for digital dashboards and mirror camera systems. OLEDs can be flexibly shaped compared to LCDs, allowing for better customization inside the vehicle.

Meanwhile, JOLED supplied 21.6 inch 4K OLED panels to Asus using inkjet technology in January 2018. JOLED plans to mass-produce inkjet-based OLEDs in 2019.

In addition, JOLED is under fund-raising 5 billion yen each from Panasonic, Sony, Sumitomo chemical, and Screen Holdings. The company plans to mass-produce OLED panels at its display plant in Ishikawa Prefecture.

Google-LG Display to show OLED for 1443ppi VR device for the first time in the world

Google and LG Display are planned to unveil OLED displays for ultra-high-resolution VR devices with the world’s first 1443 ppi at SID 2018 in Los Angeles in May.

<OLED for VR devices, which Google and LG Display will unveil, Source: Android Police>

According to the Verge, the OLED for VR devices released at SID 2018 has a resolution of 5657 x 3182 (1443 ppi) with 4.3 inches in size.

The resolution is 2.4 times higher than Samsung Electronics’ Odyssey (model no. XQ800ZAA-HC1KR), which is currently known to have the highest resolution of 1400 x 1600 (607ppi), among VR devices supporting HMD. Also, it is about 1.9 times higher than the OLED for VR devices (1824 x 1824, 806 ppi) displayed at iMiD 2017 in August, 2017.

Since the distance between the eyes and the display is very short, a VR device has a ‘side door effect’ phenomenon in which the pixel patterns of the display are shown in a lattice form when the resolution is low. In addition, low resolution increases the fatigue of eyes, and it becomes a factor that deteriorates reality due to inaccurate graphic information (image distortion). Accordingly, the related companies are developing panels for VR devices with high resolution that can compensate them.

<VR screen comparison according to resolution, Source: speedvr.co.uk>

OLEDs for VR devices to be exhibited by Google and LG Display are the best in the world at the refresh rate (120Hz), too.

Higher refresh rates can display more screen frames within the same time period to minimize the nausea phenomenon and increase immersion by showing more natural images. Accordingly, Oculus VR, HTC, and Korea Information and Communications Technology Association have prescribed the refresh rate of the VR display as 90 Hz or more, and SONY defined as 120 Hz.

According to the ‘Display Market Report for AR and VR’ published by UBI Research in July 2017, the VR devices launched from 2014 to 2016 have a refresh rate of about 65 Hz for LCDs and about 86 Hz for OLEDs. In order to implement a high refresh rate, OLEDs with higher response speeds and lower power consumption than LCDs are more advantageous.

Next-generation emitting materials, development is under way.

At the 4th OLED KOREA CONFERENCE, Kyulux and CYNORA, the leaders in the development of next generation emitting materials, announced the results of research and future development directions.

Junji Adachi, CEO of Kyulux, said, “We are developing Hyperfluorescence in the form of adding a TADF dopant to the existing fluorescent host and dopant.” He also emphasized that the emission FWHM (full width at half maximum) of Hyperfluorescence is about 35% of that of TADF, and the luminance is about twice as high, and this material can solve the drawbacks of TADF (wide FWHM and low luminance) at the same time.

The latest Hyperfluorescence, which Jundi Arachi introduced, has efficiencies of red 28 cd /A, yellow 43 cd/A, green 81 cd / A, and life span is 10,000 hours, 62,000 hours, and 48,000 hours based on LT50 (1000nit) respectively. The color coordinates are red (0.64, 0.36), yellow (0.46, 0.52), and green (0.28, 0.65).

Andreas Haldi, CYNORA’s Chief Marketing Officer of CYNORA, said that the blue TADF emitter developed by CYNORA now has a color coordinate of 0.16, EQE of 24% and 10-hour lifetime (LT97 @ 700nit).

The performance is more than twice as efficient as the blue material currently used in OLEDs, and the color coordinates (0.10) are similar but the lifespan is short. He added that the Blue TADF emitter is scheduled to be developed within 2018 and will be available for mass production in 2019.

