Here is a pretty darn comprehensive report on the display industry, with a specific focus on OLED technology and manufacturers. It's definitely worth a read when you have some time to do so (it's 116 pages).
This was put out by BNP Paribas and is dated March 21, 2011. I'm at work right now and don't have time to do so, but I'll pick out some highlights from the report and post them as replies when I have the chance. Enjoy!
You may be correct in your interpretation and it can also mean that the research team is talking with companies about how to turn the results of their research into a commercial product. The research could be matured to the point where it is ready to be implemented at the product level.
Wow there is a lot of information in that report.
I found this in BNP reviews of the various companies near the end. It discusses printing technology offerings of a couple of equipment companies, which I consider as a key driver for mass production of cheap OLED displays.
Looks like the DainipponScreen-Dupont alliance is ahead of Epson-TEL, with an 8G tool likely available for 2012. I believe the DNS-Dupont tool does polymer OLEDs whereas the Epson-TEL tool is for small molecule OLED printing.
1. OLED printing equipment on the way
Dainippon Screen has developed AM OLED printing technology together with Dupont (DD US, Not rated), which makes liquid OLED materials. A
working Gen-4 OLED printing machine was built in 2008, most of the remaining technological hurdles have since been overcome and management says it can now make any size machine customers might
want, up to Gen-8. It expects to ship one machine to Korea for a pilot line within the next few months and hopes to start shipping multiple units for mass production in 2012. Inquiries have also been received from display makers in Taiwan and China, according to management.
2. Developing OLED printing equipment with TEL
Last November, Seiko Epson and Tokyo Electron (TEL, 8035 JP) announced plans to develop production equipment for OLED panels large enough for the TV market. By combining Seiko Epson’s Micro Piezo inkjet-printing technology with TEL’s experience in LCD production equipment, they hope to provide a solution that is considerably cheaper
than the vacuum equipment currently in use. A commercial product may be available within two years, in our estimation. Seiko Epson has been
working on OLED technology for many years, showing a 40-inch prototype display in 2004 and announcing a new process for the manufacture of 37-inch and larger TVs in 2009.
Wow, guys... I hate to be dramatic, but there is a TON of great information in this report. It might be worth creating several threads to discuss some of the varying topics discussed within. This is probably the most comprehensive compilation of information about OLED (from technical explanations on 'how it works' (complete with easily understood illustrations) to the display industry in general) that I have found during all of my research to date.
The problem I have had historically is that I am not super savvy when it comes to understanding the technical aspects of OLED display manufacture, associated components, how the various layers of a display interact (hole injection layers, electron transport layers and the like -- and what exactly how does a 'host material' play into the whole thing since we heard so much about it during the last conference call?) The contents of this report have really helped me wrap my brain around all of this.
Ok, I'm done gushing. Happy reading. Time for me to call it a night.