The emerging display industry around the world is currently under the wave of technical innovations. Competitions among global top players are becoming fiercer than ever. The key of the competitions is innovation. Every May, global top players in the display industry find themselves in 'close combat'.
On May 5, Visionox, the global fourth largest OLED display manufacturer and China's innovative company in flexible display, released its latest innovative technologies in five categories 'on cloud', namely, form improvement, performance enhancement, better integration, product expansion and development of new markets, covering nearly 20 innovative results. There were more highlights at the release conference.
From the timing, setting the release at the beginning of May and just before SID Display Week 2022, the world's most influential annual conference in display, Visionox was to 'take the lead' and demonstrate its strong enterprise and confidence in its technologies.
From the content, many technologies 'seem unsophisticated', but they are part of the grand market strategy hidden behind.
I. Rely on 'topnotch' products to take up the global market.
Visionox has always kept a low profile and been pragmatic, including this 'cloud release'. Several 'topnotch' innovative technologies continue upgrading. For example, the ENV ALT™ low-frequency LTPS, facial recognition module for true infinite display and other technologies and solutions which were first released to the world in the true senses, underwent several iterations thereafter before reaching the global leading levels. The aforesaid technologies were successfully put into mass production relying on the preemptive advantages of being released to the world one year ahead of the market.
Visionox's ENV ALT™ low-frequency LTPS technology can be directly applied to current AMOLED production lines using LTPS backplane technology, without any extra equipment, and compared with the current LTPO backplane technology, it has similar effects but is more cost-effective.
Facial recognition module for true infinite display realizes systematic integration of under-display camera and 3D facial recognition, which has reached the standard for payment-level verification.
After several years of R&D on under-display camera technology, Visionox realized its mass production and application in 2020, with the technology getting optimized constantly. Other than phones, the technology will be used on laptops by a large scale with the surging demands for quality remote conference and remote education. Visionox constantly supplies its products to famous terminal manufacturers in China, including HONOR, XIAOMI, VIVO and OPPO. Previously, Visionox once actively explored the international market, seeking to enter the international supply chain at the earliest date, in a bid to find an 'independent' way to go global other than the existing 'dependent' route. This release conference demonstrated its strength and built up the expectations. Though not mentioned in the conference, its deep intentions can be inferred.
II. Excellent technologies to consolidate its 'basics'.
Higher screen-to-body ratio, clearer display, lower power consumption, thinner..., Visionox further develops the original advantages of OLED.
Technologies released this time including 'ultra-narrow bezel technology', 'Dual tripod-shaped pixel arrangement, 'PIN optical fingerprint recognition', 'HLEMS technology', 'COE polarizer-free technology', etc. are all developed by Visionox in a bid to build 'quality display'.
For example, the 'ultra-narrow bottom bezel technology' was realized by changing the new circuit design and FIAA technology to reduce the lower border from 1.4mm to 1.0mm (previously from 1.8mm to 1.6mm and then to 1.4mm). This will further improve the screen-to-body ratio and allow phones with 'true infinite display' to enter our lives.
Another example is the innovative design for pixel array, 'Dual tripod-shaped pixel arrangement', which is the iterated and upgraded version of 'Single tripod-shaped pixel arrangement' released in 2021. 'tripod-shaped pixel arrangement' has an ultra-high density of visual pixels which makes clearer the details, improves the sharpness of slash, words and numbers and enables the entire display to be thinner, sharper and evener when observed in micro display. 'Single tripod-shaped pixel arrangement' and 'Dual tripod-shaped pixel arrangement' can respectively meet different application needs in a more detailed manner.
Currently, Visionox InV tripod® pixel arrangement has been generally applied to many high and middle-end smart phones. The application of 'Dual tripod-shaped pixel arrangement' can improve the display quality of smart phones in a more obvious manner.