He also mentioned that the manufacturing cost is reduced and the power consumption is reduced, thereby minimizing battery consumption if blue TADF emitters with high efficiency are used instead of conventional low-efficiency blue materials. At the same time, it is expected to be able to improve the resolution of OLEDs and be applied to large-scale vacuum processing lines of major panel makers.
According to CYNORA, next step is to develop green TADF emitters (2019) and red emitters (2020) after finishing the development of blue TADF emitters (2018). Thus, it might be completed ‘RGB TADF emitter development’ by 2020.

OLED display to embroider the blue sky and stars inside the plane

“OLEDs will be installed on the ceilings and walls of planes to provide customers with a variety of images. It is expected that stars will shine in the ceiling at night and clear blue skies during the day time inside the future airplane.”

Dr. Julian Chang, associate tech fellow of Boeing, presented various advantages of OLED to be applied to the inside of planes in future at the ‘2018 OLED Korea conference’ hosted by UBI Research on March 7~8.

Explaining “OLEDs are capable of full black implementation and excellent color reproduction”, Dr. Julian said that “We can provide customers with realistic blue skies and night skies.” “The planes have a lot of curved surfaces, so easy-to-implement OLEDs have advantages over other displays.”

He also emphasized the advantages of OLED which are helpful to provide information, without limit of viewing angle, to customers and crews who need a lot of information in a narrow space, reduce the blue light that interferes with sleeping, and reduce fuel consumption and carbon dioxide with lower power consumption than LED.
On the other hand, he commented that it is necessary to improve the maximum luminance, reduce the burn-in phenomenon, satisfy FAA regulations, and facilitate easy installation and repair in order for OLED to enter the airplane industry.
Today, OLEDs are expanding beyond mobile devices and premium TVs into automotive and wearable markets. Attention is growing whether customers are given a new experience to taste the realistic sky as OLED is applied to the interior of the plane.

OLED TV continuing to evolve

At the ‘4th 2018 OLED Korea Conference’ hosted by UBI research on March 7-8, Dr. Han Chang-Wook, Chief Research Fellow of LG Display, made a presentation for the development process of OLED TVs and emphasized the image quality of OLED, design flexibility and expandability.

At first, Dr. Han introduced three core technologies including TFT technology, OLED stack technology, and compensation circuit design applied to OLED TVs. He said, “We changed the TFT as top gate coplanar structure for UHD implementation in bottom gate TFT applied to FHD.” He also mentioned “We changed the WRGB OLED pixel structure from 2 stack structure to 3 stack structure to improve the luminance and color reproduction ratio, and designed the compensation circuit so that it does not affect the OLED even on 8K large screen.”

He commented, “Unlike LCDs that control pixels with local dimming, OLEDs have pixel dimming controls, which allows for full black representation and less halo effects”

Explaining that OLED allows greater design flexibility and expandability because of the self-illuminating properties that does not require backlight, he referred to the mirror display and transparent display applicable to indoors, and the world’s first 88 inch 8K OLED TV and 65 inch rollable OLED TV exhibited at CES 2018.

Dr. Han said “We expect large OLED panel production to be tripled, compared to 2016, with the expansion of production lines and yield improvement in 2018. In addition, the company will be able to ship over 6 million large area OLED panels by 2020 through the expansion of its Paju and Guangzhou plants.” He also announced that the company will increase continuously the production for OLED panels, which were 5% of the total display panels in 2016, by 40% by 2020.

Inkjet might take advantageous position for Gen11 super large OLED mass production line!

Toshiaki Arai, chief technologist of JOLED and James Lee, deputy chief engineer of TCL made presentations for the solution processed OLED on March 7 at the ‘4th OLED Korea conference’ held at Novotel Ambassador Hotel in Gangnam, Seoul, hosted by UBI Research.

