OLED Industry Development Sub-forum: Open Cooperation and Mutual Benefit
Geng Yi, director of the Optoelectronics Research Division of CCIDIC Institute of Integrated Circuits and Deputy Secretary-General of China OLED Industry Alliance
Wu Zhongyuan, Deputy General Manager of Hefei BOE Zhuoyin Technology Co., Ltd.
Remi Anemian, Global Head of Merck OLED Product Development
Shen Ying, Deputy Director of Tianma Microelectronics Co., Ltd.
Noam Cohen, General Manager of Orbotech Display Business Development
Assistant General Manager of Shanghai Hehui Optoelectronics Co., Ltd.
Katsushika Takahashi, General Manager, Turnkey Applications, Asia, Edwitz Trading (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.
Huang Changgang, Deputy General Manager of Fuyang Xinyihua Material Technology Co., Ltd.
Li Zhongxuan, Chief Analyst / President, UBI Research, Korea
Editor's note: On the morning of November 23, the first World Display Industry Conference "OLED Industry Development Sub-forum" was held in Hefei. The forum was hosted by the LCD Branch of the China Optoelectronics Industry Association, the China OLED Industry Alliance, and the International Semiconductor Industry Association, and was supported by the CCID Research Institute of Integrated Circuits and Hefei Flat Panel Display Industry Innovation Strategic Alliance. The theme of the forum is "open cooperation and mutual benefit", focusing on the key topics of OLED development, analyzing the challenges faced in the development of the OLED industry, tapping the future opportunities of the OLED industry, and promoting the healthy, orderly and sustainable development of the new display industry.
OLED has become an important driving force for industrial development
The new-type display industry has once again entered the watershed stage, and the continued decline in prices has caused the phenomenon of increasing volume and not increasing prices. Since the liquid crystal display occupies a relatively large proportion in the new type of display, when the volume increase and price decrease are present, the entire new display industry will increase in volume and price. At present, OLED is actually a stage of rising volume and price. OLED has become an important driving force for industrial development.
In recent years, investment in display panel production lines has been very enthusiastic, and the scale of China's AMOLED industry has been rapidly expanding. As of October 2019, there have been 11 production lines and 4 production lines under construction in mainland China, with a total investment of more than 400 billion yuan. With the successive completion of multiple production lines, China's AMOLED production technology level and industrial innovation ability are also continuously improved. The combination of flexible AMOLED and other new-generation information technologies is expected to further enhance the brand status of domestic enterprises and drive the transformation and upgrading of downstream industries. At present, China's OLED industry also has many shortcomings, which are mainly reflected in supporting capabilities, technology reserves, and forward-looking aspects.
The future industry development trend has three points: The first is the popularization of market applications. The world's top 3 laptop companies, the top 5 smartphone companies, 80% of TV companies and 90% of smart watch companies have launched terminal products with OLED screens. The second is product diversification. OLED's flexible, solid-state light-emitting, and simple structure features bring more possibilities for product design, and promote the diversified development of OLED products in form and function. The third is clustering of industrial development. For example, South Korea's Samsung has Asan as the center, and LGD has Gumi as the center, each forming its own industrial ecosystem. China's OLED industry started late. Although the supply chain integrity is not as good as that of Korean companies, a new display industry ecosystem including raw materials, parts, panel manufacturing, and machine integration has also been initially formed in some regions. The fourth is the chain of technological innovation. In the stage of continuous development and breakthroughs in new technologies such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, 5G, and ultra-high definition, display screens play an important role in information presentation and are an important part of the information technology innovation chain.
The AMOLED industry has a large investment and technology intensiveness. The "screen" has become a device that keeps pace with the "core". It is one of the most cutting-edge technologies in the electronic information industry. Promoting the development of the AMOLED industry will enhance the basic innovation capabilities and industrial chain supporting capabilities of the electronic information industry Has an important role.
Opportunities and challenges coexist in large-size OLED displays
Although the global display industry has slowed down in recent years, the market for new technology applications still has good development potential. As a representative of the application of new technology, OLED uses its own high-contrast, fast-response, bendable, and low-blue-light technology advantages to quickly penetrate into various consumer electronics fields. From mobile smart terminals to large displays, you can basically see Both screens and imaginary product applications have OLED displays.
