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China OLED tech lags behind Asian neighbors, says CCID

Posted: 22 Oct 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:OLED market forrecast? active matrix OLED? AMOLED? organic LED?

The global OLED industry is up for rosy future, forecasted CCID Consulting on its latest report, but mainland China still lags behind established market players South Korea, Japan and Taiwan in terms of technology and panel incision size to compete in gaining more inroads in the budding segment.

Global OLED production capacity is currently centralized in China's three neighbor countries. CCID noted that both Kodak and CDT have mastered the core production technology for OLED. Japan enterprises have the related production ability but with related high costs in the country, South Korea inched ahead of it and has become more developed in the field.

The OLED industry in South Korea is mainly focused on Samsung and LG, and its industry chain is integrated. However, the equipment manufacturer's ability is far behind the standards of their counterparts in Japan and its lighting material technology has room for growth, noted CCID. Over time, enterprises in Korea have paid more attention to producing active-matrix OLED (AMOLED), with Samsung SDI and LG Electronics entering large-scale production for AMOLEDs this year.

The OLED industry has also developed rapidly in Taiwan. Many participants involved in the industry and their large shipments highlight the characteristics of the market. Taiwan's display production gives it advantage and emphasis in the OLED industry, while its equipment and R&D of lighting materials is relatively unsubstantial.

The United States and Europe rest its main advantage in the segment via its strong core technology. Kodak owns the core technology of small molecule materials, while CDT is the primary owner of passive matrix OLED (PMOLED) patents. In 2006, the German Industry Prosperity Project confirmed the importance of OLED development in their region's core strategy thus, driving OLED development in Europe, especially in Germany.

Among the various forms of display technologiesLCDs, PDPs, SEDs, ePapers and OLEDsthe life time of an OLED panel is no problem in subscreen and MP3 devices, and its price has been accepted by manufacturers. CCID noted that if the price drop trend of OLEDs keeps the same momentum as LCDs, OLEDs will maintain steady market share in small-sized display markets. If shipments of OLEDs increase on a large scale and its price drop exceeds LCD, OLEDs will have more room for growth in the small-sized display market.

End applications
Application of OLEDs in mobile phones and MP3s is similar to PMOLEDs. Like Samsung, LG has been developing AMOLEDs on a large scale this year, and it is possible for OLEDs to make progress in large-sized products. However, due to yield and output forces, the price of AMOLED mobile phone displays is up 60 percent over LCDs today. In the future, with the growing production capacity of AMOLEDs, the cost will drop gradually and will reach the same price level as LCDs by 2010, said CCID.

In terms of technology relative to the display technology of LCDs and PDPs, technical demands of OLEDs are not so high. OLED requires simple technology and equipment for manufacturing so the R&D cost is not as high as other technologies. However, there is no difference among manufacturers' abilities, for OLEDs are still at the initial development stage. OLED technologies are not very mature so AMOLED technology has a large room to take advantage in the segment, noted CCID, providing opportunities for domestic enterprises in China.

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