Huawei Tests Foldable OLED Display, Yu Chengdong Says Mass Production of Folding Mobile Phones by the End of the Year
Issue Time:2018-06-15
Huawei said last month that it hopes to introduce the world’s first foldable smartphone in November this year. Yu Chengdong, the head of Huawei’s mobile phone, also publicly announced at SID Display Week 2018 that it is necessary to output the amount of folded mobile phones by the end of the year.

According to Li Xing’s information from the industry, Huawei’s currently-developed collapsible mobile phone has introduced two flexible OLED display suppliers. One is Shenzhen’s native OLED display company, Rouyu Technology, which provides 7.8-inch Folded OLED display modules, one of which is China's largest panel company, BOE, provide an 8-inch foldable OLED display module.

In terms of implementation, BOE and Flexo Technologies have long provided foldable OLED display modules to test relevant mobile phone brands, including Motorola, the first domestic display concept machine, and released three foldable devices. , Bracelet Mobile Phones, and Folding Tablets have sample trials using BOE and Joy Technology.

In addition, vivo has also demonstrated foldable OLED display mobile phones. The foldable OLED display modules used are also part of Flexo Technology. Even as a result, rumours that Vivo and OPPO would invest in Rouyu Technology were reported.

BOE's flexible OLEDs are known to the outside world. At present, it is also the largest party that invests in flexible OLED displays in China. There are three 6-generation flexible OLED production lines under construction and planning, and all are equipped with the most mature in the industry. Equipment, the first production line has been in mass production at the end of last year, and has been shipped on Huawei's luxury Porsche mobile phone.

Rouyu Technology's flexible OLED production road is relatively tortuous, according to Li Xing, because the purpose of the beginning of Rouyu is to produce a flexible flexible OLED display, so the device structure and backplane technology has always adhered to The production technology of flexible OLED displays with fixed curvature is not the same. In fact, in the early days of the production of luminescent layers, Rouyu also adopted technologies that were different from those in the industry.

Therefore, Rouyu Technology was prepared to use its own proprietary IP as its core solution to provide external services. Initially, Flexo Technology's collapsible and flexible OLED technology was manufactured using nano-printing, but it has only stayed at the experiment line of the Silicon Valley Laboratory. Proofing stage.

Later, in order to achieve product mass production, Rouyu had to strip off some patent IPs in the mass production plan, and instead use industry-shared technologies to achieve multiple production links, leaving only some materials, devices, circuits, software, and products. The patent in the field of design was used in its own mass production plan and a small-scale production line was built in Shenzhen in 2015. This accelerated the mass production progress. The foldable OLED products previously offered to vivo and Motorola are said to have Part of it was trial-produced on this production line.

Currently, Yueyu Technology has invested 11 billion yuan in Shenzhen to build a quasi-sixth generation line (based on the 5.5th generation line) and has also lightened its products. The monthly production capacity is 45,000 tablets, and the manual line production rate of panel lines is also Up to 85%. Currently, a full range of automated adaptation phases are under way. Because some of the equipment of Rouyu Technology is based on its own production process and it has been transformed from the 5.5th generation line base, the investment cost is much lower than that of the industry. In addition, no real products have been listed and accepted by the market for many years. However, with financing methods, the value of the team members' worth is far beyond their peers, and it has caused various questions from the outside world.

As of September last year, Rouyu has obtained D round of venture capital, with a valuation of more than US$3 billion. The financing has raised a total of US$800 million from financial institutions such as Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and Citibank. Of this, 560 million U.S. dollars were debt, and the rest were equity. Among the shareholders participating in venture capital investment, there are many well-known domestic and foreign investment institutions such as IDG (they have invested in Tencent, Baidu, etc.), Shenzhen Venture Capital, CITIC Capital, Cornerstone Capital and Cavalier Capital of the United States. At the end of last year, it signed a $80 million (about RMB 500 million) Pre-D round investment agreement with Warmsun Holding Group, becoming one of the fastest growing "unicorn" companies in the world.

According to Li Xing’s experience, the key to realizing a truly flexible display is the backplane technology and touch-circuit technology, plus the ability to find suitable flexible protective layer materials. Among them, the backplane circuit technology and the touch circuit technology determine the foldable performance of the flexible OLED display, including the thickness of the display screen, anti-drop and shockproof performance, service life, folding curvature, and device attenuation speed, and the flexible protective layer material. It is directly related to the display effect and scratch resistance of the flexible OLED.

Currently, traditional flexible OLED display companies generally convert the substrate material of the backplane into a flexible PI layer in the production process of common OLED displays, and then produce them through traditional device production methods, in conjunction with traditional flexible PF structure capacitors. The use of the screen, bendable curvature and bending times are subject to certain restrictions.

And using a flexible flexible OLED display similar to that produced by Rouyu Technology, special methods have been adopted for the production of substrate materials and devices on the backplane. One is that the thickness of the device is thin, and the other is the backplane circuit. Theoretically, the device produced in the traditional way is more compact and more flexible; in the touch part, it is also equipped with a PF capacitive screen produced by a similar polythiophene type conductive film, and the durability of the touch part is also It is much higher than the traditional flexible PF structure capacitive screen.

Of course, compared with the traditional method of driving backplanes, other emerging backplane production methods have met the problem of device performance consistency more or less, require special driver ICs to adapt, and the debugging cost of driver ICs is also high. It is much higher than the traditional drive backplane. Therefore, considering the overall cost, the foldable flexible OLED display products produced by the emerging backplane production methods will not necessarily be more expensive than the traditional drive backplanes in the initial industry cost. The foldable flexible OLED display products produced are more advantageous, and the only one that can win is the subsequent use cost advantage.


Article Source: Electronics World

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