BOE Ready to Make Flexible OLED Panels
October 3, 2017
Nikkei indicated that BOE is ready to produce flexible OLED panels. The article starts with the statement that BOE will begin commercial production of OLED panels at its Chengdu, China plant, designated B7, a Gen 6 flexible substrate line that is part of a 45,000-sheet/month three-phase facility. According to a quote from a BOE executive, “We’re expediting our final push for our first shipment in late October”.
The Chengdu fab, which at one time was to be a rigid substrate fab, completed construction and equipment delivery of its phase 1 (15,000 sheets) line in June, and has already received initial funding for equipment orders for phase 2 (another 15,000 sheets), some of which have been placed with AP Systems, and others tools have also been ordered. BOE also has an Ordos OLED plant, a Gen 5.5 rigid substrate fab that opened its phase 1 line in October 2015 and is producing LTPS backplane panels for LCD displays, given the difficulties faced by BOE concerning OLED technology. BOE executives are speaking about the Chengdu fab being the first real mass-produced commercial OLED product line. The same BOE executive did mention that “Our challenge has only just begun,” assuming the reference to the battle with Samsung Display as they are building another Gen 6 flexible OLED fab in Mianyang, China, which is expected to open in July 2019, with a phase 1 capacity of 24,000 sheets, which they hope will be used to supply OLED smartphone panels to Apple, BOE aims to ship its first flexible OLED out of the Chengdu fab at the end of Oct 2017. BOE’s new fab has a capacity of 45,000 substrates/month or around 90M smartphone sized AMOLEDs annually. In Oct 2016 BOE announced another 6-Gen OLED fab, in Mianyang, which will also have a similar capacity of 45,000 sheets per month and will enter production in 2019.
Figure 1: BOE Technology Fab Location