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Organic advancements drive OLED adoption in Europe

Posted: 21 May 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:OLED? display market? lighting application?

A new report from Frost & Sullivan found that OLEDs are likely to be one of the key technologies of the future, particularly in the context of display and lighting applications. The report on the European OLED market stated that current applications driving the adoption of the technology are portable consumer device displays such as mobile phones and personal media players.

Lack of a production base in Europe and the cost factor has made Asia Pacific a dominant region for display applications. However, advancements in research and technological development in the European region has enabled it to maintain a foothold in the global market, the report said. Current activities in Europe are mainly restricted to new material development, technology-driven innovative applications and research on novel manufacturing solutions. In the future, the development of cost-effective automated manufacturing solutions and niche applications are likely to provide growth opportunities in the European OLED market.

"The advantages offered by OLED, when compared to competing technologies such as LCD, are playing an essential role in driving the market forward," noted a Frost and Sullivan analyst. "OLEDs are emissive systems that do not require backlight, which makes them slimmer and thinner." They also consume less power and this ability of low power consumption is driving the use of OLEDs in portable display applications, where power efficiency is critical.

Meanwhile, the environment-friendly OLED has also influenced the European Union to invest in industry-led research activities concentrating on commercializing OLED lighting applications. However, hurdles in the development of OLED lights include increasing the luminance efficiency and the material lifetime. In addition, due to competition between OLEDs, inorganic LEDs and fluorescent lights, cost has emerged as a key factor influencing adoption rates. Overcoming these challenges is likely to accelerate mainstream commercial lighting applications beyond 2010, the report said.

"The success of the OLED technology is based on the effective collaboration of all supply chain participants," the analyst commented. "Mass adoption of the technology is likely to create huge demand for organic materials and the ability to provide will depend on the success of the supply chain, which is highly demand oriented." In the future, the ability of OLEDs to serve niche applications is likely to create stable demand and enable a smooth value chain.

With the steady decline in the price of LCDs, they are emerging as the leading flat panel display solution and the high cost of OLED is limiting its ability to compete with LCD displays. As a result, manufacturers are forced to reduce the cost of OLED in order to increase the adoption rate. In the future, the development of cost-effective manufacturing methods is expected to reduce the cost of OLEDs and result in a shorter period for return on investments.

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