OLED moving to compete in TV market, says DisplaySearch


Organic light emitting diodes (OLED) technology advanced rapidly in 2011, a trend that NPD DisplaySearch forecasts will continue through this decade. OLED technology has progressed in areas including organic materials, color patterning, electronic driving methods, and encapsulation. However, the ability to scale OLED display manufacturing to fabs larger than the current 5.5G has yet to be demonstrated, and the cost of larger panels is not yet clear.

Enthusiasm in OLED has increased recently as Samsung Mobile Displays has started manufacturing active matrix OLED (AMOLED) displays in a 5.5G fab and announced plans to build a 8G fab (as did LG Display), and several other suppliers entered or re-entered OLED display manufacturing, including AU Optronics (AUO), Chimei Innolux (CMI), IRICO, Tianma, and BOE.

DisplaySearch indicated that OLEDs offer a solid-state solution for displays, lighting, and organic electronics. OLED displays can provide high contrast ratio, fast response time, wide color gamut, and wide viewing angle, while operating in a broad temperature range at low power consumption. In addition, OLED technology enables thin devices that can be both flexible and transparent.

OLED display revenues are estimated to exceed US$4 billion in 2011 (approximately 4% of flat panel display revenues), and are forecast to reach more than US$20 billion (approximately 16% of the total display industry) by 2018. In addition, OLED lighting gained momentum in 2011, and is forecast to reach revenues of approximately US$6 billion by 2018.

OLED is now a mass-market technology in small/medium displays, particularly in smartphone applications. Investments in 8G (2200×2500 mm) fabs indicate that AMOLED will compete in larger size applications, such as in TV and mobile PCs, within two years. Samsung released a 7.7-inch AMOLED tablet PC in December 2011, and more tablet and other mobile PCs are expected in 2012. LG is expected to enter the market in 2012 with a 55-inch AMOLED TV. With technology improvements, DisplaySearch forecasts AMOLED will enter other applications as well.

While nearly all AMOLEDs on the market are currently based on LTPS, several companies are developing AMOLEDs using oxide or a-Si TFT backplanes, and are likely to start production in 2012.


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