Domestic AMOLED panel makers enter the key period of mass production

- Mar 07, 2019-

Driven by OLED's new panel display technology and market applications, AMOLED panels continue to heat up, and the limelight is in the limelight. Terminal manufacturers are willing to introduce them and have a tendency to replace traditional TFT-LCD panels in the mid- to high-end market. In addition, smartphones such as Samsung, OPPO, VIVO, Huawei, MOTO, and Xiaomi have all been introduced into AMOLED screens, and many parties have confirmed that Apple will adopt AMOLED screen plans in the iPhone series next year, which has greatly increased the demand for AMOLED panels. However, AMOLED panel supply chain It is very scarce, and needs to be broken in terms of basic materials, production equipment, technology patents, etc., and a new round of technology upgrade competition for global panel makers has been opened.

Terminal import is in short supply IPhone 8 series will adopt OLED

As is well known, AMOLED is a kind of organic light-emitting display technology (OLED). Compared with PMOLED, there are different market applications of different orders, and it has obvious advantages over TFT-LCD display technology. Chen Xuebin, product director of Xinli Optoelectronics Co., Ltd., said in an interview that the AMOLED panel market is applying rapidly, and it is suitable for importing in medium and large size color dynamic display, which can better meet the high requirements of products for display. The PMOLED panel of OLED technology is suitable for applications in which the display content is not too much, the cost is low, and the size is small. Therefore, the application modes of the AMOLED and the PMOLED which are divided by the OLED technology are not affected, and do not conflict with each other.

Huang Xiuzhen, vice president of Kunshan Guoxian Optoelectronics Co., Ltd., said in an interview that PMOLED is mainly for the application market below 3-4 inches, and AMOLED is more suitable for medium and large size applications. From the perspective of R&D and industrialization development of OLED technology, it has experienced the process from PMOLED to AMOLED. Nowadays, PMOLED technology is relatively mature, and has been widely used in consumer electronics (smart bracelet, smart watch), high-end instrumentation, medical equipment. And other fields.

“The development of PMOLED business of Guoxian Optoelectronics has laid a good foundation for the AMOLED business. AMOLED is currently in rapid development, and there are few companies that can achieve mass production in the world, and Guoxian Optoelectronics has the honor to become one of the few to achieve AMOLED. One of the mass production companies," said Huang Xiuzhen. Kunshan Guoxian Optoelectronics integrates the relevant assets and technical resources of Kunshan Weixinnuo Technology Co., Ltd. and Kunshan Industrial Technology Institute Flat Panel Display Technology Center. It is a high-tech enterprise established based on Tsinghua University's OLED technology and is a leading company in the field of OLED. Guoxian Optoelectronics has been deeply involved in the field of OLED for many years. In 2008, it built the first large-scale OLED production line in mainland China. From 2012 to now, the shipment of PMOLED products has consistently ranked first in the world. On the basis of the development of PMOLED, Visionox has been actively deploying AMOLED since 2009, completing related key technology development and mass production process integration; in 2012, Guoxian Optoelectronics was established, and the construction of AMOLED production line was started. The AMOLED products of the sensible optoelectronics are mass-produced. At the beginning of 2016, the terminal products of the AMOLED screens equipped with Guoxian Optoelectronics were launched.

Chen Zhihong, head of R&D of Shanghai Hehui Optoelectronics Co., Ltd., said in an interview that AMOLED is the world's most watched new display technology. Compared with traditional LCD panels, AMOLED has faster response, higher contrast and wider viewing angle. It can realize flexible display and other characteristics.

Huang Xiuzhen emphasized that the OLED display is very suitable for the development trend of smart terminals, which is light, thin, energy-saving, flexible and fast, and more in line with consumers' higher pursuit of the ultimate display experience. Therefore, in addition to the existing application fields, OLED displays will be widely used in smart terminals such as wearable devices and virtual reality devices. With the maturity of flexible OLEDs, more new applications will be developed, and its development prospects are very promising. broad.