The current market size of large-size OLED TVs is not particularly large, but the growth rate will be faster in the next few years. In 2018, the global OLED TV sales volume was 2.8 million units, and it is expected that this year will reach 3.8 million units, and it will maintain a growth rate of about 37% per year in the next few years. OLED TVs are currently positioned in the high-end market. In the future, they will have a good market prospect through differentiated product forms, rich product types, and expanded production capacity.
Large-size OLED technology routes are mainly divided into three types: the first is vapor-deposited white OLED + color film technology, which has been relatively mature and mass-produced, but has high manufacturing costs, low material utilization, and relatively high power consumption; The first is printed OLED technology, which is currently in the early stages of industrialization. Compared with traditional evaporation technology, it has the advantages of high material utilization and low product manufacturing costs. The third is the evaporation blue-light OLED + QD color film technology. The technology is still in development This stage has the advantages of high resolution and high color gamut, but needs to improve life and efficiency. In general, of the three current technology lines, the evaporation white light technology is the most mature and is currently the mainstream technology widely used in mass production. The other two technologies have great potential. The threshold for large-size OLED technology is still relatively high at present. Its challenges mainly come from three aspects, namely TFT backplane, EL patterning process, and drive compensation technology. The biggest challenge facing these three directions is cost. Cost needs to be worked hard to overcome. In addition, there are problems that need to be solved in terms of devices, processes and algorithms.
The future development direction of BOE's large-size OLED technology is mainly divided into three aspects. The improvement of image quality will work towards higher resolution and higher refresh frequency; in terms of cost and power consumption, the focus is on developing the inkjet printing process to be more complete, while developing POL less technology to reduce MASK solutions and power consumption In terms of system integration, products should be thinner and lighter, develop borderless technology, and combine new trends to develop new market applications such as stitching and transparent display.
OLED materials are key drivers of innovation and performance improvements
Display is the key interface between humans and information. Visual perception accounts for 80% of human perception, so the display industry has a bright future. Some emerging technologies are emerging, such as free-form OLEDs, as well as foldable, stretchable, and transparent OLED displays. OLED materials have the properties of free form, bendable, stretchable, transparent, thin and light, printable, and wearable, which are the key driving factors for innovation and performance improvement.
Merck offers a broad portfolio of materials in the field of OLED displays, leading multi-layer innovations in OLED displays, such as silicone as a new backplane, active Mesogens becoming ultra-thin coatings, and OLED materials revolutionizing display and lighting. However, it must be clear that the material itself does not represent or show the so-called efficiency or life. Only when the material and display technology are integrated into a product, it will have this property. So the combination of materials is very important, different material combinations will bring different results.
OLED materials are the most advanced materials for the entire development of display products, including steam and printing. Merck's OLED materials research and development portfolio covers the entire range from early technology hotspots to mature products. According to PatentSight analysis, Merck's patent portfolio has achieved the highest competitiveness among 10 OLED patent portfolio companies. Merck integrates OLED's knowledge and analysis database, covering data analysis, modeling, search and browsing, physical experiment management and database.
Steam OLED materials can contribute to a wide range of materials with a wide range of transmission layers for HTLs, prime layers, HBLs, ETLs to optimize efficiency and LT performance. And green premixed host materials with excellent processing stability can be used in low temperature fields.
Printed OLED is the technology of the future, featuring high material utilization, simple OLED stacking, elimination of color filters in panels, suitable for TE and high-resolution displays such as 4K IT displays and 8K OLED TVs. Merck has a close relationship with printed OLED equipment suppliers and has a strong sense of responsibility and expertise in printed OLED technology.
Diversified folding forms make flexible OLED face more challenges
The trend of flexible OLED mobile phone products is mainly focused on two directions: full-screen mobile phones and folding mobile phones. From the perspective of the requirements of the entire machine, the future technology trend is the demand for full-screen, thin and light, and low power consumption. In terms of internal design, due to the limited design space of the whole 5G mobile phone in the future, the increase in radio frequency integration will increase power consumption and increase the PCB area, compressing other device space, so it will tend to have thinner screens and lower screen power consumption. In terms of appearance, the screen ratio of 5G mobile phones will further increase. For example, under-screen cameras, FOD, etc. will be adopted, and the forms will be more diverse, such as hyperbola, hyperboloid, and inner and outer folding.
