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The Manufacturers and Commercial Uses of OLED

Blaze Display Technology Co., Ltd. | Updated: Nov 27, 2018

Almost all OLED manufacturers rely on material deposition equipment that is only made by a handful of companies, the most notable one being Canon Tokki, a unit of Canon Inc. Canon Tokki is reported to have a near-monopoly of the giant OLED-manufacturing vacuum machines, notable for their 100-metre (330 ft) size. Apple has relied solely on Canon Tokki in its bid to introduce its own OLED displays for the iPhones released in 2017. The electroluminescent materials needed for OLEDs are also made by a handful of companies, some of them being Merck, Universal Display Corporation and LG Chem. The machines that apply these materials can operate continuously for 5–6 days, and can process a mother substrate in 5 minutes.


OLED technology is used in commercial applications such as displays for mobile phones and portable digital media players, car radios and digital cameras among others, as well as lighting. Such portable display applications favor the high light output of OLEDs for readability in sunlight and their low power drain. Portable displays are also used intermittently, so the lower lifespan of organic displays is less of an issue. Prototypes have been made of flexible and rollable displays which use OLEDs' unique characteristics. Applications in flexible signs and lighting are also being developed. OLED lighting offers several advantages over LED lighting, such as higher quality illumination, more diffuse light source, and panel shapes. Philips Lighting has made OLED lighting samples under the brand name "Lumiblade" available online and Novaled AG based in Dresden, Germany, introduced a line of OLED desk lamps called "Victory" in September, 2011.


Nokia introduced OLED mobile phones including the N85 and the N86 8MP, both of which feature an AMOLED display. OLEDs have also been used in most Motorola and Samsung color cell phones, as well as some HTC, LG and Sony Ericsson models. OLED technology can also be found in digital media players such as the Creative ZEN V, the iriver clix, the Zune HD and the Sony Walkman X Series.


The Google and HTC Nexus One smartphone includes an AMOLED screen, as does HTC's own Desire and Legend phones. However, due to supply shortages of the Samsung-produced displays, certain HTC models will use Sony's SLCD displays in the future, while the Google and Samsung Nexus S smartphone will use "Super Clear LCD" instead in some countries.


OLED displays were used in watches made by Fossil (JR-9465) and Diesel (DZ-7086). Other manufacturers of OLED panels include Anwell Technologies Limited (Hong Kong),  AU Optronics (Taiwan), Chimei Innolux Corporation (Taiwan), LG (Korea), and others.


DuPont stated in a press release in May 2010, that they can produce a 50-inch OLED TV in two minutes with a new printing technology. If this can be scaled up in terms of manufacturing, then the total cost of OLED TVs would be greatly reduced. DuPont also states that OLED TVs made with this less expensive technology can last up to 15 years if left on for a normal eight-hour day.


The use of OLEDs may be subject to patents held by Universal Display Corporation, Eastman Kodak, DuPont, General Electric, Royal Philips Electronics, numerous universities and others. By 2008, thousands of patents associated with OLEDs, came from larger corporations and smaller technology companies.


Flexible OLED displays have been used by manufacturers to create curved displays such as the Galaxy S7 Edge but they were not in devices that can be flexed by the users. Samsung demonstrated a roll-out display in 2016.


On 31 October 2018, Royole, a Chinese electronics company, unveiled the world's first foldable screen phone featuring a flexible OLED display. On 20 February 2019, Samsung announced the Samsung Galaxy Fold with a foldable OLED display from Samsung Display, its majority-owned subsidiary. At MWC 2019 on 25 February 2019, Huawei announced the Huawei Mate X featuring a foldable OLED display from BOE.


The 2010s also saw the wide adoption of tracking gate-line in pixel (TGP), which moves the driving circuitry from the borders of the display to in between the display's pixels, allowing for narrow bezels.



Textiles incorporating OLEDs are an innovation in the fashion world and pose for a way to integrate lighting to bring inert objects to a whole new level of fashion. The hope is to combine the comfort and low cost properties of textile with the OLEDs properties of illumination and low energy consumption. Although this scenario of illuminated clothing is highly plausible, challenges are still a road block. Some issues include: the lifetime of the OLED, rigidness of flexible foil substrates, and the lack of research in making more fabric like photonic textiles.



The number of automakers using OLEDs is still rare and limited to the high-end of the market. For example, the 2010 Lexus RX features an OLED display instead of a thin film transistor (TFT-LCD) display.


A Japanese manufacturer Pioneer Electronic Corporation produced the first car stereos with a monochrome OLED display, which was also the world's first OLED product. The Aston Martin DB9 incorporated the world's first automotive OLED display, which was manufactured by Yazaki, followed by the 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Chevrolet Corvette C6. The 2015 Hyundai Sonata and Kia Soul EV use a 3.5-inch white PMOLED display.

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