ROI potential for OLED, emerging display technologies

Printed, flexible, and organic electronics enable next-gen displays and other applications; however, technical hurdles and dev cycles impede ROI. The key is partnerships sharing materials, equipment, and device development expertise, shows Jonathan Melnick, Lux Research.

January 9, 2012 — Printed, flexible, and organic electronics (FPOE) enable next-generation displays, organic photovoltaics (OPV), transparent conductive films (TCFs), smart product packaging, and thin-film batteries. However, inherent technical hurdles and long development cycles are impeding returns on investment (ROI) in the technology. The key is partnerships that pool expertise in materials, equipment, and device development, shows Jonathan Melnick, in a recent Lux Research “Lux Populi” blog post (access the original blog post below).

The figure above shows display developers, applying the Lux Innovation Grid to compare how potential partners compare in technical value and business execution. The field encompasses more mature technologies, like small molecule organic light-emitting diode (OLED) and electrophoretic displays, in addition to emerging technologies, like electrochromic and electrofluidic displays.

Key points:
OLED materials and equipment have a headstart over emerging technologies like electrochromic and electrofluidic displays, thanks to the sucess of OLED displays in mobile displays and soon televisions. Notable players include materials developers like Universal Display Corporation (UDC) and Novaled, in addition to equipment makers like Kateeva.

E Ink stands out for its technical value –technology and IP — and business execution — strong partnerships and management. E Ink has a nearly 100% market share of the electrophoretic (as seen in the Amazon.com Kindle) market.

For more on high-potential technologies, like reflective and flexible display technologies, and the companies in these eco systems, read the blog post, “Lux Innovation Grid Highlights Viable Partners for Display Developers” at http://www.luxresearchinc.com/blog/2011/12/lux-innovation-grid-highlights-viable-partners-for-display-developers/

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