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Take a Look at Taiwan Flexible Display Technology

By Vincent Wang
Published: Oct 01,2015


Figure 1 :   ITRI showcased its lastest 7-inch, full HD foldable AMOLED display at 2015 Touch
Figure 1 : ITRI showcased its lastest 7-inch, full HD foldable AMOLED display at 2015 Touch

“Taking ten years to sharpen a sword!” said Lee Cheng-chung, Deputy General Director at the Display Technology Center of Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI). The institute has already showcased its lastest 7-inch, full HD foldable AMOLED display at 2015 Touch Taiwan on August 26 to 28 that successfully become one of the highlights at the show.

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Five key Factors of Flexible Display Technology

“Materials, equipment, manufacturing process, performance and market demand are five key factors to complete panel display technology. Each stage is time-consuming, and following the order is a must.” commented by Lee Cheng-chung.


“As a result, the panel display in Taiwan is seeking optimization and cost reduction, and will start all over again from the materials stage to market demand stage.” added Lee Cheng-chung. “I think the development process is applied to most of technologies, not only in the panel display technology.”


Therefore, ITRI showcased its newest 7-inch, 5mm, full HD foldable AMOLED display at 2015 Touch Taiwan.


Touch Taiwan is the only UFI-certified touch panel and optical film exhibition in the world. Co-organized by Taiwan Display Union Association (TDUA), Taiwan TFT LCD Association (TTLA), Taiwan Flat Panel Display Materials and Devices Association (TDMDA), Taiwan Electronic Equipment Industry Association (TEEIA) and Chan Chao Int'l Co.



Figure 2 :   ITRI‘s foldable AMOLED display panel
Figure 2 : ITRI‘s foldable AMOLED display panel

However, Touch Taiwan has combined the strength of various associations and the efforts of the entire industry in Taiwan to become the most influential global touch panel and optical film exhibition. The exhibition brings together prominent manufacturers from Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Europe and the US, all leading regions in terms of global touch panel and display industry.


Furthermore, the exhibition also includes the international seminar “FPD International Taiwan”, demonstrating the world’s most sophisticated industry chain.


Averted Situation of the Pael Display Industry

However, the panel display industry in Taiwan has long been considered a declining industry, however, as there’s a growing demand for flexible AMOLED the situation averted. Lee Cheng-chung, Deputy General Director at the Display Technology Center of Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) pointed out it’s the right timing and last minute for Taiwanese panel display firms to seize the opportunity in developing flexible AMOLED.


Lee Cheng-chung commented, “There are people who tired of brining big-screen smartphones and Tablets altogether, flexible AMOLED makes smartphones bendable, rollable and foldable that will surely make a new wave of replacement.”


Lee Cheng-chung said that since sheet metal fabrication is a highly developed industry in Taiwan, housing and hinge are competitive advantages of the supply chain. “And current equipment is totally compatible in manufacturing flexible AMOLED as long as substrates are being coated.”


Figure 3 :    Lee Cheng-chung, Deputy General Director at the Display Technology Center of Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI)
Figure 3 : Lee Cheng-chung, Deputy General Director at the Display Technology Center of Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI)

Lee Cheng-chung also stated that it’s the right timing and last minute for major panel display firms in Taiwan to jump into fostering flexible AMOLED with the reasons that this year is the end of the amortization period of most Taiwanese panel display firms and Taiwan ranks No.1 in terms of the productivity of small and medium-sized display.


In additon, Lee Cheng-chung forecast that as the rising of wearables, especially for those which can make phone calls. “It’s probably going to replace smartphones based on my personal experience.”


The Display Technology Center of Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) has gotten an about 300-memeber team in researching and developing state-of-the-art display technology here in Taiwan. Apart from flexible AMOLED, e-paper is a comparably small market that aims at niche market, according to ITRI.


E-Paper, an Important Application of Display Technology

As the smartphone and Tablet markets become more saturated, besides wearable device, e-paper is an important application of display technology. Lee Cheng-chung, Deputy General Director at the Display Technology Center of Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) said “E-paper is reusable so that it’s perfectly applied to access card.”



Figure 4 :    E-paper is reusable that it’s perfectly applied to access card
Figure 4 : E-paper is reusable that it’s perfectly applied to access card

“E-paper, in other words, is cholesteric liquid crystal. Currently it can be printed in at least 300dpi through thermal printer. And the normal circulation service life of e-paper reaches or even more than 500 times.” stated Lee Cheng-chung.


Additionally, Lee Cheng-chung suggested ITRI is looking forward to the new wave of e-paper startups and services.


The Technical Competition Between AUO, INX and others

@內文:The “2015 Touch Taiwan” opened to the public on August 26, jumped directly into a technical competition between AU Optronics (AUO) and Innolux Co. (INX) The two companies have been popularly known as the “two tigers of the panel industry”, both demonstrated a wide range of applications in ultra high definition television (UHDTV), medical use, car display and mobile PC display, etc.


AUO showcased a 5-inch bendable AMOLED prototype at 2015 Touch Taiwan, which has been viewed as the smart investment of the company. This prototype that integrates a sensor that can detect when user bend the panel. The idea that detecting the size and direction of the manipulation can help create a user interface that complements regular touch functions.


Figure 5 :    CPT also showcased its new flexible technology which is co-worked with ITRI
Figure 5 : CPT also showcased its new flexible technology which is co-worked with ITRI

Apart from “two tigers of the panel industry”, Chunghwa Picture Tubes (CPT) is another hightlight at the show. The company innovated many technologies in transparent display area. In this year, CPT developed two technologies: transparent backlight and image optimization.


By these innovation technologies, transparent display can break environmental limited using at night or dark area and still can maintain the clarity, identifiability and high NTSC.


On the other hand, CPT also showcased its new flexible technology which is co-worked with ITRI in key technologies of flexible AMOLED, and attempt to make it go mass production as soon as possible.


Lin Sheng-chang, President of CPT stated that ITRI has been the most important partner of the company for years.


Lin Sheng-chang said that CPT and ITRI has been cooperated with each other in key technologies of flexible AMOLED since 2012, along with researched and developed of foldable AMOLED.


However, the technologies transfer between CPT and ITRI are FlexUPTM and Gas Barrier, Flexible touch Sensor on FlexUPTM and Flexible AMOLED and Touch Panel Integration.


Figure 6
Figure 6

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