Foxconn may produce OLED panels or modules in its Wisconsin fab in the future

Foxconn announced its plans to build a display fab in Wisconsin, USA, in 2017, and following delays the company plans to start operating the new fab by the end of 2020. The plant's designation changed several times - from LCD production (which never made much sense) to R&D and finally and currently to LCD module production.

Foxconn production line photo

Foxconn now says that it may also add OLED and Micro-LED production lines in the Wisconsin factory. It did not disclose any more details or timeline, this is certainly not a commitment yet. It is also not clear whether they mean to produce OLED and MicroLED display panels or modules.

Japan Display finds it more challenging than expected to find partners for its OLED project

In August 2017, Japan Display announced a strategic focus on OLED displays as the losing display maker failed to keep up with the industry shift to OLEDs. JDI announced it will raise funds to accelerate its OLED plans and prepare for mass production in 2019.

In October 2017 Japan Display estimated that it will require more than 200 billion Yen (around $1.77 billion USD) to start mass producing OLEDs in 2019, and the company started reaching out to display makers in China and Korea as finding a partner in Japan is difficult. JDI hoped to finalize its financing by March 2018, but according to a new report from Japan the investors in China, while initially eager to participate, are now hesitating.

Will FoxConn also acquire Japan Display to create a Japanese OLED alliance?

Last week Japan Display announced a new strategic shift to OLED technologies, as its LCD business is losing money and the company now says that a transformation into an OLED-focused company is its last chance to become profitable.

JDI said it will need to raise new funds to finance this focus shift and overcome its losses. An interesting report from Japan claims that Foxconn is interested in acquiring JDI with an aim to integrate it with Sharp to create a Japanese OLED alliance that will be able to compete with Samsung and LGD.

Innolux is assisting Sharp with its 4.5-Gen OLED pilot line construction in Japan

In 2016 Sharp announced that it will invest $570 million in its OLED business, with plans to construct two 4.5-Gen OLED pilot production lines in Japan (or maybe China?) with plans to start low volume production in 2018.

Innolux AMOLED prototype, 2012

Innolux AMOLED prototype, 2012

Sharp is owned mostly by Foxconn, who also owns Innolux, and reports in 2016 said that the Foxconn aims to integrate Sharp and Innolux's display business, focusing on OLEDs and IGZO technologies. Innolux's honorary chairman now says that Innolux is indeed cooperating with Sharp on OLED R&D, and the Taiwanese company is supporting Sharp's 4.5-Gen OLED factory construction in Japan.

Reports from Japan state that Sharp aims to build a $865 million OLED fab in China by 2019

According to a report from Japan's Nikkei Asian Review, Sharp will build an OLED production line at Foxconn's factory in Zhengzhou (northern China). The investment in this new fab will total around 100 billion yen (about $865 million) and production will begin in 2019. Sharp is specifically aiming to supply screens for Apple's future iPhones.

In October 2016 Sharp announced that it will invest $570 million to build OLED pilot lines in Osaka and in the Mie Prefecture. The pilot lines will begin OLED production in the summer of 2018. It was later reported that Sharp is considering to establish those lines in China instead - so it may be that this new Zhengzhou fab is actually the one reported in October.

SDC and LGD not too worried about Sharp's flexible OLED plans

When Foxconn acquired a majority stake in Sharp for $3.5 billion, it was reported that Foxconn aims to invest a total of $1.8 billion in OLED technologies, as Foxconn aims to become an OLED supplier to Apple. In June 2016 Foxconn's president said that the company aims to start mass producing OLEDs as early as 2017, but this was way too optimistic - production will probably start at 2018 or even 2019.

An interesting article in Business Korea states that both LG Display and Samsung Display are not very worried about this competition from Japan. LG Display estimates that actually mass producing flexible OLEDs will not be as easy as Sharp hopes - and that the Japanese maker will not be able to compete with flexible OLEDs by at least 2019 or possibly 2020.

Sharp may build its OLED production lines in China instead of in Japan

Following Foxconn's $3.5 billion Sharp Takeover, it was reported that Foxconn aims to invest a total of $1.8 billion in OLED technologies, as Foxconn aims to become an OLED supplier to Apple. In June 2016 Foxconn's president said that the company aims to start mass producing OLEDs as early as 2017, but this was way too optimistic - production will probably start at 2018 or even 2019.

Sharp 3.4'' flexible IGZO OLED prototype (Apr 2016)

Sharp recently announced plans to invest $570 million to setup pilot OLED production lines in Osaka, Japan. According to a new report from Nikkei Asian Review, Foxconn and Sharp new plan is to build the mass production lines in China and not in Japan. The two companies hope that the Chinese government will step up to help with funds. China also represents a larger market for OLED panels (including Apple's iPhones which are made in China).

Sharp to setup two OLED pilot production lines in a $570 million investment

Sharp announced that it will invest $570 million in its OLED business. The company will establish pilot lines at its plants in Osaka and in the Mie Prefecture. The pilot lines will begin OLED production in the summer of 2018.

A few weeks ago Sharp said it is aiming to collaborate with Japan Display on OLED technologies, and now the company said it is still hopeful to work with JDI. Following Sharp's announcement in August, a source from JDI said that they haven't been approached by Sharp yet.

Sharp may delay its OLED production plans

Following Foxconn's $3.5 billion Sharp Takeover, it was reported that Foxconn aims to invest a total of $1.8 billion in OLED technologies, as Foxconn aims to become an OLED supplier to Apple. In June 2016 Foxconn's president said that the company aims to start mass producing OLEDs as early as 2017.

Sharp 3.4'' flexible IGZO OLED prototype (Apr 2016)

As we estimated, this was overly optimistic, and it is now reported that Sharp is considering to revise its OLED investment plan, and produce those OLEDs in a Saki Display Product fab in Osaka and not in Sharp's fab in Kameyama. This move will delay production, and Sharp will not be able to start producing OLEDs even in 2018.

Innolux shows new rigid and flexible OLED prototypes, aims to mass produce AMOLEDs

After years of OLED R&D but no actual reports, Taiwan's Innolux is finally demonstrating its new OLED prototypes, signalling that the company is finally about to re-enter the OLED market. Innolux says that it has recently "achieved success with AMOLED technology" and now plans to continue development and ultimately mass produce AMOLED panels.

In a trade-show in Taiwan, Innolux is demonstrating several OLED prototypes. First up we have a 5.5" WQHD (2560x1440, 534 PPI) flexible AMOLED built on a plastic substrate and an LTPS backplane. The panel has a "proprietary pixel rendering methods" (perhaps PenTile like?) and uses thin-film encapsulation and is produced using an FMM mask (more on this below).

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