OLED-Info: the OLED experts

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An OLED uses organic semiconductors to create thin light emitting panels. OLEDs are used to create thin, beautiful, flexible and efficient display and lighting panels, and are the future technology of choice.

Recent OLED News

DSCC: OLED equipment spending reached a record $15.5 billion in 2017

Display Analysts from DSCC says that 2017 was a record year for the display equipment market, with revenues reaching a record $24.7 billion (up 30% from 2016). OLED spending reached a record $15.5 billion - a 143% increase over 2016. Samsung's share of the OLED equipment market was 48%, followed by BOE with $24% (following a 229% growth from 2016).

OLED vs LCD equipment spending (2016-2020, DSCC)

OLED equipment revenues represents 63% of the entire display equipment market, surpassing LCD - which saw revenues dropping 27% from 2016. In 2018 DSCC sees the equipment market falling 9%, although booking will increase as growth will resume in 2019. The main reason behind the decline in 2018 is due to Samsung which will reduce its equipment orders by 64% in 2018. 2018 is expected to be the first year where China leads in OLED spending with a 64% to 36% advantage over Korea.

OLED Ink-jet printing market situation, early 2018

Many OLED producers believe that Ink-Jet printing of OLED emissive materials is the best way to achieve lower-cost OLED TV production, and to enable OLEDs to compete in the medium part of the TV market. Ink-Jet printing is an efficient process (less material waste compared to evaporation) and it can be very quick as well. The main drawbacks of inkjet are the limited resolution and the need for soluble emissive materials which are less efficient compared to evaporation ones.

A Kateeva OLED ink-jet printing system

These challenges are being overcome, and it seems that at least four groups (in Korea, Japan and China) are charging forward towards mass production of ink-jet printed OLEDs. Ink-jet printer makers and soluble material suppliers are also optimistic ink-jet printing commercialization will soon be here as the material performance gap is diminishing.

Some of Google's Pixel 2 XL P-OLED displays are better than originally reported

Google 's Pixel 2 XL (which started shipping in October 2017) is one of the first two phones to adopt LG Display's new 6" 1440x2880 (538 PPI) P-OLEDs (alongside with LG's own V30). While on paper these displays are superb, actual reviews were rather dismal - as both reviewers and customers complained about bad color reproduction, graininess and problematic viewing angles. In addition many users seem to report serious image retention issues.

According to reports in 2017, LGD faced very low yields at its 6-Gen E5 line, and so had to produce these smartphone displays at its Gen-4.5 flexible AMOLED line. Some users are now saying that these issues do not plague all of Google's phone - and some come with noticeable better displays. This should be good news for LGD and it's likely that as the company gains more experience with smartphone P-OLED production, it will produce better looking displays in better yields.

Sharp confirms its plans to start producing OLED in Q1 2018

Last week we posted on reports from Japan that claims that Sharp aims to begin commercial production of flexible OLED displays for its own smartphones in the spring. Sharp's CEO today confirmed these reports, saying that Sharp will commence production in Q1 2018 and will introduce its new OLED smartphones in June or July of 2018.

Sharp 3.4'' flexible IGZO OLED prototype (Apr 2016)

In October 2016 Sharp announced that it will invest $570 million and build OLED pilot lines at its plants in Osaka and in the Mie Prefecture, with plans to begin (pilot) production in the summer of 2018. If Sharp will indeed begin production by the end of March, it is quite ahead of schedule - although of course it remain to be seen whether they will be able to reach satisfactory yields before the summer.

Business Korea: Mercedes to adopt LGD's flexible OLED displays in 2022

In 2016 it was reported that Mercedes signed an agreement with LG Display to supply its 12.3" FHD flexible P-OLED displays for a future E-Class automobile. Business Korea now claims that LGD is indeed jointly developing specific OLEDs for future Mercedes cars, and the plan is to launch these in 2022.

LGD 12.3'' P-OLED automotive concept

LGD is already supply Mercedes with displays for its cars - but these are LCDs and not OLEDs (it also supplies these LCDs to other car makers, including Toyota, GM and Hyundai). LG Display is also supplying Mercedes with OLED lighting panels for its 2018 S-Class Coupe and Convertible.

Pulse-width modulation (PWM) in OLED displays

Pulse-Width Modulation, or PWM, is one of the ways display makers can use to adjust the display's brightness. PWM is considered to be an easy (or cost-effective) way to control the brightness, but it has serious drawbacks, such as flicker that may cause eye strain and headaches. In this article we'll discuss PWM and its effects on OLED displays.

Display PWM duty cycles

PWM basics

PWM is easiest to understand in displays that use backlight, like LCDs. In LCDs that use PWM, the backlight is always on at its fullest brightness. If you want to achieve a lower brightness, you turn the display on and off in a very high frequency. This frequency is not perceived by the human eye, which usually sees anything that flickers faster than about 60Hz (60 times per seconds) as consistent. Some people, however, are much more sensitive to flicker.