According to reports, the Korean government will attempt to resolve Samsung’s and LG OLED technology dispute. Policymakers in Korea say that cannot afford this conflict to escalate because Japanese and Taiwanese display makers are advancing in their own OLED technologies – potentially harming Korea’s interests. The legal war between Samsung and LG Display continues: today Samsung Electronics filed a patent invalidation suit against LG Display, saying that seven of its OLED patents are invalid as they lack innovation. We do not know yet what patents are involved. Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 The latest news from that dispute came in November 2012 when Samsung filed a patent invalidation suit against seven of LGD’s OLED patents . Two months earlier, LG Display filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against Samsung Electronics over OLED technology , saying that Samsung infringed upon seven of its OLED patents which relate to the design of the OLED panel, the driver circuitry and device design. LG seeks damages – and also a permanent injunction against the sale of Samsung’s Galaxy S3 , Galaxy Note and the Galaxy Tab 7.7 in South Korea. Earlier in September Samsung Display filed a lawsuit against LG over OLED technology tech leak . Samsung claims that LG Display stole 18 confidential technologies relating to OLED displays, and also gave some of the information to a third party
Taiwan’s ITRI institute says that OLED TV shipments will outpace UHD ones by 2015. While in 2013 only 50,000 OLED TVs will be sold (compared to 500,000 UHD ones), in 2015 OLED TV shipments will rise to 3.24 million compared to 3.2 million UHD TVs. In 2017, ITRI sees over 10 million OLED TVs sold compared to only 6 million UHD TVs. It’s not clear how they count UHD OLED TVs … ITRI explains that the dramatic OLED TV market increase forecast is based on improving yield rates and more companies joining the OLED TV market. UHD on the other hand is limited because it’s only useful in panels 50″ or above (which is not entirely true. Panasonic for example unveiled a 4K 20″ tablet display which they will start producing soon). ITRI’s forecasts are quite similar to the forecast given by LG Display’s CEO last week . LG sees a very small OLED TV market in 2013, and they expect it to grow to 600,000 – 700,000 units in 2014. In 2015 it will grow further to 3 million units (or about 1% of the total TV market)
ITRI sees OLED TV market growing faster than the UHD market
BOE Display developed a 17″ Oxide-TFT AMOLED prototype that was produced in an ink-jet printing process. They say that this is the first time these an Oxide-TFT OLED panel was ink-jet printed successfully, but I’m not sure if that’s actually true because I think Panasonic’s printed 56″ OLED TV shown at CES also sports an Oxide-TFT. Still this is a great achievement by BOE. BOE Ordos 5.5-Gen AMOLED fab A few months ago we reported that BOE started construction of their 5.5-Gen AMOLED fab in Ordos (Inner Mongolia) which will produce 54K substrates a month. According to earlier reports , the fab cost is estimated at $3.44 billion. BOE’s plan is apparently to first start with LTPS LCD and only in 2014 start producing AMOLED panels as well. It’s probable that the ink-jet based process is even further away… Source: OLEDW BOE Technical / Research Oxide TFT Ink-jet printing
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BOE developed an ink-jet printed oxide-TFT 17" AMOLED panel
During CES Sony unveiled some new LED-backlit LCD TVs under the Triluminos brand, which use QDvision’s quantum dot films to enhance the color gamut. Apparently the new TV’s color gamut is quite close to OLED TVs , although the contrast is not as good. As far as we know these are the first TVs to use Quantum Dots enhancement films. According to reports, the company no longer develops Q-LED (or QDLED) displays as these panels have been too difficult to produce reliably, and they now focus on the QD films. I interviewed QDVision’s CTO and co-founder back in 2009 – and this still gives a good introduction to QDots. Another company that develops QD Films for LCD panels is Nanosys – which recently raised $15 million to increase production capacity for thier QDEF film . Nanosys’ technology is a stand-alone film that can be inserted into LCDs, while QD Vision’s technology is more integrated into the LCD production process. I visited both companies’ booths at SID 2012 .
