Joseph O'Halloran | 19-09-2013
The continued inherent high cost of organic LED (OLED) displays is not deterring suppliers from basing their future product lines around the candidate flat panel technology.
OLED screens offer a number of significant advantages compared with LCD equivalents in particular in terms of colour gamut, viewing angle, power use, chassis size and switching speed, thus making them ideal for very high quality TV services such as UltraHD/4KTV.
Yet even though cost-efficient manufacturability has always been an issue for OLED screens, new research from NPD DisplaySearch has revealed that such concerns are not deterring investment in TFT capacity.
Indeed according to the AMOLED Process Roadmap Report, AMOLED display makers looking to increase performance and lower costs, material and equipment manufacturers have an opportunity to grow their businesses by providing products and technologies that address these issues. And although production costs for AMOLED displays are much higher than for TFT LCDs, particularly for large TV panels, NPD believes that the capacity for AMOLED display backplanes is forecast to grow at a much higher rate than for TFT LCD backplanes.
“With the success of the AMOLED displays in Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones, manufacturing for AMOLED mobile displays appears to have matured,” said Jae-Hak Choi, Senior Analyst for FPD Manufacturing at NPD DisplaySearch. “In contrast, OLED TV has experienced various technical hurdles and roadblocks. The primary reason for the high cost of OLED TV is its low yield ratio. The organic material evaporation process is a bottleneck for OLED TV panels made using the RTB method, and oxide TFT yields have not met expectations.”
NPD calculates that the manufacturing cost for a 55” TV using TFT LCD TV is $426, while the cost for manufacturing the same size TV with RGB OLED is $7,300, and using WOLED is $3,600. The main reason for the cost discrepancies can be attributed to the current low yields for OLED display manufacturing, the need to invest in expensive manufacturing equipment, and the high cost of OLED materials.