OLED technology outperforms LCD in terms of response time, thickness, viewing angle, contrast, color gamut, and power consumption. Touch technology has been developed from Add-on touch to multi-layer TPOT, single-layer TPOT, optical devices from LCD to OLED, Micro LED, and backplane technology from a-Si to LTPS, LTPO.
At present, the stacked solution of full-screen mobile phones achieves a left and right curvature equal to about 88 degrees from the product form, and future products to achieve 88 degrees, the technical challenge is the problem of Panel inorganic layer stress cracking. The current architecture of Tianma products is hyperbolic. Currently, the left and right curvature can be less than 90 degrees. In the future, it will achieve 110 degrees or more. The technical challenges faced are mainly the problem of Panel inorganic layer stress cracks and Lens development. Camera technology) architecture can currently achieve up-and-down and left-to-right curvatures. In the future, four-sided curved contours will be achieved. The technical challenges faced are mainly the stress crack problem of Panel inorganic layer, Lens development and module process development. From the perspective of key technologies, the first is the screen stacking technology, including the adjustment of the Panel body and the module stacking adjustment. The second is the breakthrough of 3D and 3.5D CG bonding technology.
Folding the mobile phone from the inside to the outside, Z shape, the development of the difficulty increases, facing many technical challenges. The first is the bending test. The Tg point of the OCA adhesive is low. The bending performance of the entire folded stack at low and high temperatures needs to be balanced. The second is that the crease should be reduced. The creep characteristics of each material of the stacked structure need to be studied. Selection and stacking design to reduce creases; the third is the impact test, the buffer layer design should reduce the stress on the Panel; the fourth is the integration of TPOT and CFOT into the Panel, the overall stack thickness is reduced, and the stack moves from multiple neutral layers to a single neutral Layer to provide more space for the module stack design; the fifth is to adjust the process of the inorganic thin film layer in the entire Panel process from Array to TFE and TPOT to reduce the risk of cracks.
Providing solutions to OLED challenges
The development of OLED display faces a series of common challenges, such as lack of color difference, particle control, stability of ELA, reliability of TFE, and some other problems, such as material aging, material fading, TP integration, and laser glass. Reliability, etc. These challenges put some pressure on the yield of OLEDs.
Orbotech has been deeply involved in the display industry for 27 years, has more than 600 global patents, and has 700 engineers and scientists. Orbotech ’s solution, AOI, has developed a multi-modal automatic optical inspection. Scanning or inspection can be used to distinguish and distinguish material defects, such as whether the material is open, dust, ITO short circuit, or pin holes, etc. engineer. Layer thickness macro monitoring Insight technology uses special laser lighting to perform surface topography measurement, sense layer thickness changes, material stress and refractive index changes, and whether there are defects on the film, and can detect macro defects at the edge position.
Orbotech's oasis production management AI platform is the application of new artificial intelligence technology in FPD production management. It is not only a “yield data analyzer” but also a “yield data generator”. Through the connection between machine AI and Fab AI, it has the ability to analyze "deep data" and "unique data", and can collaborate with all Orbotech display product lines for electrical testing, AOI and maintenance. Each system has AI software, and all platforms are connected through a central artificial intelligence center, which uses actual production data to achieve improved production management. Through AI scanning classification, it helps to significantly increase production, improve process control, be smarter and faster, and reduce the need. The number of defect images inspected, automatic defect classification (ADC), automatic and accurate determination of fatal defects, extremely high capture rate of fatal defects, and early warning of process problems.
In general, Orbotech's digital macro AC e-Mura, quantum super AOI, digital macro perspective AOI, digital macro AMOS AOI, Quasar LOT, array checker, digital macro can contribute to the challenges of OLED .
AMOLED display brings many new opportunities to the electronics industry
AMOLED is becoming more and more widely used in the electronics market. AMOLED display features such as high picture quality, low power consumption, and healthy eye protection are increasingly accepted by consumers.