Visionox's pursuit for continuous innovations is deeply rooted in its unswerving perseverance in self innovation and the innovative industry-university-research mode covering 'basic research - pilot test - mass production'. Its advantages in the R&D path and innovative industry-university-research mode, in turn, consolidate its edges in key patents and build up its technological strength.
III. Open up 'a new display market' based on 'Two New' development strategy.
A true leader knows well to make prospective judgments. Such judgment refers not only to the technology, but also to the market and timing. This is well demonstrated by Visionox.
Early in 1996, the OLED project team of Tsinghua University (former Visionox) began to focus on the research on OLED technology. The timing is almost synchronized with OLED development in the world. Up till now, OLED technology has become the new and mainstream display technology of the next generation.
As the market gradually matures, so does OLED technology; in the cloud release conference, Visionox Chairman Zhang Deqiang further expanded this technology at such proper and mature timing. At the conference, he expounded Visionox's 'One Strong and Two New' development strategies for the next five years, i.e. consolidate the success in small-sized display applications, expand new medium-sized display applications and open up a new large-sized display market. The conference detailed Visionox's technological innovations and future commercial applications in two separate chapters: 'Product Expansion' and 'Development of New Markets'.
Regarding 'Product Expansion', Visionox developed key fundamental technologies including laminated OLED. Another application scenario of AMOLED is the laptop market. Visionox demonstrated the flexible under-display camera solution for laptops; with the 1.8mm ultra-thin bezel technology, the screen-to-body ratio can be improved to 91% from 85% of traditional laptops. Regarding in-vehicle application of medium-sized display, Visionox currently has worked with several auto brands to launch customized OLED in-vehicle display products, such as the instrument panel, electronic mirror, center control and transparent A-pillar.
With the constant technological innovations, the products will be further improved and their applications promoted; in the future, medium-sized OLED panels will see a significant increase in their application. As estimated by Sigmaintell, the upgrade of laptop panel technology will accelerate from 2022 to 2023. Regarding the shipment of OLED market, the year 2021 saw an increase of over 400% from less than 1 million pieces in 2020 to nearly 5 million in 2021 and it is expected to hit 7.5 to 8 million in 2022.
With the popularization of NEVs, in-vehicle panels will also see a new wave of growth. According to the estimate by Sigmaintell, the global shipment of front-mounted in-vehicle panels throughout 2021 totaled approximately 160 million, with the annual growth rate of nearly 18.5%.
As shown by the statistics of Insight and Info, the global market size of in-vehicle displays has grown from USD 8.2 billion in 2015 to USD 13.6 billion in 2020. The market size was about USD 15.9 billion in 2021. It's estimated to reach USD 17.7 billion in 2022.
Regarding 'Development of New Markets', Visionox takes the lead by a great gap in the industrialization of micro-LED. Early in 2017, Visionox has begun technological development of micro-LED; in 2020, Visionox, relying on its fastest building of product line in the world, established the pilot scale testing line for micro-LED and successfully launched the first 1.84-inch micro-LED wearable prototype with retina resolutions and the first independently-developed 12.7-inch glass-substrate micro-LED splicing display in the Chinese Mainland.
Visionox has applied in total 748 patents regarding three key technological fields of micro-LED, i.e. mass transfer, TFT backplane and drive circuit, and 8 segmented technologies.
Visionox has established its leading position in the field of micro-LED with global competitions and made significant layout regarding the prospective glass-substrate micro-LED technology.
At last, returning to the origin of modern commercial competitions. Any commercial competition, though appears as the fight for innovation and talent, eventually results from that of spirit and soul. This conference from its beginning was filled with the people-centered spirit which is placed above the incomparable faith in science.
The technical team led by Dr. Zhang Deqiang made several 'impressive remarks' at the conference: 'Visionox has always been ready for challenges and turning concepts into reality', '(Visionox) will continue foreseeing the future, leading the industrial technology to the better and transforming the impossible into the possible', 'constant innovation is our most distinctive cultural mark and leading innovation with high quality and value is the TOP objective we pursue'...
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