Panasonic and Screen Holdings to Collaborate on IJP Tool for JOLED
August 27, 2017
In June, JOLED received funding of 47b¥ ($423.8m US) in funding, almost half of the company’s goal of 90b¥ to 100b¥, which was split between auto parts manufacturer Denso, Toyota Tsusho, a trading arm of Toyota, Sumitomo Chemical (4005.JP) and Screen Holdings. Denso’s portion of the funding was 30b¥ ($270m) and is oriented toward the development of in-vehicle OLED displays (aka HMI’s or ‘Human-machine interfaces’) using JOLED’s printing technology.
JOLED has expanded its relationship with investor Screen Holding’s, along with Panasonic Production Engineering (develops equipment for precision measuring and wafer sputtering systems, in order to develop, license, and market OLED printing equipment for large size OLED display panels). Panasonic has been developing OLED printing systems since 2006 and supplied JOLED with an IJP tool for mass production of midsized panel OLED displays. From a practical standpoint, PPE will develop the design of the equipment and Screen Holdings will manufacture and market the equipment under license to PPE, and will jointly provide maintenance to JOLED.
Screen Holdings is a well-known producer of substrate coating, etching, and developing equipment for the TFT side of the display business and has a number of production facilities in Japan and service/sales in Taiwan, China, and South Korea that provide a variety of display production systems, including coaters/printers for display and color filter production. As JOLED continues to develop its production techniques on its Ishikawa pilot line, it is also building out an IGZO based Gen 5.5 production line in the Nomi facility it was granted by Japan Displayand continues to work with JDI, a significant shareholder. The timing of the Nomi fab remains indefinite given the non-standard deposition methodology, but the 1st phase of construction is expected to be completed in Q220. The current Gen 4.5 JOLED pilot line has a run rate of just over 2,000m2/qtr., while the first phase of the Nomi plant is expected to have a capacity of over 58,000m2/qtr. at 100% utilization and yield.
JOLED is needs to raise additional capital toward its goal over the next year, and will likely continue to issue new shares to do so. The best case for JOLED will be to find strategic investors that can either provide materials or expertise to further the development of JOLEDs display production capabilities, or ones that could be potential customers. In that regard, Sharphas been mentioned as a potential interested party.