According to a recent Nikkei Asian Review report Japan Display (JDI) is investing 50 billion yen (US$461 million) to establish a production facility OLED panels at a Japan-based factory, hoping to mass produce smartphones displays by 2018. The company is reported to start initial production next spring (2017) in Mobara, southeast of Tokyo.
Production initially should be the equivalent of 3,000 smartphone screens a month, with output reaching 1 million per month later and 5 million in 2018.
Japan Display has been developing technology for mass production of OLED panels since 2014 on a pilot line designed to handle small glass substrates. The new full-scale production line will employ vapour deposition process.
In a separate report Japan Display has also reached a technology development agreement with Semiconductor Energy Laboratory (SEL) regarding the development of backplane technology for next-generation displays, including OLED displays.
JDI, in addition to its LTPS and related proprietary technologies, is now able to leverage SEL resources for oxide semiconductor technology in order to develop display products.
Samsung Display, which supplied the OLED displays for Samsung's Galaxy series of smartphones in 2010, has been the leader in the OLED production.
The rumours continue to grow that Apple plans to use OLED screens in their iPhones from 2017 onward. LG Display, Sharp and other major panel manufacturers are increasing research and investment in production capacity in the OLED field.