Micro LED Production Is Difficult AUO Investment Transformation OLED Production Line
- Aug 06, 2018 -

         

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Recently, some Korean media said that AUO is negotiating with equipment manufacturers to prepare for the purchase of related equipment to transform the current 4.5 panel production line to produce OLED panels by inkjet printing and printing process. AUO also said that AUO has long-term investment in OLED technology development and has continued research on the development of inkjet printing and OLED technology. In the future, AUO will carefully evaluate the relevant investments based on the market and customer demand conditions, adhering to the smart investment principle. This is another wave of AUO's investment in OLED panels.


AU Optronics is the earliest panel manufacturer to invest in OLED research and development in Taiwan. In 2020, OLED team was established. In 2002, AUO successfully developed OLED technology. It was also the only one in the world that successfully developed a-Si TFT and LTPS TFT technology. The manufacturer of active full-color OLEDs released the 4-inch active full-color OLED display with LTPS TFT technology in September of the same year.


In October 2005, AU Optronics developed a 270ppi VGA high-resolution 3-inch AMOLED display, and in June 2006 produced the world's first 2-inch AMOLED mobile phone panel.


In October 2009, AUO released a 14-inch Full HD resolution OLED TV panel. In October 2011, AUO released a 32-inch FHD OLED TV and a 4-inch full-color flexible AMOLED display (Flexible AMOLED). In October 2012, AU Optronics released a 4.65-inch OLED display with a resolution of 317ppi. 2013 AUO also released a 56-inch 4K OLED TV and a 5-inch FHD OLED mobile phone with a resolution of 443ppi.


However, in the real mass production OLED production capacity, AUO still only has a 4.5-generation a-Si TFT OLED panel production line, which mainly provides a small number of smart watch OLED displays for the industry.


After Apple promoted the application of LTPS TFT technology on the display of smart phones, AUO also followed up with a 6-generation LTPS production line in Kunshan. The current production line has only 25,000 pieces per month. Will it continue the second phase of capacity expansion? Although there are various assessments, there is not much progress for the time being.


In 2017, Friend Optoelectronics will invest in 6 generations of hard and flexible OLED production capacity on the 6th generation LTPS panel in Kunshan. It is scheduled to go into production in 2018, but due to the continuous decline in LCD prices, the company's profit will reduce financial constraints and eventually The investment plan was not actually implemented.


When China's panel companies such as BOE, Shenzhen Tianma, Huaxing Optoelectronics, Hehui Optoelectronics, and Visionox invested heavily in the 6th generation flexible OLED panel production line, AU Optronics said on many occasions that it is more optimistic about Micro. LED display technology can be used to replace OLED technology.


However, at the AUO Photonics Conference on July 26, Chairman Peng Shuanglang said that although AUO Micro LED technology is in a relatively leading position in the industry and hopes to seize more business opportunities, there are still many engineering problems to be broken. If we don't reach the mass production level, we need more companies in the industry to work together in the future to drive the product development process to accelerate, in order to achieve more breakthroughs in mass production technology.


AUO uses a semiconductor process to produce a white LED array illuminating layer on a full-color active micro LED display technology, and then assembles RGB color filters on it to achieve color display. Similar to LGD, white OLED luminescent layer + RGB color filter is used. The OLED TV panel technology that realizes color display.


The AUO and equipment manufacturers negotiated to purchase OLLED inkjet printing equipment. The industry believes that it may be affected by Japan's JOLED announced that it wants to mass-produce inkjet printing and printing OLED panels. Japan JOLED is ready to adopt inkjet printing during the year. Printed production of notebook computers and automotive display OLED panel products.


The current OLED panel mass production technology, in addition to Japan's JOLED inkjet printing process, other manufacturers are using evaporation process, not only costly, production size is limited, product quality and yield are difficult to reach commercial level.


Therefore, after the OLED display effect is recognized by the industry, panel makers LGD, Samsung, BOE, Huaxing Optoelectronics, and Shentianma are all researching new OLED mass production technologies, hoping to replace the process of vaporizing RGB pixels to produce large-size OLED TVs. Panels, in which inkjet printing technology has attracted a lot of attention from these panel manufacturers due to its material saving and high production efficiency.


However, due to the constraints of OLED display material technology and the compatibility of inkjet printing equipment, the current inkjet printing and printing technology has been applied in the auxiliary process of OLED panel manufacturing of RGB pixel process. In the manufacture of OLED light-emitting layers, only inkjet printing and printing technology in Japan has achieved breakthroughs in mass production.


AUO's Micro LED panel is difficult to mass-produce, the inkjet printing equipment is planned to regain OLED technology, and the mass production technology breakthrough attempt on the 4.5-generation panel line can really shake the current Samsung and mainland China. The capacity pattern of panel manufacturers' flexible OLED panels remains to be seen.


However, when global panel production capacity is rapidly gathering in mainland China, AUO wants to maintain its market share. The bigger obstacle may not be on the technical level, but on the subsequent investment capital source and investment capital cost. At this time, AUO has followed the Japanese JOLED research and development of inkjet printing and printing technology to produce OLED panels. Perhaps it is also to circumvent the capacity and price competition with Chinese mainland and Korean panel makers on flexible OLED mobile phone panels and LCD TV panels. Car display field.