The Future of OLED Manufacturing

Report Summary

Although OLEDs have grown rapidly recently, they are far from a mature technology which still has significant potential for more growth. OLEDs are still evolving and growing from several different perspectives including features, performance, architecture, end markets and manufacturing technologies. OLED revenues are expected to grow nearly 50% from 2020 to 2025 for a number of reasons. For these reasons, DSCC decided it would be valuable to create this report, The Future of OLED Manufacturing, to examine how OLED technology, manufacturing and performance are likely to evolve.


Although OLEDs have grown rapidly recently, they are far from a mature technology which still has significant potential for more growth. OLEDs are still evolving and growing from several different perspectives including features, performance, architecture, end markets and manufacturing technologies. OLED revenues are expected to grow nearly 50% from 2020 to 2025 for a number of reasons. For these reasons, DSCC decided it would be valuable to create this report, The Future of OLED Manufacturing, to examine how OLED technology, manufacturing and performance are likely to evolve.

There are a number of drivers moving OLEDs forward including:

  • SDC’s desire to stay ahead of its Chinese OLED competitors;
  • Apple’s desire to extend its OLED position in smartphones to tablets, notebooks and even desktop monitors. The migration to larger sizes is fueling interest in larger OLED substrate manufacturing.
  • Chinese OLED manufacturers efforts to narrow the performance and manufacturing gap with SDC and LGD;
  • Both Chinese and Korean manufacturers desire to outperform miniLEDs and minimize any cost gap.

Panel suppliers and brands alike have looked to OLEDs for differentiation and higher margins than in the commodity LCD market. OLEDs have already established a strong position in smartphones and a high-end niche in TVs. This report will address how OLED manufacturers will look to boost their position in smartphones and TVs and establish a growing foothold in the IT market. These advances will be necessary to push OLEDs from $50B to $100B in revenues.

The report is divided into smartphone, IT and TV sections and will address in each the technology roadmap, performance outlook, cost outlook, ways to reduce costs and position vs. competing technologies. The adoption of G8.5 substrates for the IT market plays a critical role in this report and will examine new capabilities such as high performance IGZO backplanes, vertical FMM VTE tools, laser-less lift off solutions and more to improve OLED’s competitiveness in IT markets.

Within this dynamic environment, OLED continues to grow towards attaining half of the display market revenue and all of it's new capacity investments - even within the upcoming half decade. Beyond that, it will continue growing further as it reaps economies of scale and further supply chain improvements. And while competing technologies such as MicroLED are on the horizon, both past experience as well as current tech & economic analysis suggest they will take a long time until manufacturing worthiness, which in retrospect will mean that the 2020-2030 decade may be considered as the “OLED decade."

Table of Contents

Section 1: Background – OLED Commercial & Industrial History

1.1 Intro, Beginnings & Timeline

1.2 Capacity Evolution

1.3 Applications Evolution

1.4 OLED vs Other Technologies

1.5 Enabled Features & Architecture Timeline

1.6 OLED’s Supply Chain Evolution

1.7 Industrial Politics of OLED

Section 2: Technical Challenges & Bottlenecks for OLED

2.1 Review of known historical OLED production challenges

2.2 Review of OLED Yield History

2.3 Currently Prominent OLED Yield Challenges

2.4 OLED’s Cost Challenge

2.5 Promise vs Reality: Un-delivered Parts of OLEDs Promise

Section 3: The Way Forward for OLED: “IT Products”

3.1 General

3.2 Application Space – Implications of “IT Displays”

3.3 Likely Path for IT OLED – G8.5 Migration, Including Oxide

3.4 Likely Path for IT OLED – Inkjet RGB Patterning

3.5 Alternative LLO Methods

3.6 OLED Stack for IT OLED

3.7 High Efficiency Blue

3.8 Auxiliary Electrodes for Top Emission Cathode

Section 4: The Way Forward for OLED: Phones & Small Mobile

4.1 General

4.2 High Performance IGZO (vs LTPO/LTPS)

4.3 Rollable OLED

4.4 Higher Resolution Lithography

4.5 Cathode Patterning

4.6Micro Lens Patterning

4.7 OLED Stack for Mobiles, impact of High Efficiency Blue

Section5: The Way Forward for OLED: OLED TVs

5.1 General

5.2 OVJP

5.3 QNED

5.4 QD-OLED – Status

5.5 TV Inkjet Printing

5.6 Stack, Chemistry and High Efficiency Blue

5.7 Laser Drilling for Top Emission TV

5.8 Top Emission TV – Cathode Patterning

6: China Localization in OLED

7. Summary

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