The world’s largest display exhibition, Display Week 2014 of the
Society for Information Display, was held in the San Diego
Convention Center of the United States from
June 1 to 6, 2014. As the Expert Committee of Shenzhen FPD Industry Association is having its second meeting, it would be relevant to look at the new trends in flat-panel displays (FPDs) shown at Display Week 2014.
Wang Dongsheng opens keynote session at Display Week 2014
Display Week 2014 was staged in San Diego Convention Center from June 1 to 6, 2014. It was comprised of the Symposium (oral and poster presentations), Business Conference, Exhibition, Investors Conference, Sunday Short Courses, Market Focus Conferences, and the I-Zone of peer-reviewed prototypes.
The keynote speeches at the Symposium have always been delivered by experts or entrepreneurs from the United States, Japan and South Korea. But this year, the firstkeynote speaker was a Chinese entrepreneur. It indicates that China has gained a leading position in the international FPD market.
Wang Dongsheng, Chairman of China’s largest display maker BOE, was the only Chinese entrepreneur invited to make a keynote speech at the Symposium. In the spe-ech titled “Trends in China’s Display Industry and BOE’s Role”, he shared his views on the landscape, status quo and trends of the global display industry, making a powe-rful voice of China’s display sector heard.
Over the last ten years or more, the Chinese mainland has become the world’s biggest consumer market and producer of display terminals, and one of the world’s large-st panel producers. The share that the mainland has in the global panel shipments was 13% in 2013 and is expected to reach 26% in 2016. BOE contributes more than
half of the shipments from the mainland, and ranks among the world’s top five by both shipments and market share.In 2013,it stood out as a global leader in terms of smart mobile LCD panel shipments.
According to Wang, in face of the current challenges, the “law of survival” for a business can be summarized as “5Ps plus H”. “5Ps” refers to “Picture”, “Power”, “Panel as System & Service”, “Pilot of Fashion”, and “Price”. “H” means that display products should be good to people’s “Health”.
BOE has always been dedicated to providing better products and services for its clients, helping them achieve greater success. It will make continued efforts to make a
difference in people’s daily life, and work with its clients to meet challenges and create value.
Dr. Michael Heckmeier, Senior Vice President of LC Research & Development at Merck KGaA, delivered a keynote speech titled “The Role of Materials in New Display
Technology Developments”, and Dr.Kazumasa Nomoto, Senior GM,Display Device Development Division, R&D Platform, Sony Corp., made a speech “Toward an Immers-ive Image Experience”.
The keynote speakers made 240 oral presentations and 200 poster presentations, touching on a wide range of topics including Oxide/LTPS TFTs, OLED devices and
materials, flexible substrate manufacturing, quantum dot light emitting, transparent conductive film, high-resolution LCD, display manufacturing and components, wearable displays, capacitive touch panels, OLED lighting, advanced backlight technology, e-paper, 3D display, blue phase mode LCD, etc.
This year’s Exhibition attracted 182 exhibitors. The largest ever Display Week Exhibition was held in San Francisco in 2006, with more than 570 booths. The number of exhibitors has been on the decline since then but the Exhibition remains a barometer of the world’s FPD technology development. In previous Exhibitions, most exhibitors were from the United States, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan. This year, however, many exhibitors are companies from the Chinese mainland.
Samsung won the 2014 Display Industry Gold Award-Display of the Year for its 5.68-inch curved (flexible) AMOLED display while LG Display received the 2014 Display Industry Silver Award-Display of the Year and a Best in Show Award, respectively for its 55-inch FHD curved OLED TV panel and 77-inch UD OLED TVs.
A galaxy of Chinese enterprises at Display Week 2014
The world’s top eight panel makers except Innolux, namely Samsung, LG, Sharp, Japan Display, BOE, Tianma and AUO, showed up at Display Week 2014 with their
most competitive products. CSOT, the ninth panel giant, is expected to make its presence felt stronger in the near future.
Chinese enterprise BOE showcased its proprietary 98-inch 8K×4K (QUHD) UHD display, the largest of its kind in the world. The product soon became the center of atte-ntion and won the company a Best in Show Award. BOE also presented advanced Oxide, OLED, transparent and 3D displays.
