Samsung: weak OLED sales in Q1 due to low seasonal demand

Samsung Electronics reported their financial results for Q1 2014. The company had sales of almost $52 billion, and made a profit of $8.2 billion. This was less than a year ago, and the company says this is mostly due to lower high-end smartphone and display sales.

Samsung Electronics says that OLED sales were down due to weak seasonal demand and "impact from new product model replacement" (whatever that means). Looking to the future, Samsung expects to increase OLED shipments to high-end smartphones and to expand to mid-end phones as well. They also want to increase applications to wearable devices. Interestingly they do not mention OLED tablets.

ITRI's Image Lighting turns an OLED lighting panel into a static image panel

Taiwan's ITRI institute developed a new technology (which they call Image Lighting) that enables OLED lighting to be patterned with grayscale images (static of course - this is not an OLED display as such).

ITRI says that their technology allows for more than 200 levels of grayscale, which results in great photo quality. ITRI's process is easy and scalable and will fit nicely within a normal OLED lighting production process. ITRI also plans to develop the technology further to enable full color image lighting panels.

Skyworth to release 65" OLED TVs later in 2014

Digitimes reports that Skyworth (which recently launches their first OLED TV, the Tianchi E980) plans to release a 65" OLED TV in China on October 1st. This new TV, like the E980, will use LG's WRGB OLED panels.

Skyworth Tianchi E980

LG Display is already producing 65" OLED TV panels, as LG Electronics already introduced these TVs (and even larger, 77" ones) in Korea. Interestingly, the latest Apple OLED TV rumors say that Apple is also interested in LG's 65" UHD OLED panels.

LG's 77" curved UHD OLED TV lands in Canada for $24,600 (Updated)

Update: I just got word from Gibbys that the TV isn't shipping yet. In addition, they will not ship it to the US, only to Canada.

Canadian retailer Gibbys is now listing LG's 77EC9800 77" curved UHD (3840x2160) OLED TV, for $26,999CAD (that's about $24,600 USD). According to their web site, this huge TV, LG's flagship 2014 model, is now shipping.

LG already launched this TV in Korea last month, and it's great to see it on sale outside of Korea. Even though it's likely that Gibbys is simply importing the TV themselves and this is not an official launch in Canada. In any case it's actually cheaper than we thought - back in January LG said it will cost $29,999.

TCL/CSOT announced plans to build a 6-Gen LCD and AMOLED small/medium display fab

Towards the end of 2013 it was reported that TCL plans to invest 24.4 billion yuan (just over $4 billion) to build a new 8.5-Gen TV fab in Shenzhen, owned by CSOT. This fab (called Huaxing Power Two) will have two lines, one for a-Si LCDs and one for Oxide-TFT (55" OLED TV and LCD TV, it seems) panels. The Oxide-TFT capacity will be 30,000 monthly substrates.

Now TCL announced that the company, together with CSOT and the Hubei Science & Technology Investment group will invest 16 billion yuan ($2.56 billion) and build a 6-Gen display fab that will also be used to produce AMOLED displays. It's a bit confusing, but it seems that CSOT aims to use both LTPS and Oxide-TFT for this production. The fab will be used to produce small/medium displays.

Samsung Galaxy K Zoom

The Galaxy K Zoom is a hybrid phone-camera device, sporting 20.7MP 10X optical zoom rear camera (and a 2MP front one) and a 4.8" 720p Super AMOLED display. It also features an 8-core CPU, LTE, 2GB of RAM and 8GB of internal memory. and Android 4.4.

Samsung hasn't revealed the price or launch details of the Galaxy K Zoom yet.

Cheil Industries to supply SDC with green phosphorescent host materials

Samsung's Cheil Industries says that they will start supplying Samsung Display with phosphorescent green host for their OLED displays. Cheil developed the new material for the past two years and says that it will improve the OLED panel brightness and power consumption compared to the current material Samsung uses (made by UDC). It is also reportedly cheaper.

Cheil Industries green host production photo

According to the report, some industry source say that this new material may have been used in Samsung Electronics' GS5 phone - as indeed we know the new display is brighter and more efficient than Samsung's previous display. On the other hand if this is true, than Cheil should have started ramping up production months ago. Cheil will produce 5 tons of this new material in a year.

The German PrintOLED project successfully concludes

Merck announced that the PrintOLED project successfully concluded. During the project, the partners investigate several technologies (such as gravure, inkjet printing, slot-die coating and others) and were able to demonstrated OLEDs with homogeneously coated active areas of 10 cm2 and 27 cm2 by classic gravure printing and slot die coating (at least two of the layers were processed from solution).

Merck says that printing two organic layers one on top of the other was a major challenge. The partners achieved significant improvements with specific material sequences. They say that they managed to print with speeds of up to 3 m/s semiconducting OLED layers with a homogeneity meeting the quality standards of industrial-scale OLED production. The knowledge was also applied to OPV and sDSC solar cells.

The GS5 Diamond Pixel architecture is not the same as the GS4

When Samsung first released the GS5, we thought the 5.1" FHD Super AMOLED display is pretty similar to the 4.99" FHD one used in the GS4. But DisplayMate found out that this is a much superior display in many aspects, one of them being that it is 27% more efficient.

The GS5 new Diamond Pixel subpixels photoGS5 subpixelsDiamond Pixel architectureGS4 subpixels

Samsung told DisplayMate that the improvement mostly came from more efficient OLED materials. They also incorporated new display electronics and optics and that helped as well. But now Chipworks posted a teardown of the GS5, and they published a macro image of the display's sub pixels. It turns out that it's a different architecture than the GS4, and this may explains some of the performance boost, too.

OLED panels light up beautiful dandelions flowers

Japanese designer Takao Inoue unveiled beautiful new OLED lighting devices called OLED Tampopo light. These devices are made from real dandelion flowers that are harvested and then encased in acrylic glass. A small OLED panel is placed at the stem of the flowers to light them up:

The Tampopo light (Tampopo means dandelion in Japanese, by the way) was on display at the Milano Salone 2014, and it may be sold in the future in Japan. I do not know who's the OLED panel maker. But these are beautiful things...

Cambridge Isotope Laboratories - Deutreated Reagents and High-Purity Gases for OLEDsCambridge Isotope Laboratories - Deutreated Reagents and High-Purity Gases for OLEDs