OLED is a new display and lighting technology - used to create thin, efficient and bright displays and lighting panels. OLEDs can be made flexible, and transparent, and so open the way for new, exciting display applications. One of the possible markets for OLEDs is the automotive industry.
Where will OLED be used in future cars?
We can see several applications for OLED displays and lighting systems in cars:
- Dashboard displays (instrument clusters, navigation, media)
- Heads up displays
- Internal lighting
- External lighting (tail lights, turn indicators)
- Digital rear-view internal mirrors
- More application we cannot think about today!
OLED displays for cars today
Some new car concepts are using flexible OLEDs, trying to innovate car displays. LG Display is developing FHD 12.3" curved plastic-based flexible OLEDs, and the company is collaborating with Tesla, Cadillac and Mercedes, promising to start producing those display commercially by 2018.
Samsung is also developing OLEDs for automotive - including flexible ones and transparent/mirror OLEDs. In 2016 Samsung unveiled several 7" prototype displays, and in 2018 Samsung demonstrated its latest automotive OLEDs, including large rollable and curved displays.
OLED lighting in cars
The automotive market is one of the most interesting markets for OLED lighting, and many believe this will be one of the first markets to adopt the next generation lighting technology. In 2016 Audi unveiled the 2016 TT RS, which sports optional OLED taillights - the first commercial car to sport the new lighting technology. Audi says that the 2017 A8 will sport OLED taillights and OLED displays.
BMW's M4 GTS car uses OLED taillights as well, but this car will only be produced in a very limited quantities. Still BMW said several times that OLEDs may well become the lighting technology of choice due to OLED's flexilibility, efficiency and homogeneity.
Daimler's 2011 Smart Forvision concept EV uses transparent hybrid solar-OLED panels on the roof. Those hexagonal see-through panels generate energy during the day and provide internal lighting during the night. This is an old concept, but still a very interesting one:
OLED-Info's Automotive OLEDs Market Report
If you're interested in this market, check out our market report on Automotive OLEDs. The report discusses the current OLED display and lighting automotive markets, with a complete list of OLED display and lighting makers that are involved with the automotive market, with personal contact details.
The OLED Automotive Market Report explains:
- What kind of OLED displays are currently adopted in cars
- Why OLED lighting is exciting for car makers
- The future of Automotive OLED display
- OLED concepts and forecasts by BMW, Audi and others
The latest automotive OLED news:
The following is a sponsored post by Lumtec
OLED lighting developer Luminescence Technology Corp. (Lumtec) will unveil new OLED lighting applications at the China International Automotive Interiors and Exteriors Exhibition. Lumtec mass produces OLED lighting panels that utilize the company's own self-developer materials, technologies and equipment. The company says that the price point of OLED lighting panels has come down enough to be adopted in mass scale projects.
Lumtec sees possible OLED lighting markets in luxury and middle-class automotive, automotive after-markets, retail, hotels, smart home fixtures and general lighting products such as desk lamps and stand light. The company is also open to new applications and designs and wants to continue and develop innovating solutions together with partners.
IGNIS demonstrates how its compensation technology can remove burn-in signs from automotive AMOLED panels
IGNIS Innovation published the following interesting video that shows how its compensation technology can remove the visible signs of pixel aging:
IGNIS tells us that this is a 12" LTPS automotive AMOLED panel. The company tested it for 1,000 hours at 85 degrees Celsius - to make sure the company's compensation technology can remove all signs of burn-in patterns. IGNIS's Max Life technology combines a functional in-pixel compensation pixel circuit with a sensing line and the company's current measurement driver chip that can perform external compensation.
China-based BOE Display has a very ambitious OLED project, and the company unveiled new flexible and automotive OLEDs at SID 2019.
BOE demonstrated several new automotive OLED technologies including a 12.3" flexible OLED display for the main instrument panel which employs a new pixel compensation circuit technology apparently developed by BOE, which can improve the brightness uniformity of the display.
Universal Display announced that next week during SID DisplayWeek it will demonstrate, for the first time, a PHOLED display device that was produced using the company's OVJP process at its recently-installed pilot line system.
The green OVJP device features a lifetime of over 50,000 hours (LT95) at 1,000 nits. At the tradeshow UDC will also show its latest commercial and development red, yellow, green and blue phosphorescent material systems in its "eco-friendly PHOLED Garden".
OLEDWorks announced a "predevelopment collaboration" with Audi to advance OLED lighting technology in automotive applications. Audi and OLEDWorks will work together to use OLED lighting and implement it in Audi's future vehicles.
Audi has been developing and implementing OLED lighting for many years. Back in 2012 Audi partnered with Philips to demonstrate several OLED lighting prototypes. Philips OLED unit was sold to OLEDWorks in 2015. See more about Audi's 2012 and 2013 OLED prototypes here.
Digitimes reports that AU Optronics has setup a 3.5-Gen test ink-jet OLED printing line, and the company now intends to start building a 6-Gen production line. AUO will start constructing the line before the end of 2019.
AUO's Chairman confirmed that the latest advances in printing materials and equipment are starting to make OLED printing viable for commercial use. AUO has not yet decided the schedule for volume production.
According to Digitimes, PMOLED display maker RiTdisplay has started to produce flexible OLED lighting panels, targeting the automotive, medical and consumer (home) applications.
For the automotive market, the RiTdisplay is apparently collaborating with Luminit, through its Taiwan-subsidiary Luminit Automotive Technology. RiTdisplay is holding 30% at LAT which is already starting to supply OLED lighting panels for automotive brake lights and started low-volume shipments in Q1 2019.
Taiwan-based Luminescence Technology (Lumtec) announced that it has started to mass produce OLED lighting panels, targeting mainly the automotive OLED lighting market.
Lumtec has been developing OLED materials and technologies for many years, and the company has now accelerated its market strategy for OLED lighting, and vertically integrated the business under its "LUMLIGHT" business division.
LG Display reported disappointing financial results for Q1 2019 - with an operating loss of $113 million. LG Display warns that the whole of 2019 will fall short of expectations - due to high costs of its new OLED fabs, weak LCD panel prices and low adoption of its smartphone OLEDs.
LGD's smartphone OLED business still suffers from low yields and low fab utilization as the company finds it hard to secure design wins and compete with Samsung Display. Some reports even suggest that LGD is thinking about shutting down its flexible OLED smartphone business.
OLED driver maker MagnaChip launched its latest 28 nm OLED Display Driver IC for smartphone displays. MagnaChip says that it is using the world's most advanced process for OLED drivers, which enables it to achieve a 20% reduction in form factor compared to its previous 40 nm process.
In addition to the size reduction, the new process also enabled MagnaChip to reduce the voltage from 1.1V to 1V, which reduces the power consumption by more than 20%, and it also reduces the EMI levels (again, by 20%) which improves the phone's call quality.