Futaba’s Burkhard Jaeger discussed the expansion of the firm’s flexible PM-OLED range, which are produced for wearables. Futaba entered the OLED market after acquiring TMC in 2011.
The current focus is on small OLEDs, up to 2″. Futaba’s products are used in wearables from several tier 2 brands, such as Huawei, Razer and Garmin. They use a WOLED with a colour filter; colours do not shift over time, but a higher brightness is required than an RGB OLED. Futaba can drive its products at up to 700 cd/m².
Jaeger details some of the challenges of producing Futaba’s film-type OLEDs. They have a maximum operating temperature of 80° due to the plastic film substrate, and require gentle handling. They also do not – yet – meet the 10-year lifespan required for automotive and industrial applications.
Futaba is able to produce transparent PM-OLEDs, and has done previously on a Lenovo phone. Although this was a feature phone, it remains popular and sells for high prices to collectors on eBay. Jaeger said that Futaba learned a lot from producing this display – which only had 40% transparency and output about 60 lumens of brightness – and it can now reach about 70% transparency.