According to 2015 Solution Process OLED Report, published by UBI Research on October 14, solution process technology could produce 55inch OLED panel at approximately 43% cheaper cost compared to WRGB method.
The report added that this value is the result of analysis of 2015 Q2 55inch UHD OLED panel price and yield, which is slightly higher than current production price of 55inch UHD LCD panel. However, considering that the solution process OLED structure will become simplified and that yield of backplane and encapsulation can be improved, the OLED panels will be able to be produced at lower cost than LCD panel. The report also revealed that solution process OLED can be an alternative solution for large area OLED panel in achieving price competitiveness.
Solution process is a technology that can produce large area RGB pixel OLED panel using Gen8, or higher, equipment without cutting the mother glass. Key AMOLED panel companies are active in developing this technology.
However, as solvent is used in order to turn the existing evaporation material into ink, its purity is decreased leading to lower emitting efficiency and therefore lower lifetime. Despite these factors, key panel companies’ enthusiasm for solution process technology is due to the high emitting material usage efficiency without using color filter, and simple structure compared to WRGB OLED panel which leads to production cost decrease.
Panasonic has been most active in developing solution process applied OLED panel, and has presented several times in CES and IFA. BOE and AUO also have revealed solution process OLED panel produced via ink-jet manufacturing equipment, and CSOT is considering solution process development. Samsung Display and LG Display, leaders of AMOLED industry, are also actively developing the technology. LG Display has adopted Gen8 ink-jet manufacturing equipment, and Samsung Display has started solution process OLED panel development with a focus on ink-jet manufacturing equipment companies.
Material and manufacturing equipment companies as well as panel companies are leading the solution process technology development and commercialization. Kateeva agreed on technology collaboration with Sumitomo Chem. while Merck did the same with Seiko Epson. DuPont recently revealed that they enlarged solution process OLED material production facilities and began operation.
Following these participation by key panel, material, and manufacturing equipment companies in solution process technology development and commercialization, it is anticipated that the solution process OLED panel market will record rapid growth.
UBI Research’s 2015 Solution Process OLED Report forecast that solution process OLED panel market will actively begin mass production from 2018 and show approximately US$ 2,329 million in 2020.