Samsung Mobile Display and Universal Display today announced that the companies have entered into agreements under which Universal Display will license its technologies and sell its proprietary materials to SMD for use in its line of OLED display products.
Building on their eleven-year relationship, SMD and Universal Display will continue to work closely to accelerate growth of the OLED display industry through the development of OLED products.
The agreements announced today are an OLED Patent License Agreement and a Supplemental OLED Material Purchase Agreement. Under the license agreement, Universal Display has granted SMD license rights under various patents owned or controlled by Universal Display to manufacture and sell certain phosphorescent OLED display products. In consideration of the license grant, SMD has agreed to pay Universal Display a license fee over the term of the license agreement.
Under the supplemental agreement, SMD has agreed to purchase and Universal Display has agreed to supply a minimum amount of phosphorescent OLED material for SMD's use in the manufacture of licensed products, subject to Universal Display being able to supply sufficient quantities to meet SMD's requirements. The agreements to license patents of OLEDs and sell materials will run through the end of 2017, Universal said in a statement.
Universal has more than 1,000 patents for technologies and materials.
"I believe the long-term agreement with Universal Display and the continued close partnership between the companies will provide a platform for successfully establishing the OLED products as the mainstream display products," said Soo In Cho, President and CEO of Samsung Mobile Display.
"As the world's leading developer and manufacturer of active-matrix OLEDs, Samsung Mobile Display has been a true visionary and leader in setting out a path to seize the tremendous potential for OLEDs, including through the extremely popular line of Galaxy S smart phones," said Steven V. Abramson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Universal Display.
With an increasing number of OLEDs reaching the marketplace, their performance advantages are easy to see. Thinner, lighter and more pleasing to view, OLEDs offer much faster response times, wider viewing angles, higher contrast ratios and brighter, more saturated colors. With Universal Display's proprietary UniversalPHOLED technology and materials, OLEDs can also be more energy efficient than LCDs. On the oterh hand, OLED manufacturing is not very cost effective, although they have fewer processing steps and are also less materials and equipment intensive than today's LCDs. As OLED manufacturing technologies mature, OLED production yields should continue to improve and larger-scale equipment be brought on line.
Samsung has a near monopoly in the market for panels with active-matrix OLED (AMOLED), a technology which is increasingly being used in high-end smartphones and tablets and has been touted as the future of large-sized TV display.
The long-anticipated growth in size and volume of AMOLED display manufacturing may finally become a reality, with Samsung Mobile Display's ramp-up of the first Gen 5.5 AMOLED fab. The company began installing equipment in its A2 factory in December 2010 and is now expected to reach maximum capacity of 80,000 substrates per month by the end of Q1'12. As analyzed by DisplaySearch, this development is forecast to drive growth in AMOLED capacity from 890,000 m2 in 2011 to 2.6 million m2 in 2012; capacity is expected to then double again in 2013.