However, the AMOLED display industry also faces challenges: First, the business model of customizing mobile phone panels but not burdening product development costs brings cost challenges. The second is the rapid iteration of full screens, which brings challenges of scale benefits to AMOLED panel factories. Compared with 2018, the number of mobile phone models using AMOLED screens by major brands increased by 17 in 2019, but the display specifications increased by 27 models. The shipment of single models decreased and the economies of scale were poor. Third, the mismatch of product development cycles has brought challenges to the research and development capabilities of AMOLED panel makers. The development cycle of mobile phone products is short and the development cycle of display screens is long, which complicates the development of display screens. Fourth, global AMOLED production capacity is growing rapidly, and flexibility is facing the challenge of overcapacity. Global Flex currently has approximately 1.35 billion mobile phone screens in full production capacity under construction, accounting for about 97% of global smartphone sales, and has excess flexible production capacity. Fifth, Samsung Display has stepped up its expansion in China, bringing challenges to Chinese AMOLED panel makers.
AMOLED displays bring many new opportunities to the electronics industry. In the mobile phone industry, AMOLED is a new technology that promotes the development of market demand, helping mobile phone manufacturers win the market with differentiation, and by actively pursuing technological innovation, abandoning low-end price wars. In the smart watch and wristband markets, with the improvement of sensor technology, practical functions such as health data collection, mobile payment, and independent calling, as well as battery life, the smart watch market is steadily growing. It is estimated that the market size will reach 149.5 million units in 2021. AMOLED, with its high picture quality, low power consumption, special shape, ultra-thin, flexible surface, healthy eye protection and other outstanding features, has helped the smart wearable market grow rapidly. It is estimated that the shipment of AMOLED displays in domestic smart wearable products will exceed 90 million units in 2020. In the tablet PC market, AMOLED brings new profit growth points to the tablet PC market with its ultra-thin, fast response, healthy eye protection and other characteristics. Since 2018, the tablet PC market shipment has stabilized, and it is estimated that it will be around 150 million per year in the future. In the notebook market, AMOLED has gradually become an alternative solution for high-end commercial, gaming notebooks and educational flat screens. According to the speed of AMOLED products launched by various laptop brands, it is estimated that the annual shipments in 2022 will reach 6 million units, driving the G6 production line to reach 20K boards. In the automotive display market, automotive interiors will be augmented with more new-type display functions. AMOLED will add more applications to the automotive display field due to its profile, ultra-wide temperature range, ultra-wide viewing angle, and fast response. The compound annual growth rate of automotive displays from 2019 to 2024 will reach 8.5%. Among them, AMOLED display market share is expected to reach 2% by 2020, and is expected to reach 10% by 2024.
Pay attention to the impact of process gas emissions on the ecological environment
The process gases brought by the production of display screens have a great impact on the environment. If the emission reduction and facilities and equipment are not selected properly or operated improperly, they may release poisons NOx, HCN, NH4F, HF on silica, Cl2, COF2, COCl2 and Global warmers CF4, SF6, N2O, COF2; release NaF, NH4Cl, SO2F2, Al2O3, CaF2 CaSO4, Ca2B2O5, CaCO3, Ca (OH) 2, SiO2, etc. into the water. The solution is to ensure that the pump exhaust pipe is heated to avoid clogging, and is made of corrosion-resistant materials. While ensuring high DRE of NF3, N2O, NH3, minimize the generation of nitrogen oxides; ensure CF4 and SF6 and any chamber High DRE of by-products; ensure effective removal of solids in exhaust gas to avoid pipeline blockages; ensure that solids in wastewater treatment plants are managed in accordance with local regulations.
China has a wide range of environmental regulations, including water pollution, air pollution, and soil pollution. It specifies concentration limits (mg / m3) and mass release limits (kg / h). If the release exceeds the mass release limit, the air cannot be diluted. Source at a reduced mass release rate. Some regulations also impose industry-specific restrictions. So far, the recently proposed regulations on air pollutant emissions for the electronics industry are still under discussion and have not yet been released.
On July 28, 2017, the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) and later the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) released the Catalogue of Classified Management of Emission Permits for Fixed Pollution Sources (2017 Edition), stating that by 2020, 78 industries and Four general processes are implemented for pollutant discharge permit management. The FPD industry is included in Sequence 69. Permits need to be issued between 2019 and 2020. Pollutant emitters will be divided into key management entities and simplified management entities based on production, total emissions and environmental damage.
