Japan Display (JDI) is investing 50 billion yen ($461 million) in a production line for organic light-emitting diode panels at a Japan-based factory, hoping to mass produce dmartphones displays by 2018. Plans call for starting the line next spring in Mobara, a city southeast of Tokyo, according to Nikkei. Production initially should be the equivalent of 3,000 smartphone screens a month, with output reaching 1 million per month later and 5 million in 2018.
Japan Display has been developing technology for mass production of OLED panels since 2014 on an experimental line designed to handle small glass substrates. The new full-scale production line will employ a process called vapor deposition, in which the light-emitting material is applied as a vapor in a vacuum.
Japan Display has also reached a technology development agreement with Semiconductor Energy Laboratory Co., Ltd. (SEL) regarding the development of backplane technology for next-generation displays, including organic light emitting diode displays.JDI, in addition to its LTPS and other proprietary technologies, is now able to leverage SEL resources for oxide semiconductor technology in order to develop display products.
Samsung Display, which supplied the OLED displays for Samsung's Galaxy series of smartphones in 2010, has been the leader in the OLED production.
Apple plams to use OLED screens in iPhones from 2017 onward. LG Display, Sharp and other major panel manufacturers are increasing research and investment in production capacity in the OLED field.