CSOT Starts Investing into Its First 6th Generation Flexible OLED

Feb 09, 2018

China’s CSOT has started investing into 6th generation flexible OLED facilities. It is going to invest $5.46 billion (6 trillion KRW) and look to start competing with its competitors such as BOE and South Korean display industries.
According to industries on the 8th, CSOT has started ordering equipment and materials that are needed for its 6th generation OLED line called T4 located in Wuhan. Production capacity of this line will correspond to 30,000 units out of 45,000 units that are produced monthly.
Looking at its major front-end process equipment, CSOT has brought in equipment that is like ones that Samsung Display is currently using. First, it is going to CANON TOKKI’s organic deposition equipment. Although South Korean equipment manufacturer called SUNIK System was looking to supply its equipment to CSOT, CSOT ultimately chose CANON TOKKI’s products that are relatively used by many panel manufacturers. It decided to use Kateeva’s TFE (Thin Film Encapsulation) equipment for encapsulation process that forms organic films and inorganic films one after the other in order to protect organic maters from moisture and oxygen. AP System won an order from CSOT that will have AP System supply $62.2 million (68.3 billion KRW) worth of ELA (Eximer Laser Annealing) equipment to CSOT. AP System also won an order recently for its LLO (Laser Lift-Off) equipment and proved that it is one of the powerhouses in this field.

On 12/28/17, CSOT held a commemorative event that covers the roofs of T4 plant’s main building and power plant.  (Picture = CSOT) <On 12/28/17, CSOT held a commemorative event that covers the roofs of T4 plant’s main building and power plant. (Picture = CSOT)>

After ordering major front-end process equipment that typically takes quite a while to manufacture, it started to bid equipment such as laser-cutting equipment and others that have relatively short due dates one after the other. It ordered auto cell curved machine that is used for LTPS (Low-Temperature Polycrystalline Silicon) TFT process, equipment that inspects substrates that have been cut and gone through manufacturing process, array pitch measuring equipment, and cleaning equipment.
CSOT started the construction of T4 plant since last June and it has quickly prepared major facilities. It is going to finish the construction by end of the first half of this year and bring in equipment starting from the second half and look to start mass-producing products starting from 2019.
Compared to other Chinese display manufacturers such as BOE, EverDisplay, and Tianma, CSOT does not have any experiences in mass-producing OLEDs and it is seen as a latecomer. Because LTPS has high technical barrier and this is the first time CSOT is trying to mass-produce OLEDs, it has been working on building its technical skills in relevant processes by establishing a national engineering research institute. Despite being a latecomer, it is displaying its technical skills by emphasizing that T4 line will be the first line ever to mass-produce foldable OLEDs.
A market research company called IHS Market is predicting that CSOT will have fifth highest production capacity of RGB OLED in 2020. It predicted that Samsung Display will have 52%, BOE with 15%, LG Display with 11%, Tianma with 6%, CSOT with 5%, VisionOx with 4%, and EverDisplay with 4%.
Staff Reporter Bae, Okjin | withok@etnews.com

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