Supply chain
FPD China 2019 forums focus on emerging display technologies
Jason Yang, DIGITIMES Research, Taipei

At FPD China 2019, more flat panel production equipment and related component suppliers were present, while the number of flat panel makers decreased. But the main focus of its technology forums was still on emerging display technologies, in particular foldable AMOLED.

Flexible AMOLED technology has been drawing much attention after the debut of Samsung Electronics' Galaxy Fold smartphone at MWC 2019.

Although sales volume of AMOLED-based foldable smartphones will be limited in 2019 due to pricing, the ramping up of AMOLED panel capacity by China's makers, and the China government's efforts to foster local materials and equipment suppliers wiil drive down AMOLED prices to a sweet spot where more handset brands will roll out affordable foldable smartphones, Digitimes Research believes.

In addition to flexible AMOLED, aSi-based AMOLED (or called micro OLED) and micro LED technologies were also hot topics at the forums in terms of their potential applications in the VR/AR sector.

The development of AR applications has been slower than expected, but the development of aSi-AMOLED, which will come with higher resolution, brightness, contrast and faster response time, has made some breakthroughs technologically. Along with the development of AR applications by IT giants such as Apple, the aSi-AMOLED technology has a high market potential.

For micro LED, the yield rates for mass transfer of chips remain a major barrier. Without the ability for mass production, which is essential to bring down production costs, Digitimes Research believes that micro LED-based devices are unlikely to enter the consumer electronics market until 2021-2022, with high-end smartwatches likely to be the most promising application initially.

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