OLED displays use organic materials that emit light when electricity is applied. OLEDs enable emissive, bright, thin, flexible and efficient displays - and so OLEDs are set to replace LCDs in all display applications - from small displays to large TV sets.
AMOLED displays today are used in many applications - and are most common in smartphones. Samsung for example uses AMOLED displays in most of its high-end phones, including the latest Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus and the Note 9. Apple's new iPhones, SmarthWatches, and the MacBook Pro's Touch Bar are all using AMOLEDs. Other AMOLED devices include smartphones from Huawie, Sony, Xiaomi and others.
AMOLED displays are also used in OLED TVs - which are mostly available from LG. OLED TV screens range from 55" to 77" (88" 8K ones are coming in 2019), and are considered to be the best TV panels ever produced. In 2019 we will have the first rollable OLED TV - LG's 65" Signature OLED R.
AMOLED: Active Matrix OLED
The term AMOLED means Active-Matrix OLED. The 'active-matrix' part refers to the driving electronics, or the TFT layer. When you display an image, you actually display it line by line (sequentially) as you can only change one line at a time. An AMOLED uses a TFT which contains a storage capacitor which maintains the line pixel states, and so enables large size (and large resolution) displays.
AMOLED vs PMOLED
A PMOLED uses a simpler kind of driver electronics - without a storage capacitor. This means that each line is turned off when you move to the next line. So let's say you have 10 rows in your display - each row will only be on 1/10 of the time. The brightness of each row has to be 10 times the brightness you'd get in an AMOLED. So you use more voltage which shortens the lifetime of the OLED materials and also results in a less efficient display. So while PMOLEDs are cheaper to make than AMOLEDs they are limited in size and resolution (the largest PMOLED is only 5", and most of them are around 1" to 3"). Most PMOLEDs are used for character display, and not to show photos or videos.
Flexible, foldable and rollable AMOLEDs
One of the main advantages of AMOLED displays is that they can be made flexible. Flexible AMOLEDs are already popular for many years in smartphones and wearables, and in 2019 we will experience the first foldable devices and rollable screens.
Several companies are developing large transparent AMOLED displays - and in past years we've seen many prototypes - including a large 55" Full-HD transparent TV. But this technology is not commercial yet, mostly it seems because there are no useful applications that will convince the display makers to mass produce such panels.
Looking to buy an AMOLED display?
Are you looking to adopt an AMOLED display for your device? Several producers are already making panels - including Samsung Display, LG Display, EverDisplay, Truly, Visionox and more. AMOLEDs on the market range from small 1-inch ones for smartwatches through large OLEDs used in tablets and laptops - to large TV panels.
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The latest AMOLED news:
As Samsung, BOE and Visionox are already starting to produce foldable OLEDs (for Samsung Electronics, Huawei and Xiaomi and Nubia, respectively), AUO is not be left behind, and the Taiwan-based display maker announced it is working with clients to develop foldable OLEDs, with aims to start production in the second half of 2019.
AUO is developing an in-folding display (similar to Samsung's Galaxy Fold). According to CLSA, AUO is developing its foldable OLEDs in collaboration with Lenovo. AUO aims to produce these OLEDs in its 4.5-Gen AMOLED AFPD fab in Singapore - which commenced low-volume AMOLED production in 2013. AUO is currently producing mostly wearable glass-based OLEDs in its AFPD fab.
ETNews reports that BOE has developed a new technology that integrates a touch layer inside a flexible OLED display (on touch) - a similar technology to Samsung's Y-OCTA. BOE is reportedly aiming to integrate the technology to its B11 production line in Miyangyang.
Y-OCTA panels are thinner than Samsung's previous flexible Add-On Touch panels - and the optical features are also better as the touch layer is below the polarizer. Samsung estimates that Y-OCTA also cuts production costs by around 30%.
Samsung's full-screen OLED with a camera-under-the-display technology will take at least 3 years to develop
In October 2018, during the company's OLED Forum in china, Samsung detailed its future OLED technology roadmap, highlighting its sensor integration technologies. Samsung's vision includes putting a fingerprint sensor, a camera, speaker (Sound on Display) and also Haptic capabilities - all under or inside the OLED display.
In the Galaxy S10, Samsung drilled a small hole in the AMOLED display around the camera module. This is quite an achievement, and Samsung's Mobile Communication VP Yang Byung-duk now ways that the company aims to develop a full-screen smartphone display that will put the camera under the OLED without a hole. Byung-duk says that this is a challenging technology - and it will take at least 3 years to develop.
