DisplaySearch has reported the 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 Gen 5.5 has yet to be demonstrated, and the cost of larger panels is not yet clear, according to DisplaySearch.
DisplaySearch says OLED display revenues are estimated to exceed $4 billion in 2011 (approximately 4% of flat panel display revenues), and are forecast to reach more than $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 $6 billion by 2018.
"OLED displays operate through direct emission, as opposed to transmissive LCD or reflective displays, which enables area lighting," said Jennifer Colegrove, PhD, Vice President of Emerging Display Technologies for NPD DisplaySearch. "The technology has made good progress and is ready to enter large-size applications, but low cost manufacturing for large sizes is still a challenge."
The other finding and observations shared by DisplaySearch includes:
OLED is now a mass-market technology in small/medium displays, particularly in smart phone applications. Investments in Gen 8 (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" 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" AMOLED TV. With technology improvements, NPD 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.
Tabble 1: Comparison of LTPS, a-Si, and Oxide TFT for AMOLED
Source: NPD DisplaySearch OLED Technology Report