Toshiaki Arai, chief technologist of JOLED announced that JOLED will focus on the medium-size OLED market for 10 ~ 30 inch tablets with solution processed OLED. He explained “OLEDs for mobile devices are currently targeting over 500 ppi and at least 800 ppi, which is hard for today’s printing technology. However, current printing technology is competitive enough since the medium-size OLED for tablets is 300 ppi level”.

He also added, “While it is required to divide the mother glass with the deposition technology currently in use, JOLED’s oxide TFT and solution process OLED can be adopted to Gen 8.5 as well as Gen 11 without cutting the mother glass. Thus, we expect panel production to be increased significantly.

James Lee, deputy chief engineer of TCL commented that the next-generation premium TVs are to implement 70-inch or larger screen, full black representation, high-definition at 8K resolution, and design differentiation such as slim & flexible. He said “solution process technology enables large RGB OLED implementation, which can improve image quality and reduce cost by using less material. TCL is currently developing solution process technology, which might be expected to be applied to its planned Gen 11 factory. ”

He commented “OLED TV prices are now approaching the price of LCD TVs based on 65-inch standards. In 2021, OLED TVs and LCD TVs will not differ in price, and OLED TVs will become the mainstream of the premium TV market. ”

Also he emphasized “Gen11 OLED needs to improve mura (unevenness) free technology, but it can produce six sheets of 75-inch OLED panels, and it is three times the production volume of GEN 8.5, with a cutting efficiency rate of 95% or more. In order for OLED TV to become the mainstream of the TV market, it is necessary to establish Gen 11 solution process OLED factory. ”

Blue TADF emitters getting ready for commercial production

Next week, the leading OLED players will meet in Seoul at the 4th OLED Korea Conference and discuss new technologies for next-generation displays. One of the most exciting new technologies is the TADF (Thermally Activated Delayed Fluorescence) technology and this topic will be not missing at this conference, which is hosted by UBI Research.

The TADF technology is receiving much attention as the main method for improving efficiency of blue emitting materials. High-efficiency blue OLEDs are currently missing on the market and the demand for this material is constantly growing year by year.

A high-efficiency TADF blue would enable display manufacturers to reduce the power consumption of the display. Thus, consumers would benefit from a longer battery life of their mobile devices and less energy consumption in large displays. Additionally, an efficient blue would enable to make smaller blue pixels to yield the same amount of light, which would pave the way again to increase the resolution and to offer a better picture quality. Both improvements could significantly increase consumer satisfaction. CYNORA, the current leader in TADF, has shown that its TADF blue material surpassed previous achievements of high-efficiency blue emitters. The latest performance of CYNORA’s materials is getting very close to the customer requirements and thereby also to the market entry barrier. An update of the status of CYNORA’s TADF emitters and their implementation into next-generation AMOLED displays will be shown by the CMO, Dr. Andreas Haldi, during his talk at the OLED Korea Conference. Dr. Haldi will present the newest OLED device results with a deep blue material and disclose some more details on how CYNORA is working very closely with the OLED manufacturers towards mass production.

This most challenging material, efficient blue, is on everybody’s radar as a better efficiency in the blue region is one of the main barriers to OLEDs improvement. But besides blue, TADF materials are also expected to reach the market requirements for green and red in the next couple of years. Thus, TADF can be used efficiently for all RGB pixels, which is something no other emitter technology was able to do so far.

2018 MWC- Release of LG Electronics’ V30S model, postponing announcement of new smart phone

LG Electronics released some of its stance, through 2018 MWC, on upgrading the entire mobile lineup, which led to lots of curiosities by the various related articles.

According to the exhibitors, the company will try various strategies from this year and will not necessarily follow its competitors in launching new models. In terms of the overall model reorganization of the G series and the V series, it has decided to concentrate on the essence of the phone for the time being rather than making a big change. With regard to the V30S’s release, it is said that V30S is different from V30 in terms of taking bright and clear pictures in the dark place by improving the illumination including AI application to the camera modules, and the enhancement of the stereo system. Also, V30 users might be able to experience soon the same performance as V30S through software upgrade.