Sony launched its Xperia 1, the world's first 4K OLED smartphone, at MWC 2019, and the company did not yet disclose the price or release date. Amazon now lists this new smartphone, with a $999.99 price tag (for the 128GB model). The shipping date is set at December 2019, but this is likely just a placeholder as Sony said it will ship the phone towards the end of spring (at around May).
The Xperia 1 features a tall 6.5-inch 21:9 3840x1664 AMOLED "CinemaWide" display which supportss HDR (BT.2020). The Xperia 1 also features a Snapdragon 855 chipset, 6GB of RAM, 64/128 GB of storage, a microSD slot and a triple camera. The phone is also waterproof (IP68) and it has a fingerprint sensor on the side.
DisplayMate: Samsung significantly increased its AMOLED display quality, the GS10 has the best ever mobile dipslay
DisplayMate posted an extensive review of the new Samsung Galaxy S10 display - the 6.1" 3040x1440 (550 PPI) flexible AMOLED. SDC's AMOLEDs are excellent displays - and it is not a surprise that DisplateMate found this newest AMOLED to be the best mobile display it ever tested.
DisplayMate says that the new GS10 display outperforms SDC's previous AMOLED models used in the iPhone XS and the Galaxy S9 and Note 9. This year, Samsung concentrated on increasing the picture quality and color accuracy by implementing precision factory display calibration. The Galaxy S10 is the most color-accurate display that DisplayMate have ever tested.
LG announces three new smartphones that feature AMOLED displays. First up we have the G8 ThinQ, a high end smartphone that features a 6.1" 1440x3120 Crystal Sound OLED, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset, 6 GB of RAM, 128 GB of storage, a microSD slot and a triple camera setup.
LG also offers a variant called the G8s ThinQ which sports a slightly larger display (but with lower density) - a 6.2" 1080x2240 pOLED. Otherwise the specifications are quite similar. The idea is that a CSO display vibrates and turns into a diaphragm - to produce high quality sound. LG says that such a speaker improves the clarity compared to regular smartphone speakers. The G8 ThinQ will also use other audio technology, including DST-X 3D Surround Sound emulation, Hi-Fi Quad DAC, Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) and more.
Huawei launched its first foldable smartphone, the Mate X with a glorious 8" 2200x2480 foldable AMOLED display that folds outwards. When closed, the phone operates as it has two displays - a 6.6" 1148x2480 on the front and a smaller 6.38" 2480x892 display on the back (which makes room for the cameras).
The Mate X specifications include 5G connectivity, a Kirin 980 octa-core chipset, 8 GB of RAM, 512 GB of storage, a NM memory slot and a quad camera setup with Leica optics.
Exposure to blue light has been linked to many health issues - and one of the advantages of OLED displays and lighting panels has always been lower blue light emission compared to LED based technologies.
Samsung recently announced its latest AMOLED displays (adopted in the Galaxy S10 family of smartphones), and the company now says that its newest OLEDs produces considerably less blue-light emissions than any other mobile display in use today. Samsung's blue-light-eradicating advancement has just been certified by world-class German testing and certification body, TÜV Rheinland, which awarded Samsung's AMOLEDs its ‘Eye Comfort’ certification.
Samsung announced a handful of new devices, all with OLED displays. We'll start with the company's 2019 flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S10. It includes four different variants -
- Galaxy S10 5G: 6.7" 3040x1440 flexible AMOLED
- Galaxy S10+: 6.4" 3040x1440 flexible AMOLED
- Galaxy S10: 6.1" 3040x1440 flexible AMOLED
- Galaxy S10e: 5.8" 2280x1080 AMOLED (rigid?)
The S10 phones use Samsung's latest AMOLEDs, that are now HDR10+ certified, include an under-the-OLED fingerprint sensor (Qualcomm ultra-sonic) and cut-outs for the selfie cameras. Samsung calls these displays "Dynamic AMOLED" (due to the HDR support, probably) and "Infinity-O Display" due to the camera cut-outs.
LG Electronics says that it will introduce its first 5G smartphone (the V50 ThinQ 5G, which will probably use a pOLED display) in MWC 2019 next week - as it hopes this will help it rebound its smartphone business. At MWC it will also launch its G8 ThinQ with its Crystal Sound OLED.
Regarding foldable OLED technology, the LG's president says that it is still premature to release a foldable phone. The company says that its technology is ready - and in fact LG already introduced its rollable OLED TV which is even one step ahead of foldable technology. If consumer reaction to foldable smartphones is positive the company is "fully ready to respond".