AUO Building Gen 5.5 OLED IJP Fab in China
October 15, 2018
Last week, we reported on a heretofore, unannounced new fab in China, which we attributed to a TCL subsidiary. Now it appears that the Gen 5.5 fab in Zhengzhou, China, will be a is actually a converted Gen 5.5 LCD fab owned by AU Optronics and will converted to an inkjet OLED production line that will be used to produce OLED monitorand OLEDs displays for automotive applications. AUO has been working on AMOLEDs for the automotive market for some time but has had difficulty with the backplane.
The new OLED line will apparently us the same process as Japan's JOLED that started commercial low-volume production of its own 21.6" 4K OLED panels, at the company's pilot 4.5-Gen line. JOLED also announced plans for a mass production 5.5-Gen line that will be established in Nomi City, Ishikawa Prefecture, by 2020, and similarly to AUO, it is focusing on monitors and automotive applications. However reports for China indicate that AUO will use an IJP from TEL, not Panasonic. Since Panasonic has just restarted its IJP tool making capability they might not have been able to meet AUO’s timeframe. The material supplier is expected to be Sumitomo, which also supplies JOLED and the backplane will be amorphous oxide.
AUO is currently producing AMOLEDs at AFPD Gen-4.5 LTPS fab in Singaporethat has a capacity of 45K substrates/month- with a focus on smart watches and VR applications. AUO previously considered establishing a 6-Gen flexible OLED line in Kunshan, China, but it scrapped these plans due to a lack of funding. AUO Y/Y revenues in LCD displays have been dropping since the 1stof this year.