According to DisplaySearch data, it is estimated that by 2020, the annual compound growth rate of AMOLED panel demand area will reach 52.3%, including smart phones, VR, car display, wearable intelligence and other products, which have huge demand space for AMOLED display technology. However, the introduction of AMOLED screens at this stage still concentrates on meeting the mobile phone market, especially Samsung mobile phones, and domestic OPPO, VIVO, Huawei and other terminal manufacturers are accelerating follow-up. Yan Yi, deputy secretary-general of China OLED Industry Alliance, said in an interview that there are three main reasons why mobile phone manufacturers choose AMOLED screens. First, AMOLED flexible curved screen can greatly increase the value of mobile phones, and the curved curvature of the side brings a borderless visual effect. The second is that Qu Ping brings new elements to the products of long-term homogenization competition. The mobile phone with AMOLED curved screen has higher product added value, which is undoubtedly very attractive for the mobile phone industry with high price sensitivity. Third, consumers are willing to pay for the screen, Samsung mobile phone as an example, in the Samsung S7 Edge product line, the price of the screen is nearly a thousand dollars more expensive than the direct screen, but it does not weaken the consumer enthusiasm, Samsung S7 Edge It also became the champion of the Android mobile phone sales list in the first half of this year.

Even so, the much anticipated iPhone 7 still does not use AMOLED screens. The big reason is that the production capacity is limited. With the upgrade of production capacity, next year's iPhone 8 series will also adopt OLED panels. It is reported that in February this year, Samsung announced plans to invest 3.6 billion US dollars to build a new OLED factory, and signed an agreement with Apple to supply 5.5-inch OLED panel next year. The contract is valid for at least 3 years. However, it should be pointed out that Apple does not prefer Samsung as a supplier, just because Samsung "betting" OLED in the past ten years, the supporting equipment is relatively mature, can quickly achieve mass production; and Foxconn's acquisition of Sharp in OLED technology only research and development technology, supporting production The line is not mature, and the fastest mass production is also available in the second half of next year.

Chen Xuebin also affirmed the adoption of OLED panels for the next generation of Apple series, and revealed to reporters that the rumors of the adoption of AMOLED for the next generation of Apple have been confirmed in the industry, and the next generation of Apple will not use flat OLED screens. It is a curved surface. As for whether it is a hyperboloid or a four-curve, it has to be confirmed by Apple itself. Of course, whether the supply can be fully guaranteed depends on the maturity of the supply chain.

Previously, the Samsung S7 Edge adopted the AMOLED hyperboloid screen, and the VIVO Xplay5 has also been introduced into the AMOLED hyperboloid screen. However, due to the unstable supply of the Samsung panel, the shipment of VIVO Xplay5 is not high. It is worth mentioning that in addition to guaranteeing the AMOLED supply chain, Apple also established the Micro LED team in Taiwan. Chen Xuebin told reporters that due to the maturity of the panel supporting equipment in Taiwan, in addition to the introduction of OLED panels, Apple will also develop Micro LED panels in Taiwan, which will bring different applications. For domestic panel makers, there is no need to consider support for Apple's OLED panel, because domestic panel makers have not solved the capacity required by local mobile phone manufacturers. At present, the first issue is mass production.

Difficult to spread across the board. Capacity and flexibility will be the ultimate replacement for AMOLED.

Nowadays, in addition to the large-scale adoption of OLED panels by Samsung mobile phones, domestic mobile phone manufacturers are the backbone of AMOLED, but it is an indisputable fact that domestic panel manufacturers have tight production capacity. In July and August of this year, OPPO and VIVO's supply chain on the AMOLED panel was very scarce, including Samsung's production line at that time could not meet the supply demand.

"Samsung, Huawei, ZTE, Gionee, OPPO, VIVO and other mid- to high-end mobile phones have introduced AMOLED display, mobile phone and other terminal products have strong demand for AMOLED, but currently AMOLED's production capacity is limited." Huang Xiuyan told reporters that in demand Driven by technology and technology, AMOLED is in a rapid development stage. Each display panel manufacturer will focus on AMOLED as an investment. With more capacity release, scale effects will also appear, regardless of the quantity or price of supply. Conducive to more mobile phone manufacturers to introduce AMOLED display. The ability to realize flexible display is one of the biggest features of OLED. The development of flexible AMOLED has just started. The “flexible screen” and “rigid screen” will have challenges in terminal applications. Terminal manufacturers such as mobile phones need to make early use of flexible AMOLED technology reserves. .

