A recent news article on the Digitimes website reports that the Electronics and Optoelectronics System Research Laboratories at the Taiwan government-sponsored Industrial Technology Research Organization (ITRI) is setting up a roll-to-roll production line of flexible OLED lighting panels based on thin-film glass substrates, with equipment and materials supplied by local makers, according to acting general director Wu Chih-I for the laboratories.
According to the news report the front-end process of the OLED lighting panel production line is now installed and it is expected that it will initially produce around 700 panels a month at the beginning of 2017.
Wu Chih-I is reported to have said that costs for OLED lighting are higher than for LED lighting. For example, a 70mm x 70mm OLED lighting panel with luminous efficiency of 70-80lm/W costs NT$1,000-3,000 (US$30.70-US$92). However, as production volumes increase and yield rates increase then panel costs will fall rapidly and make them competitive.
Figure: ITRI - Flexible OLED lighting panel
The article said that automakers such as Audi and LED lighting vendor Osram have been promoting application of OLED to automotive exterior lighting. Konica Minolta has started production of flexible OLED panels based on plastic substrates. LG Display will invest up to KRW200 billion (US$167 million) to set up a 5G OLED panel factory in South Korea and start production in first-half 2017.
ITRI said that household OLED lighting is expected to take off in 2019-2020.