AMOLED capacity to nearly triple in 2012

Santa Clara, Calif. — AMOLED production capacity is forecast to climb from 890,000 m2 in 2011 to 2.6 million m2 in 2012, and then double again in 2013, according to DisplaySearch. This rise in growth is primarily tied to Samsung Mobile Display’s (SMD) ramp-up of the first Gen 5.5 AMOLED fab.

SMD began installing equipment at its A2 factory in December 2010 and is expected to reach a maximum capacity of 80,000 substrates per month by the end of the first quarter of 2012, according to DisplaySearch’s Quarterly FPD Supply/Demand and Capital Spending Report.

“SMD currently accounts for nearly 100% of commercial AMOLED shipments, and its A2 Gen 5.5 fab and planned future factories will account for much of the expected capacity growth,” stated Charles Annis, DisplaySearch’s vice president of manufacturing research. “Other existing and potential AMOLED manufacturers are watching SMD’s progress and aggressive expansion plans, hoping that they will be able to leverage advances in equipment technology and take advantage of growing interest in AMOLED displays for smart phones and other applications.”

“AUO, LG Display, Chimei Innolux and IRICO are also forecast to build either pilot or mass production AMOLED lines in the next two years, while other companies are currently considering entering the market,” Annis added.

DisplaySearch says most of the new AMOLED capacity coming on-line is optimized for small/medium display production, although high-quality and low-cost AMOLED TV is the ultimate target for FPD makers. Both SMD and LG Display are said to be moving ahead with Gen 8 AMOLED TV pilot production plans for 2012.

FPD equipment spending is expected to fall by more than 40 percent in 2012 due to excess a-Si LCD capacity for TV production; however, supply of AMOLED displays is very tight in 2011, according to DisplaySearch.

“In addition to the opportunities that capacity expansion can provide, many companies are racing to develop material and equipment technologies to support AMOLED manufacturing,” said Annis. “Successful development of oxide semiconductors, high resolution lithography, laser-induced thermal imaging (LITI), vertical, scanning evaporation, thin film encapsulation and flexible substrates—just to name a few—could mean big payoffs for some supply chain companies as production of AMOLEDs ramps up.”