Though it was not revealed at this MWC exhibition, the new premium mobile model to be launched this year will adopt the ‘ ThinQ AI’. It was announced that the new model was released after the V30 in a separate private booth; however, the release time has not yet been confirmed.

 

Regarding 5G, which is one of the biggest trends in this exhibition, North America and other regions are rapidly moving, and LG Electronics has also been working hard on this inclusive of the development of foldable smart phone.

 

Unlike last year’s show with various watch models, LG Electronics’ MWC booth is a little reduced as it seems to prepare for the next. The V30S is the only OLED display product, and most of the exhibits highlighted the enhanced performances of the V30S, such as the experience of a Hi-Fi QUAD stereo system through wearing a headset and the experience of a camera’s Bright Mode in the darkroom. In addition, the K10 (K10, K10 + – 5.3 inch HD) series, which are entry level models, has been released through this exhibition.

Leading the OLED market of Samsung Display continues this year

According to OLED Market Track, which was published by UBI Research in the first quarter of 2018, AMOLED sales and shipments amounted to US$ 8.86 billion and 130 million units, respectively, in the fourth quarter of 2017. The sales amount is 100.2% higher than the fourth quarter of 2016. Among them, Samsung Display’s sales and shipments account for 91.6% and 94.5%, respectively, and keep its absolute position.

 

In the fourth quarter of 2017, the total number of AMOLED market for smart phones was 120 million units, representing 95.5% of the total market. AMOLED panels for smart phones sold by Samsung Display accounted for 97.5%, with 119 million units.

 

In 2018, the AMOLED market for smart phones is expected to reach 470 million units, with Samsung Display expecting its market share to maintain over 91.5 % with 430 million units.

<4Q’17 AMOLED market>

<2018 AMOLED market for smartphone>

 

2018 MWC – Sharing Samsung’s market retention strategy with S9 introduction

The Mobile World Congress (MWC), which takes place every year in Barcelona, Spain, is well known for releasing new models of smart phone brands that year. This year, however, Samsung Electronics and most of the smart phone makers exhibited new line-ups that did not change much or were hard to change dramatically.

In particular, through a press conference held on Monday, February 26, 2018, Samsung Electronics shared some strategies about concerns that the smart phone market will be experiencing an overall shift in replacement cycles and that the growth rate will slow down gradually.

 

According to the company, the company will concentrate its strategy in three major directions. It plans to set up a global trading system that will compensate for the remaining price by returning the Galaxy S7 within two years of an implicit average replacement cycle or by returning a competitor’s phone, which might be helpful to secure new customers while preventing current customers escape. This is already done by Apple in a system called recycling.

 

Another strategy is to secure customer loyalty through experiential marketing that enables users to experience various functions of Galaxy Studios and Galaxy by inducing them to shorten replacement cycles through targeted marketing using customer data. Note 8 sales were slightly lower than originally target at 11 million units, but note series have steady B2B demand and fixed customers. Note 9 is largely defined and can only be described as trying to differentiate itself from other customers at this time. The S9, which was unveiled at the show, said it expects better results than the S8 with its timely sales plan.

 

The S9, a new model released through the MWC, focuses on camera functions, better Infiniti 5.8-inch displays, stereo sound and IoT-centered mobile phones, redesigned with a new dual aperture lens that powers an innovative low light camera, Super Slow-mo video capabilities and personalized AR Emoji. The exhibition response to date has been evaluated to be a better level than expected, and visitors at the exhibition hall were enjoying the experience of emoticonizing themselves.

In addition, a variety of OLED models including the A8 model (5.6-inch FHD +), A8 + (6.0-inch FHD +), Galaxy Fit 2 Pro and Gear sports, were exhibited.

