Innolux and Sharp to Cooperate on OLEDs
April 24, 2017
The new management of Sharp has figured out that they have vast resources at their disposal, and perhaps the disparate entities owned by Hon Hai/Foxconn can now work together to build a better display (and compete with rival Samsung Display). Innolux, a subsidiary of Foxconn will send 10 OLED engineers to Sharp to help them develop their OLED display capabilities at Sharp’s Gen 4.5 OLED pilot line, according to Innolux honorary chairmen Tuan Hsing-chien. Innolux itself was born from the 2003 merger of Chi Mei Optoelectronics and TPO Display Corp, with Chi Mei having one of the most forward-looking OLED development units in those early days. The new combination of Innolux and Sharp, in terms of gross display capacity, would be ranked just slightly behind capacity leader LG Display (22.3%) at 22.1%, and significantly above rival Samsung Display’s 12.6%, however when looking at OLED capacity, the combined Innolux and Sharp barely register at 1.4% against Samsung Display’s 54.7% and LG Display’s 36.0%. Panel producers are scrambling to expand their efforts and prove to Apple that they can become a supplier of small panel OLED displays, despite their lack of previous funding in most cases, and certainly at Innolux and Sharp. The OLED engineers being sent from Innolux to Sharp should help to accelerate the combined company’s OLED R&D program, but there is a lot of ground to cover they can catch up to the leaders who will not be standing still. The Innolux engineers are expected to be trained in IGZO to perhaps help transform a-Si TFT-LCD production equipment to producing IGZO TFT-LCD panels according to Tuan.