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Bendable, foldable and rollable: The future of displays

Posted: 01 Oct 2014     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:flexible displays  consumer electronics  IHS 

In general, we are optimistic about flexible for mobile applications, but assume the next couple years will be limited, then hope that manufacturing technologies will improve in the midterm. I would not be that surprised if by 2019, [around] 50 per cent of AMOLED smart phones [are already] flexible. But there will still also be a lot of LCDs sold then, too.

As for 3D, personally, I think it is mainly a gimmick for most mobile applications, but others may have a different opinion. Glasses-free 3D is quite limited in performance.

QD LED or QLED is considered as a next-generation display technology after OLED. Will this trend have a significant effect in the production of TVs in the future in terms of the impact in the manufacturing supply chain and environment?

Hsu: QD LED could increase the colour gamut and colour saturation, and those factors are very important for TV devices, so we agree that QD LED will have a significant effect in the production of TVs. However, we won't think that the industry supply chain will be impacted.

Bae: TV with QD technology will be one of the top issues in the 2015 TV industry for sure, but it is a kind of [a gamble] because the QD technology has just one advantage over other technologies, which is the colour enhancement. And this colour enhancement can't be measured precisely; it highly depends on a user's senses. Yet, it's too early to make any conclusion, because brands are planning to do some magic through marketing.

Cadmium (Cd) will be used initially but will disappear in the future QD technology. Companies in the industry are developing Cd-free QD technologies, which I believe will be achieved in the future.

Brian Bae

Brian Bae

Annis: Quantum dot backlight enhancement (Nanosys and QD Vision types) is more of a way to get similar colour gamut as AMOLED by just inserting into the backlight of LCDs. It doesn't overcome the black issues, response time, or thickness advantages AMOLED has over LCD. So it is kind of a next-gen tech before AMOLED, and as proponents hope, an OLED killer. I am not so familiar with the demand and supply chain issues of QDs, but [it] seems like a good technology that is a lot easier to implement than AMOLED. But the display industry has always had a hard time marketing colour enhancement. The concerns related to cadmium vary. In Japan, I often hear about it. I don't think QD has a big effect on manufacturing and the supply chain—mainly just enhances the colour and, I assume, continued growth.

Which countries in Asia will see the biggest growth for these emerging display technologies?

Hsu: Japanese, Korean, and Taiwanese panel makers are more aggressive on new display technologies. Japan mainly focuses on high resolution technology, especially on mobile display area. Also, Sony is the first vendor to use QD LED technology on their TV products.

Korea is good at high resolution mobile display, too. Compared to other countries, Korean panel makers are also more focused on AMOLED technology in both mobile and TV display areas. As a result, they are very good at mobile flexible display, which currently mainly uses AMOLED technology.

Taiwanese panel makers focus more on 4K2K LCD monitor and TV panels, and for competing with AMOLED technology, they are expected to use QD LED technology to improve the TV panel's colour gamut and colour saturation for competing with Korea panel makers' AMOLED technology, because AMOLED is relatively better colour performance than traditional LCD.

Bae: South Korea's Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics are leading TV brands. Also, the AMOLED area belongs to Samsung Display and LG Display in South Korea. So of course, South Korea will likely see a big growth with the emerging display technology.

But key materials are still greatly dependent on the Japanese industry, and Chinese companies are fast learners and they will take advantage of the huge domestic market and low manufacturing cost. So the three Asian [countries] will keep leading this industry.

Annis: Korea leads the way in manufacturing technology. Japan is also important in some segments. But most new FPD capacity is being added in China. Chinese makers are significantly behind in terms a variety of technologies. They want to catch up and in some cases are doing okay, but others, especially like LTPS and AMOLED, it is hard.

In terms of who will see the benefits, it is consumers around the world who can pay the extra price. I think that is [true] in all regions.

- Stephen Padilla
  EE Times India

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