The OLED Association’s Barry Young has spoken to OLED-Info about the future of the OLED market (http://tinyurl.com/oo9qap4).
On the topic of OLED TVs, Young notes that LG is now claiming yields higher than 80% for its WOLED approach. Samsung’s LTPS/Small Mask Scanning production has proven too expensive to commercialise, sending the company back to the R&D lab. The OLED Association believes that LG’s upcoming G8.5 fab will produce 1.5-1.8 million displays annually. LG will continue to target the high-end market, until production costs reach LCD levels.
Both LG and Samsung are looking beyond vacuum deposition to inkjet printing tools, such as those developed by Kateeva. However, soluble material performance is still an issue. Young says that Samsung “appears to be experimenting with the Kateeva tool for thin film encapsulation of flexible displays”.
Speaking about flexible, plastic-based OLEDs, Young expects more conformable, rollable “and even foldable” displays after Samsung completes its A3 line (G6) (Display Monitor Vol 21 No 16). These could see use in car consoles, new types of handhelds, or even TVs that can be carried in a tube. However, encapsulation remains a challenge for these displays. There are many solutions being proposed, none of which has yet entered widespread use. “I believe it is a little too early to predict the winner”, Young said.
Chinese companies are increasingly making a push into the OLED market. Young expects Tianma, CSOT, BOE and Visionox to be the first suppliers, beginning next year, as each has funding for a G5.5 or larger fab. Young expects LTPS and patterned RGB approaches to be used for smartphones and the WOLED structure for TVs. Visionox, which already produces passive OLEDs, may have an early advantage, but the company is new to the active matrix side of things.
Young is “not optimistic” about JOLED (Display Monitor Vol 21 No 30). Although the company is starting from a strong technology position, display manufacturing in Japan has not proven to be cost-effective. JOLED will be hard-pressed to differentiate itself, Young believes. He is also sceptical about AUO’s OLED production.
Finally, Young sees little upside to the use of OLEDs in mid-size displays, such as notebooks and monitors. The technology is best-suited to video (OLED is less efficient than LCD when showing mostly white backgrounds, such as webpages – TA), “so unless you are addressing cinematic monitors, I don