UBI Research, ‘2018 OLED KOREA Conference’ to be held during March 7~8

Main Contents

– Presentations from major panel makers in Korea, China and Japan: Samsung Display, LG Display, Visionox, JOLED and TCL.

– Future display market forecast and confirmation through announcements of various display application companies such as Sony, Boeing and Microsoft. 

OLED KOREA CONFERENCE, the high-profile global OLED conference, will be held at Novotel Ambassador Gangnam, Seoul, Korea, on March 7-8, 2018.

The 4th OLED Korea Conference is to be proceeded on the theme of ‘OLED with opportunity & adding value to your business’ for two days, and is expected to become a wonderful forum for exchanging various information and opinions together with the presentations about key technology development, issues, overall OLED market and investment status.

The OLED industry, which is continuing to grow, is expected to surpass the LCD market share in the small and medium sized market this year. According to UBI Research, specialized in OLED research, the shipments for small and medium sized OLED panels for mobile devices are projected to grow by 53.2% YoY to 630 million units this year and the shipments of OLED panels for TV to about 2.4 million units, up 47.2% YoY.

In particular, as OLED market growth has become clear, the investment of major companies is increasing remarkably. Recently, LG Display plans to invest about 9 trillion won in OLED facilities this year, followed by about 6.7 trillion won last year. According to industry sources, “OLED investment in China’s display panel makers is also aggressively progressing.” Since major panel makers such as Samsung Display, LG Display, Visionox, TCL and JOLED will gather together to present major business issues in the conference, 2018 OLED KOREA is getting a lot of attentions from industry people.

The announcements of display application companies under the subject of ‘Vision and Idea about Future Applications’are anticipated to confirm the present and future of the display market. Particularly, Yoshihiro Ono, Division Chief of Sony TV, is scheduled to make a presentation for Sony OLED TV, which was a major issue of OLED industry in 2017, on the background of adopting OLED, history of development of BRAVIA OLED TV, and differentiating points from other OLED TVs. In addition, Dr. Joel S. Kollin, head of Microsoft hardware & display, will be presenting HMD for the first time in Korea, and it is expected to see how it will affect the future display market.

Moreover, representatives from global companies such as 3M, Applied Materials, Corning and Cynora, and 28 specialists from OLED panel makers, set makers, material/equipment companies and research institutes across the globe will make presentations with subjects of ▲ View from Panel Makers about OLED Market  ▲ Solution Process Technology, yet to come  ▲ New Performance Development from Major SCMs  ▲ New Technology Discussions for Next Generation Display or Better Process. Also, lectures are planned under the title of ‘Opinion from Business and Industry Analysts’from UBI Research, Japan Mizuho Securities, and Yole development, market research organization in France. More than 200 major domestic and international experts and industry leaders are anticipated to attend the 4th OLED KOREA Conference, which can identify trends and development directions in OLED industry. Attentions are growing because the conference is planned to provide opportunities for networking and continuous exchange of information and know-how.  For more information, please visit www.oledkoreaconference.com .

– End – ※ 【2018 OLED Conference】 → http://www.oledkoreaconference.com/

UDC, 2017 Total Revenue US$ 335.6 Million and Operating Income US$ 146.2 Million

UDC announced through its press release that the total revenue in Q4, 2017 increased 55% to US$ 115.9 million, compared to the same period of the previous year. In addition, the revenue from material sales increased 105% to US$ 59.8 million in the fourth quarter, compared with US$ 29.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.  Operating income increased by US$ 23.1 million to US$ 57.9 million in the fourth quarter, compared to the same period of 2016.

UDC recorded a tremendous growth in 2017. UDC’s revenues in 2017 totaled US$ 335.6 million, up 69% YOY, driven by higher material sales as well as royalty and license fees. Operating income increased by US$ 77.8 million to US$ 146.2 million in 2017, up 114% YOY.

