Solas files a lawsuit against Apple saying it infringes upon its OLED patents

Ireland-based OLED IP company Solas OLED has filed a lawsuit in the US (Texas) against Apple for patent infringements. The lawsuit mentions three patents (USPTO# 6072450, 7446338 and 7573068) that relate to the OLED stack, structure and circuitry (for example one of the patents relates to the formation of a backplane on a polyimide substrate).

Solas OLED team photo

Apple is of course not the producer of the OLED displays - but Solas says that Apple is accused of "making, using, selling, offering for sale, or importing products that infringe the claims" of its patents. Apple's OLED suppliers are Samsung (for the iPhone and MacBook Pro Touch bar devices) and LG Display (for the Apple Watch display).

Korea will invest $6.5 billion to lower its dependence on Japanese imports

The South Korean government says it will spend around $6.5 billion in the next five years to help the local materials, components and equipment sectors and lower its dependence on Japanese imports. This follows Japan's government decision to restrict some material exports, including fluorinated polyimide, to South Korea, following a diplomatic tension between the two countries.

Korea hopes to ensure a stable supply of 100 strategic items (selected from a list of 1,100 industrial items that are imported mostly from Japan) and will assist local R&D activities, lower import barriers and reach out to suppliers in other countries. Korea mostly aims to protect its chips, displays, cars, electronics, equipment and chemicals industries.

PlayNitride shows advanced flexible and transparent Micro-LED displays

PlayNitride demonstrated its latest Micro-LED displays at SID DisplayWeek 2019 - a 7.56" 720x480 (114 PPI) transparent MicroLED, a flexible Micro-LED on a polyimide substrate and a high-brightness, high-resolution passive matrix MicroLED aimed towards wearable applications.

PlayNitride aims to release its first Micro-LED display products by the end of 2019. In 2017 the company started to sample micro-LED panels and shipped samples to 10-20 potential customers.

OLED production in Korea could be halted by the end of July due to Japan's restriction of free exports

A few days ago we reported on Japan's government decision to restrict some material exports, including fluorinated polyimide, to South Korea, following a diplomatic tension between the two countries.

Polyimide is required for OLED production, and Japan controls about 90% of the world's production. According to a new report from Korea, Samsung and other companies have warned the Korean government that production in some plants could be halted as early as by the end of July if these materials are not available. It is not clear what is the situation of Samsung's (and LG's) OLED production.

Japan to restrict exports of some materials to Korea, could effect OLED production

Japan's government decided to restrict some material exports to South Korea. The restricted materials are fluorinated polyimide, resist - and high-purity hydrogen fluoride. Japan is the world's leader in production of these materials (about 90% of fluorinated polyimide and resist) which makes it difficult for producers to find alternatives.

These restrictions could mean that both Samsung and LG Display may find it difficult to keep OLED production at its current level. Both companies have accumulated a large stock of these materials, but if these restrictions hold up for a long time this could be a problem for the South Korean OLED makers (and a boon for Chinese OLED makers, of course).

China's first flexible semiconductor industry base project release, has the exclusive technology

The following is a sponsored post by Shaanxi Kuntech Semiconductor Technology

The press conference for the landing and launching of Shaanxi Kuntech Flexible Semiconductor Service Manufacturing Base Project was grandly held in West Fengxi New City, West Xian Xin New District, Shaanxi province on the morning of October 16, with its theme being "Shinning Shaanxi and Shaping the Future World".

Kuntech flexible AMOLED prototype photo

A number of Chinese government leaders, partners from home and abroad, as well as the media attended the event, where the duo direction foldable AMOLED display with internal and external folds developed by the R&D team was also displayed.

Tianma demonstrates its latest foldable, flexible and rigid AMOLEDs at SID 2018

Tianme had an large booth in SID, showcasing many display technologies and demonstrating its latest LCD and OLED panels. Tianma started producing rigid and flexible OLEDS in April 2017 at the company's 6-Gen fab in Wuhan, and at SID the company demonstrated its 5.5" on-cell rigid AMOLEDs now in production. Tianma told us that this display was adopted in smartphones by Lenovo and Asus.

Tianma also demonstrated several flexible OLEDs in many configurations which we will list below. Almost all of the panels were based on the same basic display - a flexible 5.99" WQHD 1440x2280 (537.5 PPI) AMOLED produced on a polyimide substrate. Tianma showed this panel in a regular design, and also in a notch-type design.

Guangzhou New Vision demonstrates its latest flexible and foldable OLEDs

China's Guangzhou New Vision demonstrated its latest flexible and foldable AMOLED displays at SID DisplayWeek. According to the company in the video below, these displays will enter production in 1.5 years.

As can be seen in the video, the company is developing flexible OLEDs with a resolution of 400 PPI on oxide-TFT backplanes and Polyimide substrates. New Vision also develops printing technologies (for both OLED and QLED displays, interestingly) - but these are still in an early stage, it seems.

Digitimes: Samsung and LG aim to reduce their reliance on foreign organic material producers

Digitimes Researcher states that currently Samsung Display and LG Display both rely on imported organic materials used in OLED production, but the two Korean makers aim to decrease this reliance. Both companies are buying stakes in companies outside of Korea (for example Samsung's Novaled acquisition and Sun Fine Chem investment) in order to obtain patents and move production in house, mostly at LG Chem and Samsung SDI.

Corning Lotus XT glass photo

The polyimide used as a substrate in flexible OLEDs, for example, is produced by Japanese Ube Industries - and used by both LG and samsung. Several organic materials used in the OLED stack are produced by Universal Display (PHOLED emitters), Idemitsu Kosan, Dow Chemical and Merck. Both companies use glass mostly from Corning and high-temperature thin film for the back-end processing from 3M.

Researchers at Tohoku University develop a super flexible liquid-crystal device

Researchers at Tohoku University in Japan developed a super flexible organic liquid crystal device, which they say are promising for next-generation highly-flexible LCD displays. The new device is formed from ultra-thin plastic (polyimide) substrates that are firmly bonded by polymer wall spacers.

Super flexible LC structure (Tohoku University)

The transparent polyimide substrate (made by Mitsui Chemicals) are about 10 um thick each, and feature heat resistance and the ability to form fine pixel structures, including transparent electrodes and color filters. The refractive index anisotropy is extremely small, making wide viewing angles and high contrast ratio possible.

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