AUO Considering a 6thGen OLED Fab w/IJP
May 13, 2019
For the last year, we have been Musing on AUO’s lack of foresight in; letting its OLED initiative languish. AUO runs a G4.5 OLED line in Singapore that produces OLED displays ranging in size from 1.2” to 5.5”, with an emphasis on wearables and the desire to enter the automotive market, although to date their automotive OLEEDs have been unable to meet the rigid industry specs. The company has been evaluating inkjet printing tools could be adopted and recent management comments indicate that could be releasing new flexible OLED products later this year and potentially adding capacity using inkjet printing rather than the vapor deposition process they use in Singapore. These comments spurred speculation that the company is planning to build a Gen 6 fab, or potentially convert an existing LCD fab, rather than greenfield a new production center, in order to step up production of flexible OLED displays for the automotive market. Back in early 2016 similar rumors surfaced about an OLED fab in Kunshan, China but never materialized. Such stories surfaced again in 3Q 2018, with Zhengzhou being the rumored target location and inkjet printing the preferred deposition choice, but the Gen 4.5 line in Singapore with a stated capacity of 45,000 sheets/month seems to be the only OLED capacity at present. They do have a Gen 3.5 pilot line where IJP tool testing is taking place. The R&D/pilot line uses technology licensed from JOLED along with JOLED’s ink-jet printed built by Panasonic.