UDC estimates that revenue in 2018 will be about US$ 350M ~ US$ 380M. This might reflect the lower shipments of iPhoneX than expected and the low utilization rate of Samsung Display. Meanwhile, UDC anticipates to see an another significant growth in 2019 because of the increase in OLED production area (about 50% increase is projected by the end of 2019).

UDC said on February 14, 2018 that it signed a contract with Samsung Display for OLED royalty. The contract period was known as until the end of 2022, and the other terms of the contract were not disclosed to the outside.

Galaxy S9 – Curious about Samsung’s strategy to launch Foldable Phone

Interests in Galaxy S9 and Note 9, which will be released soon, are growing. There are a lot of people who want to figure out in advance the features of Foldable Phone, which Samsung announced to be launched within this year, through Galaxy S9 and Note9. However, it is impossible to predict the specifications of the Foldable Phone with the contents that have been opened so far.

In general, Galaxy S9 does not seem to be much different, compared to the previous S8. The front fingerprint sensor, which has been anticipated since last year, may not apply, and it seems to adopt iris recognition and fingerprint sensor at the back side. Unlike the S8, which was noticed in the name of Infinity Display, it will not expect much different concept in the design part. The CPU will be equipped with Samsung’s Exynos 9810 chip, except for the US model.

So what is the strategy of the Galaxy series this year? Some say that iPhoneX’s sales volume is a failure, but if you consider adding iPhoneX to the 3-model lineup in the new 2-model lineup, Apple’s overall performance is a success. In the meantime, there seems to require a new strategy for the Galaxy flagship model, which was dominated by superior image quality with adopting OLED display.  The Galaxy S9 appears to have little change, except for a slight improvement in performance. Therefore, it is curious whether it might be Samsung’s planned intention to concentrate on launching the Foldable Phone.

<Spec Comparison for Galaxy flagship models>

 

Samsung Electronics, releases Galaxy S9 at MWC 2018

Samsung Electronics will unveil Galaxy S9, its next-generation strategic smartphone, at MWC 2018, held in Barcelona, Spain on February 25. Galaxy S9 is anticipated to be equipped with various features such as dual cameras for the first time at the Galaxy S series and intelligent scanning, so expectations for the Galaxy S9 are rising.

The Galaxy S series continued to increase in ppi and display area (DA), starting with the ‘Galaxy S’ in 2010. The first Galaxy S was introduced with 4 inch WVGA rigid OLED, with 235 ppi and 58% DA. For Galaxy S6 which is the first Galaxy S series adopted with flexible OLED, its ppi became more than doubled and DA was 70.7% increased by 22%, compared to Galaxy S.

<Evolution in ppi and DA for Galaxy S series>

Launched in 2017, the Galaxy S8 first extended the DA to 83.6% by removing the home button and minimizing the bezel for the first time on the OLED smart phone. Through these changes, Samsung Electronics introduced a full-screen OLED display.

According to the industry experts, Samsung Electronics is expected to implement full-screen by expanding DA to 93% with 5.8-inch OLED in Galaxy S9 to be unveiled at MWC 2018.

As the full-screen OLED smart phone has become very popular with consumers, Apple, LG, VIVO and Oppo have started to incorporate full-screen OLED into their flagship models. As a result, smart phones with full-screen OLEDs are expected to become main stream this year.

Meanwhile, it is estimated that 230 million units of flexible OLED panels will be shipped in 2018 according to the recently published ‘2018 OLED Panel Industry Report’. The size of OLEDs is expected to increase steadily for implementation of full screen. Moreover, the development direction for full screen is to be from current full screen or notch type (form of making holes in speaker and camera functions) to the form of real full-screen displays, in which they (speaker and camera parts) are not visible on the front display.

<Expected development direction for full-screen>

 

AMOLED Display Market Track, just issued – Market Performance, Market Forecast, ASP, Supply and Demand Analysis

According to the market performance data of the AMOLED Display Market Track published by UBI Research in February 2018, total AMOLED shipments and sales in 2017 were recorded as 440 million units and US$ 27.1 billion, up 13.6% and 62.3% respectively, compared to the previous year.

