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BOE to develop giant OLED line in Chengdu, China

12 May 2015

Company aiming to establish the hi-tech city as a "global base for photonics display industry".

Chinese company BOE Technology Group, a leading developer of semiconductor display technologies has this month started work on its “Gen 6 Low Temperature PolySilicon Active Matrix OLED” production line in the Chengdu Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone.

BOE's range of display products are widely used in a broad spectrum of applications such as mobile phones, tablets, notebooks, monitors, TVs, vehicle displays and digital information displays. The company announced that the new production line “will manufacture high-end mobile phone panels and new displays for mobile devices.”

The facility has a design capacity of 45,000 glass substrates per month and involves a total investment of RMB 22bn ($3.54bn / €3.15bn). Actual production is expected to come on line in the first half of 2017.

BOE and Chengdu Hi-tech Zone have worked in partnership for many years. In 2007, BOE invested RMB3.1bn to build the Gen 4.5 TFT-LCD project in Chengdu and in 2011, BOE expanded the Chengdu LTPS TFT-LCD/AMOLED production line to offer over 30 different products. In 2013, Chengdu BOE Optoelectronics Technology achieved sales revenue of RMB4.4bn and export sales of $600m.

According to market analyst NPD DisplaySearch, the demand for LTPS panels will continue to grow with the popularity of high-resolution smart phones and increasing sizes of smart phone screens.

Growth forecast

In 2013, the demand for LTPS panels was 3.3 million m2 and that for AMOLED panels was 1.4 million m2. It is expected that the compound annual growth rate of demand for LTPS panels will reach 24.1% and that for AMOLED panels 40.7% in 2020.

BOE commented that its new production line in Chengdu, once completed, will increase its competitiveness in small and medium-sized high-end displays. The new production line announcement stated, “The company will gain greater overall strengths in high-performance mobile phone panels and displays for mobile devices, a higher proportion of products with higher gross margins, and better capacity to withstand market fluctuations.”

Liu Xiaodong, COO of BOE Technology Group, said, "As a leading city in Southwest China, Chengdu possesses an integrated industrial production resource for the electronic information industry, with multiple skills and human resources, a massive market and favorable transportation and logistics infrastructure. With the benefit of the Gen 6 production line, BOE will use Chengdu as a base from which to expand into larger global markets, significantly enhancing the competitiveness of its high-end display products.”

Besides BOE, both China National Building Materials Group Corporation and Tianma Microelectronics Company, Ltd. have established manufacturing bases in Chengdu. In mid-August 2014, China Electronics Corporation announced it would be investing RMB 28bn to build a "Gen 8.5" panel production line project in Chengdu, “to shape it into one of the most advanced and competitive LCD production lines in the future. “

About the Author

Matthew Peach is a contributing editor to optics.org.

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