“In China, panel companies led by Guoxian Optoelectronics, Hehui Optoelectronics, BOE, etc. are increasing their investment in AMOLEDs, and a new global round of panel technology upgrade competition has been launched.” Chen Zhihong told reporters that the AMOLED industry has experienced many years of development. The outbreak has already arrived, and it is now a good period from the gestation period to the outbreak period. The wave of intelligence has promoted the rapid development of small and medium-sized displays, and AMOLED has gradually replaced the trend in the flagship mobile phone market, smart wear, and virtual reality. Especially in the flagship smartphone field, it has been monopolized by Japanese and Korean companies before, and the market share of Chinese panel companies is zero. The current breakthroughs of Chinese companies in this field have also broken the long-term monopoly of Japanese and Korean companies to a certain extent.

Domestic panel makers are gradually opening OLED production lines. In addition to Guoxian Optoelectronics, Hehui Optoelectronics, and BOE, Huaxing Optoelectronics, Tianma Microelectronics, and Xinli Optoelectronics have all built AMOLED production lines and released products. Chen Xuebin revealed to reporters that the AMOELD panel of Xinli Optoelectronics Group has been sampled in May this year. It is expected that the mass production will be in October and will be quickly introduced in the high-end domestic mobile phone market. At present, the yield can be guaranteed to about 60%.

It is worth noting that Xiaomi recently released the 5.5-inch AMOLED screen from the 1499 yuan red rice Pro. Does this mean that AMOLED is expected to penetrate from the high-end to the mid-end mobile phone market and will replace TFT-LCD.

Chen Xuebin told reporters that the mobile phone manufacturers such as VIVO and OPPO imported AMOLED screens have a good sales volume. This has given the industry an impression that AMOLED panels are very popular in the market, but this is the AMOLED image of end-user achievements. It is not the direct effect of AMOLED. Nowadays, high-end mobile phones are being introduced into AMOLED panels in large quantities, and the low-end and mid-end are still early. This is because the AMOLEDs have less capacity and can only supply high-end mobile phones.

Specifically, Chen Xuebin revealed to reporters that in the low-end and mid-range mobile phones, AMOLED is twice as expensive as TFT-LCD. The cost of AMOLED panels in high-end mobile phones is still much higher than that of TFT-LCDs. Therefore, because the cost price, plus low-end mobile phones basically do not make money, the introduction of AMOLED in low-end mobile phones will bring greater cost pressure.

"At present, AMOLED panels are still mainly to solve the problem of capacity to meet the high-end demand of large-scale shipments. Therefore, the introduction of AMOLED panels into the mid-to-low-end handsets is still far away. It is impossible to roll out the replacement TFT-LCDs in a short time." Chen Xuebin said The introduction of AMOLED panels, the most important indicators are reflected in the yield, maturity and capacity.

Huang Xiuyan is quite pertinent. Although more and more mobile phones use AMOLED displays, and more mobile phone manufacturers have strong application import requirements, AMOLED displays and TFT-LCD displays will still be quite Coexisting for a period of time, each terminal application manufacturer will decide which display to use based on their respective product positioning and display supply.

In fact, the TFT-LCD panel technology is quite mature, and the reason why the OLED application trend is set up is mainly because of the advantages of OLED flexibility, self-illumination, brilliant color, strong contrast and wide viewing angle. Chen Zhihong told reporters that OLEDs can be made lighter and thinner than LCDs due to their self-illumination advantages. At the same time, due to the principle of light emission and organic materials, OLED screens have good flexibility and are easy to carry.

For the difference between the introduction of AMOLED and LCD experience in mobile phones, the most obvious difference is flexibility. Huang Xiuyan said that flexible AMOLED is now in the first stage of development - a curved screen with a fixed bending radius, which will develop in the direction of multiple crimping and folding, and with the development of flexible AMOLED, it will "create" a larger application. The market will also change some of the existing applications, such as the application of flexible AMOLED, in the future, mobile phones, PAD, and even computers may be integrated.

"OLED will bring new experiences to consumers, but at the same time, flexible technology still needs to continue to develop. Market recognition is the standard for testing success. Of course, this is also the application trend of terminals such as smart phones and VRs." Chen Zhihong told Reporters, surface displays, smart phones, virtual reality (VR) and other end products are accelerating the expansion of AMOLED applications. The OLED display industry continues to attract attention. Major display panel manufacturers are actively expanding AMOLED production capacity. It is expected that AMOLED will be compounded in the next five years. The growth rate will exceed 40%.