Nanomarkets posted an interesting article on flexible glass (based on their Flexible Glass Market report ). Basically they’re saying that the opportunities for flexible glass have never been better, and they forecast that the market in 2013 will reach $125 million, and this will grow to over $2 billion before 2020. Interestingly Nanomarkets says that the OLED market will start adopting flexible glass in 2013 – with $4 million in revenue (this will grow to $280 million by 2020). Perhaps Nanomarket thinks that Samsung will adopt flexible glass in their first YOUM flexible OLED based panels ? In fact Nanomarket believes that the adoption of flexible glass in the OLED market will be faster than in the LCD market (not in volume, but in adoption rate) – because OLED itself is a new technology and makers will adapt to new technologies better and because flexible glass is very suitable for the OLED manufacturing processes. Longer term, flexible glass will be used in Roll-To-Roll (R2R) OLED manufacturing plants. Back in SID 2012 Corning announced the new Willow glass product (shown in the video above). This is an ultra-slim (50 um and 100 um) flexible glass that can support backplanes and color filters in both LCD and OLED panels. Willow glass can withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees Celsius, and can be used in R2R production processes – and in fact ITRI announced in November 2012 that they developed the world’s first full R2R process in collaboration with Corning . AGC also has a flexible glass technology of their own
Samsung announced that sales of phones from the Galaxy S series just reached 100 million units. The best selling phones in the series is the S2 (40 million), S3 ( 30 million ) and S (almost 30 million). The original Galaxy S launched in May 2010. The Galaxy S3 is now selling at an average rate of 190,000 units per day. Samsung Market reports Mobile phones OLED production
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Samsung sold over 100 million phones from the Galaxy S series
So, CES is now over, it’s time for a summary post. A few days after announcing that accepting pre-orders for their 55″ OLED TV in Korea , LG announced that the OLED TV is coming to the US – for $12,000 . LG also unveiled a 55″ curved OLED prototype . Samsung unveiled a newer 55″ OLED TV , but sadly the company did not detail their launch plans or pricing. Samsung had a 55″ curved OLED TV of their own , quite similar to LG’s set. Samsung “relaunched” their YOUM flexible AMOLEDs, showing some very neat prototypes . Again, these OLEDs aren’t being produced yet, we can only hope they’ll start production in 2013. Finally, Samsung did unveil a 4.99″ FHD AMOLED panel , scheduled for production in Q1 2013 (probably for the Galaxy S4 phone).
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CES 2013 OLED summary
The Galaxy S II Plus is a refresh to the original S2 – with the same 4.3″ 800×480 Super AMOLED Plus display. This phone features a 1.2 Ghz dual-core CPU, 1GB RAM, 8mp camera and Android 4.1.2. Samsung did not yet announce pricing and availability of the S2 plus. OLED type: 4.3″ 800×480 Super AMOLED Plus Digital cameras
Samsung Galaxy S II Plus
As was reported before , Samsung has unveiled a 4.99″ Full HD AMOLED panel (440PPI). This panel will go into production in Q1 2013, and will probably be used in their upcoming Galaxy S4 flagship phone: Samsung managed to achieve such a high pixel density using a modified FMM technology . According to Anandtech, Samsung also adopted a new material that makes these AMOLEDs 25% more efficient. This means that Samsung finally adopted UDC’s green PHOLED materials in the new panels. It’s still not clear what kind of pixel scheme is being used here – Pentile or RGB (or maybe modified-RGB as used in the Note II ). The S3 has 306 ppi (4.8″ 1280×720, PenTile ) and the Note II has only 267 ppi, 5.5″ 1280×720 – but without PenTile . Source: AnandTech Samsung UDC Mobile phones OLED production Phosphorescent PPI
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Samsung shows a 4.99" FHD AMOLED panel prototype
Toshiba has unveiled a (rather large and bulky) Bluetooth watch prototype called the Computer Graphics watch. It sports a 320×100 OLED panel (probably a PMOLED ) and is powered by an ARM processor. The idea is that this watch can sync to your smartphone for notifications and all sorts of applications (such as a heart-rate monitor). This isn’t a new idea. Sony is offering a similar Android accessory called the SmartWatch (which also uses a PMOLED display, by the way, although at 1.3″). Sony’s SmartWatch costs $109 . The first-gen Sony LiveView, by the way, is now down to only $22 . Sony SmartWatch Allerta developed a similar product (called the InPulse , again with an OLED display) for Blackberry devices, but it’s no longer available. Allerta are now working on an E Ink watch that will connect to iOS and Android devices . Even Apple is rumored to be working on such a device , jointly developed with Apple.
Toshiba shows a prototype OLED watch