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China-based panel maker China Star Optoelectronics Technology (CSOT) has decided to invest in Japan-based JOLED, in a bid to develop inkjet printing technology for production of OLED TV panels in the next three years, according to Digitimes Research.
CSOT and its China-based joint venture Guangdong Juhua Printed Display Technology showcased a jointly developed 31-inch flexible Full HD inkjet printing OLED display at 2020 CES. Of Chinese display panel makers, CSOT is the most active in developing inkjet printing OLED panels.
While it is not feasible to use inkjet printing to produce smartphone-use OLED panels with resolution levels of 350-550ppi (pixel per inch), JOLED has trial-produced inkjet printing OLED panels of over 300ppi, which is sufficient for 21.6-inch 4K monitors (204ppi) and 65-inch 8K TVs (126ppi). JOLED keeps developing inkjet printing OLED toward a resolution level of 400ppi.
Founded in January 2015 through combining Sony's OLED business unit and Panasonic's, JOLED has begun small-volume shipments for inkjet printing OLED panels to Sony, Eizo and Asustek Computer for use in high-end and medical monitors.
JOLED completed construction of a 5.5G inkjet printing OLED panel production line in November 2019. As JOLED's existing shareholders are unwilling to invest further, CSOT's investment is important for JOLED to bring the production line into operation.
While there is room for improving resolution levels, power consumption and service lives of light-emitting materials for inkjet printing OLED, the technology, as compared with conventional OLED panel manufacturing process, has advantages in more efficient use of materials, simpler structure of organic material layers, doing without expensive vacuum evaporation equipment, which will result in lower production cost.