The booth of Tianma,another Chinese panel giant,was second only to that of 3M in terms of size. In the booth were mostly products that NLT excels in, including medical, automotive and other LCD panels for commercial use. The LTPS and AMOLED displays in the booth were truly a magnet for visitors.
Major manufacturers of materials and displays attending the Display Week were Corning, AGC,3M,E-ink,Rockwell Collins and True Color. Their exhibits covered a wide range of advanced technologies and products, including indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO), curved displays,medical displays, quantum dot, AMOLED, transparent displays，flight displays, slim bezels, micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS), flexible displays, wearable displays, e-paper, 3D displays, On-cell, large-sized display, vehicle-mounted displays, thin glass, high-resolution, entertainment displays, anti-reflective glass, wide color gamut, traffic displays and optical films.
In the I-Zone, Holoxica showcased a series of its holographic display devices, which enable the display of images in the air, without using special glass. The second-
generation holographic display developed by the company is based on a 20X25cm holographic optical element, a laser projector, embedded electronic products and a
motion sensor. The company has also developed a range of software enabling people to paint in the air.
iShuu Tech has created flexible wearable display platforms for the fashion industry. The first that has come true is smart high-heeled shoes whose patterns and colors
change to match the clothes. Such a process is controlled by an app in the smart phone via Bluetooth. There will be more such things to come, including smart handbags, hats, dresses, belts, wallets and other accessories, as well as non-fashion applications.
Printless Plans exhibited a large-size e-paper device it has developed to be used in construction and engineering sectors.The 21-inch, ultra-fine and anti-glare device is readable in sunlight and resistant to dust and vapor. The equipped pressure and touch sensor allows people to wear gloves when using the device. All these properties u-nderpin its application at construction sites.
Sun Innovations has developed the world’s first emissive projection display (EPD), a full-color, high-definition video display on a fully transparent screen offering a wide viewing angle. The optically clear, emissive screen is made by coating a layer of fluorescent nano-material on PET film. With this new display, a glass window in any build-ing or the windshield of a vehicle can be converted into a digital display without blocking the view, or be used for high-contrast projection display and TV applications in
a bright environment.
Developments in the FPD industry
First and foremost, OLED and LCD have been going abreast. Although OLED displays gained the upper hand in the beginning with such properties as vibrant colors and softness, their downside has become prominent as breakthroughs are made in LCD display technology. The future of OLED displays seems bleak as Sony and Panasonic give up on OLED TVs and Samsung stops investing in large-sized displays. For now, OLED displays are not doing any better in TV applications; small and medium-sized products and flexible displays will remain the prevailing trends in the future.
As for the driving forces behind the industry, four have emerged over the past two decades: desktops and laptops, TVs, smart phones, and tablets. Future products will be more diversified, making it difficult to define a clear driving force. Now TFT-LCD is technologically ready for being applied to many fields but the market is yet to be develo-ped. Advanced technology does not necessarily lead market trends. Technology leaders like Sharp and Sony are now going downhill, while Apple whose technology is
not the best plays a pivotal role in driving the growth of the global tablet market.
The rapid growth of touch screens will not last long as the markets of smart phones and tablets get saturated and the penetration of laptops is not as good as expected. There will inevitably be a price war due to the substantial increase in production. Currently, there are three types of touch screen technologies: One Glass Solution (OGS), films and In/On-cell. Few new touch screen technologies were exhibited at Display Week 2014, and there may be a shift of focus towards sensor materials in the future.
No real breakthroughs have come in flexible displays so there is still a long way to go. Those exhibited at Display Week 2014 are mainly associated with AMOLED,which does not make any significant difference. The exhibits are all small and medium-sized products, meaning that the technology for making large-sized ones is not ready yet. In addition, flexible displays have not yet found their way to new areas of application. Given the current level of technology, they may squeeze into the glass market for the strength in flexibility but application would be very limited even if they are mass-produced. They may find a silver lining in a decade or more when large-sized products can be made at a low cost.