Low temperature photoresist technology will be better applied in OLED field
Display technology has been developed for many years. The most important thing is to provide customers with the most intuitive and ideal experience, so that customers can feel that the gap between the display screen and the real world is getting smaller and smaller.
Compared with ordinary images, HDR can provide more dynamic range and image details, not only higher contrast, but also a true reproduction of the scene's light and color, which can better reflect the visual effects in the real environment. To achieve HDR, it is necessary for the display system to have extremely high contrast and color display range, improve the picture transparency, and make the original picture more realistic.
Based on the current development of the display industry, how does the photoresist keep up with the needs of display technology? Xinyihua first proposed a solution with ultra-high precision, ultra-light-shielding, and ultra-high impedance in BM. In RGB, a solution with wide color gamut and ultra-high transmittance is proposed.
The rapid development of OLED display in the last 10 years, the OLED penetration rate of smart phones will surpass LCD to 50.7% for the first time in 2019, and the OLED panel market size will be about 20.7 billion U.S. dollars, and the OLED penetration rate will further increase to 73% in 2025. . In terms of TV panels, OLED has suddenly become synonymous with high-end TV products. According to IHS statistics, the OLED penetration rate of TVs priced at more than $ 2,000 in the second quarter of this year was as high as 59% in Japan and about 45% in North America and Europe. Up to now, there have been 11 OLED production lines in China and under construction.
The OLED market is very large. How to apply excellent photoresist technology to the OLED field and serve this market is the mission of materials practitioners.
Because OLED is a flexible display form, it is thin film and has top emission and bottom emission. The display effect is greatly affected by natural light. Therefore, in order to reduce the reflection of natural light and cause specular display interference to the display, circular deflection is currently used. With more changes in the shape of the end product, small-sized folds and large-sized reels will appear one after another. The thickness of the round deflection and the radius of curvature of the curvature can no longer meet the needs of folding. On this basis, Xinyihua replaced with RGB and BM. RGB circular polarization can be made directly on the OLED panel, and the whole process is completed below 85 degrees Celsius without affecting the panel. It can adapt to the morphological changes such as folding and scrolling, while reducing the light loss caused by 1/4 circular polarization on the display screen. . The high color gamut genes of Xinyihua's photoresist products currently cover 85% NTSC, and will soon reach 100% NTSC coverage with a resolution of 10 μm or less, which can meet all current PPI use.
China should simultaneously launch low, medium and high-end OLED markets
China is developing high-value consumer electronics. The quantity and quality are constantly improving, and it has become an important market worldwide. China's panel manufacturers rely on relatively low-cost manufacturing methods to provide lower-priced but higher-quality products and strive to open up international markets. Chinese-made products now account for most of the world's exports.
Due to the change in consumption habits from people's access to information from the big TV screen to the small mobile phone screen, the LCD industry has suffered a shock, export volumes have fallen, and oversupply has led to LCD manufacturers' deficits. Therefore, many manufacturers hope to pull out of the LCD industry and further develop their efforts in OLED.
From a country perspective, Japan, South Korea, and China have different display industry growth processes. Japanese panel companies followed the R & D strategy and developed their own display working principles and produced displays; Korean companies followed the production strategy and learned from Japan about display production technology and acquired Japanese equipment and parts; China followed the investment strategy to replace Korean and Japanese panels The company makes the acquisition as a whole, and then uses the local Chinese manpower and equipment to produce the display.
China's electronics industry has structural imbalances. Smartphone manufacturers such as Huawei have grown into global companies, while panel companies have relatively average OLED technologies and relatively poor component and equipment companies. At present, China's panel product pattern is from low-end to high-end, such as from low-end LCD to flexible OLED, and China hopes to surpass Samsung's development of OLED in the future. And flexible OLED is definitely higher end than rigid OLED. China has related investment in rigid OLED, but there will be more investment in flexible OLED in the future, which will affect the distribution pattern of the entire market and will also The overall promotion of the development of the OLED industry.
If China can transform some flexible OLED production lines into rigid OLED production lines, China will have both low-end, mid-end and high-end OLED markets. To improve China's supply chain, OLEDs must be mass produced. In addition, investing in materials and equipment companies instead of building flexible OLED factories will help China's OLED industry.
Editor-in-chief: Zhao Qiang