The number of AMOLED smart phone shipments grew to 95.1% in the total AMOLED market in 2017, and its market share for the revenue was 89.7%. The number of shipments of flexible AMOLEDs reached 140 million units in 2017, increased by 2.1 times compared to the previous year.  Analysis shows that shipments of flexible AMOLEDs will reach 230 million units by 2018, with a share of 46%.

AMOLED shipments for TVs grew by 1.8 times YoY to 1.72 million units in 2017, and the AMOLED market for TV is expected to continue to grow, as LG Display’s 8 G plant in China is scheduled to start operation from 2H 2019.

<Overall AMOLED Market Forecast>

From 2018, AMOLED market is forecasted to change significantly.

In terms of supply, shipments of displays are projected to decline compared to the global capacity of display makers due to the accelerated increase in the size of AMOLED panels and Samsung Display’s shift of rigid AMOLED lines into automotive and foldable applications.

In terms of demand, the demand growth for AMOLED panels for smartphones is expected to decrease. In 2018, demand for flexible AMOLED panels for Chinese set makers is expected to decrease due to the introduction of low-priced full screen LCDs and rising prices of flexible AMOLED panels.

According to the market forecast data of AMOLED Display Market Track, the total AMOLED shipment market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 17.5%, reaching 995 million units in 2022. The revenue is projected to grow at a CAGR of 22%, forming a market of US$ 80.5 billion in 2022.

<Small and Medium sized AMOLED, Supply and Demand Analysis>

According to Yi Choong-Hoon, CEO of UBI Research, “20% oversupply is expected to occur by 2021, however, since then, panel prices have fallen due to the entry of Chinese panel makers into the flexible AMOLED market, and oversupply will decrease by 11% in 2022 “.

Meanwhile, AMOLED Display Market Track, which was published on February 12, 2018, covers AMOLED market performance and forecast by quarter, year and application. It also provides data and graphs analyzed in various aspects such as ASP and supply & demand analysis.

UBI Research, publishes ‘2018 OLED Panel Industry Report’, which analyzes the indicators of OLED industry in 2017

UBI Research published ‘2018 OLED Panel Industry Report’ on February 12, 2018, which analyzes the indicators of OLED industry for the year of 2017.

This report seems very helpful to forecast OLED industry, which is most likely to become the main display in future, since it analyzes panel makers’ development trends, key issues, applied products, and relevant markets from various perspectives on rigid and flexible OLED as well as solution processed OLED.

In the report, the status of OLED products in 2017 is summarized into various applications such as smart phones and TVs, and the trends of newly released products and related issues can be identified.

According to the report, a full-screen smart phone, which has become a trend in recent years, can mainly be applied to flexible OLEDs, while rigid OLEDs using COG (chip on glass) are required to ensure module space at the top and bottom side. Therefore, it is expected that panel makers will implement full-screen as a notch type rather than a current rectangle type to improve the added value, and demand of rigid OLED, which is on the decrease.

Meanwhile, UBI Research predicts that shipment for rigid OLEDs will be 270 million units and that for flexible OLEDs will be 230 million units in 2018, generating sales of US$ 12.5 billion and US$ 23.9 billion, respectively.  Also, analysis shows that the solution process, capable of manufacturing large-area OLED panels with RGB structure without cutting mother glass at Gen 8 or higher generation, will be adopted at the mass-production from 2019. Consequently, 2 million units of solution processed OLED will be shipped in 2019 and 9.2 million units will be shipped in 2022.

<Flexible OLED shipment forecast>

Visionox, announced OLED evaluation contract with UDC

UDC (Universal Display) announced that Visionox has signed an OLED evaluation contract. Under the agreement, UDC will supply Visionox with phosphorescent OLED emitting materials for display applications. Details of the contract such as the amount were not disclosed.

Visionox, which had produced the first PMOLED in China in 2008, started the operation of Gen5.5 rigid OLED mass production line in Kunshan in Q2 2015. At IMID 2017 Business Forum held in October 2017, Dr. Xiuqi Huang of Visionox revealed his plans for mass production of Gen6 flexible OLED and flexible OLED development roadmap in Guan in Q2 of 2018.

<Visionox, OLED Line Status>

Dr. Xiuqi Huang said that “from 2018 to 2020, we aim to develop full-screen OLEDs and foldable OLEDs for smart phones ranging from 6 to 8 inches.”  Also he commented that “from 2021, we will develop 6 inch to 12 inch smart phones, notebooks and automotive flexible OLEDs.”

<Visionox, Roadmap for flexible OLED products>

 

V-technology, announces acquisition of Lumiotec, OLED lighting company, and establishment of new subsidiary to develop next-generation OLED mask and deposition technology

V-technology said on February 7 that it would establish an ‘organic electronics business demonstration facility’ in Yonezawa, Yamagata Prefecture to develop a fine hybrid mask (FHM), which is next-generation deposition mask for OLEDs, and next-generation deposition technology.  The total investment is planned to be about 5 billion Japanese yen for two to three years. The facility is scheduled to be completed in August, 2018 and the mask samples are to be shipped from October, 2018.

 

V-technology’s FHM adopts electroforming method and non-tension structure which is different from conventional FMM manufacturing method. The weight of the mask produced by this FHM method can be reduced to one tenth (1/10) level compared to the existing conventional mask. As the weight decreases, the problem of mask bending due to its own weight and shadow interference problem caused thereby can be solved. V technology already unveiled a Fine Hybrid Mask (FHM) that can implement 738ppi UHD at Finetech Japan 2017 in April 2017.

<V technology, Fine hybrid mask with non-tension structure>

V-technology also announced that it has reached a basic agreement to transfer the entire stock of Lumiotec, a lighting OLED panel company. Lumiotec is specialized in lighting OLED panels in Japan, and has supplied a large number of OLED lighting panels for indoor use and exhibition use in addition to indoor lighting.

<Lumiotec lounge lighting, Source: Lumiotec>

V technology expects Lumiotec’s technology and business know-how to contribute to the group’s development. The stock transfer is scheduled for April, and information such as the transfer price is not disclosed.

Full screen OLED Smart phone, becomes a new trend in Smart phones.

As smartphone specs and designs have been leveled up, smartphone makers are pursuing differentiation through display. In particular, full screen OLED smartphones, which have the largest screen size in the limited smartphone size by applying OLED, are becoming a new trend in the smartphone market.

In the first half of 2017, Samsung Electronics introduced full-screen Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S + with OLED and home button removed. In the second half of 2017, full-screen OLED smartphones began to be launched in 2017, with Apple, LG Electronics, and Chinese smartphone set makers lining up to launch OLED-enabled full-screen smartphones. Thus, in 2017, full-screen OLED smartphones began to be launched in earnest.

<Major full-screen OLED smartphones released in 2017>

There are fifteen full screen smartphones with OLED applied in 2017, with two new products in 1Q, four new products in 3Q and nine new products in 4Q. Samsung Electronics, Apple, and LG Electronics released full-screen OLED smartphones in 3Q 2017, and Chinese smartphone makers such as Huawei, Gionee and Vivo introduced full-screen OLED smartphones in 4Q 2017.

<Number of full-screen OLED smartphones released in 2017 by quarter>

In 2018, more full-screen OLED smartphones are expected to be released than in 2017. Three full-screen OLED smartphones were already launched in January 2018, including Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy A8, and at least two full-screen OLED smartphones are to be launched in February.

According to the ‘2017 Flexible OLED Annual Report’ published by UBI Research in December 2017, full-screen flexible OLED is expected to lead the flexible OLED market with an average market share of 79% by 2022. There is a growing interest in the spread of full-screen OLED smartphones, which has become a new trend for smartphones.