Zhao Yong, vice president of TCL Group and general manager of Wuhan Huaxing Optoelectronics: Folding screen may be the best solution for 5G display
As an important part of the 13th China (Hefei) International Household Appliances and Consumer Electronics Expo, jointly sponsored by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, and the Anhui Provincial People's Government, The first World Display Industry Conference hosted by the Chemical Industry Department and China Electronics and Information Industry Development Research Institute opened in Hefei on November 22. Zhao Yong, vice president of TCL Group and general manager of Wuhan Huaxing Optoelectronics, attended the main forum and gave a speech.
Zhao Yong said that TCL Huaxing Optoelectronics has witnessed the development of China's panel industry from weak to strong in the past decade. Now we are focusing on the development of flexible OLEDs. From the market trend of smart phones, we can see that the total number of mobile phones will increase slightly in the next five years, and only flexible OLED panels will grow rapidly in different screens. How will flexible screens and folding screens develop in the next five years? Zhao Yong said that this year we predict that Samsung-based foldable phones may ship approximately 1 million, and there will be very large growth in the future. By 2024, some people say that this amount may reach 56 million, and some people say that it will reach 300 million, or even 800 million.
5G catalyzes the interconnection of all things to change the form of terminal applications
5G has risen globally in the past two years. To sum up, 5G has three most important indicators. One is fast speed, the other is ultra-large capacity, and the third is ultra-low latency. These three aspects are also very meaningful for display.
In the past, 4G was more about making calls, sending text messages, watching videos, and so on, but in the future, everything will rely on 5G. There is also a lot of imagination for the display panel's connection application in the automotive industry. For example, in the future, smart cars and driverless cars will require display screens. The display screens of automobiles will also take many forms, and there will be great development opportunities.
The operating systems such as mobile phones, computers, and televisions commonly used in daily life are more often installed with Android. Android 10 natively supports multi-screen applications. The APP can seamlessly connect between screens of different sizes. IPad OS also displays versions that support folding screens. ; After the concept of One-more-display was proposed, the PC industry began to expand dual-screen and folding applications. Microsoft Windows Core operating system was optimized for dual-screen notebook devices. The good use experience brought by the combination of soft and hard makes the user inseparable from the folding device.
Zhao Yong said that mobile phones are the main battlefield for future folding screen applications. At that time, the average price of feature phones was about 1,000 yuan, and the number of billions of units produced each year also spawned trillion-dollar industries. The era of smart phones, led by Apple, has now risen from 1,000 yuan to 3000 yuan or even 4,000 yuan, the number is still growing, which has caused a huge increase in the capacity of the entire industry. In the future, 5G plus folding screen may further increase the unit price of mobile phones. Can it be doubled again, so that the entire industry chain will have greater development?
Zhao Yong summarized the impact of 5G on the display screen into four points: one is massive information, the other is ultra-high-definition live broadcast, the third is games, and the fourth is multi-window and multi-tasking. 5G can bring a greater amount of information. In fact, the display screen is required to provide more information, especially multi-windows. In the 5G era, each of us may see different live TV content. For example, watching a football match, I like watching A-stars, so I can watch A-star-based lenses. If you like B-stars, you will see Another set of lenses. 5G business must hope that the larger the screen, the better, but from the perspective of use, mobile phones, TVs, and laptops all need to be portable. At this time, the smaller the screen, the better. Both the larger the screen and the smaller the screen, the better. Folding is probably the best solution.
The screen size will change when the era of folding comes. In the past, small sizes below 10 inches were called small sizes, 10 inches to over 20 inches were medium sizes, and 30 inches and above were considered large sizes. After the screen is folded, this boundary will become blurred and the form will become more diverse.
The panel industry is blowing the wind of flexible production capacity and demand are different.
According to the production lines that have been completed and announced to be built, it is estimated that by 2024, the flexible OLED production capacity available will be approximately 18 G6 30K production lines. Zhao Yong said that at present flexible OLEDs are still significantly ahead of other countries in Korea, but in the future, China's production capacity will gradually increase. It is estimated that in two or three years, we may become the world's number one.
The display ratio of traditional mobile phones is usually 16: 9, and the full screen may be 18: 9, 20: 9. In the past, the display screen occupied about 80% of the area of the mobile phone panel. In the era of folding, the area will double or triple; if it is a laptop, it may be six times; if it is in a car or on a TV, it may be It will turn a larger multiple. In the future, the area of the display will not only increase by 20% or 30%, but will increase exponentially.
In the 4G era, it took about 5 years from the beginning of development to occupy the dominant position in the market. It is estimated that 5G will also take 5 years, or it can reach the mainstream state of the market in a shorter time.
Zhao Yong said that there are several stages for an innovative technology to become mainstream in the market. The first is the start-up phase, the second is the early adopter phase, and the third is the follow-up phase with a real public. When technology has dominated the market, conservatives and laggards will naturally join in. Looking at the folding screen according to this life cycle theory, in the early stage, because everyone was curious about the rise of technology, adventurers and early interested people would generally tolerate some defects; when they accounted for 20% of the market, it would be a node. With further development in terms of performance, reliability and reliability, the number will show explosive growth; when the market share is over half, it will actually become a real mainstream technology. Therefore, we predict that in about 5 years, the folding screen will also become an important mobile phone form.
Regarding the forecast of flexible screen shipments, different agencies have different voices. Conservative people believe that the development of folding screens in the future is slowly increasing, and the penetration rate is not particularly high. According to conservative development estimates, it is basically possible to use 13 6th generation 30K lines, with a total size of less than 18, and there will be oversupply in the future; neutral estimates are that after 5 years, folding screens account for 50% of the entire flexible screen. About 19 lines are needed at that time, which is tight supply and demand; a more aggressive forecast is that after 5 years, folding screens account for 50% of the entire mobile phone market, and a total of 38 lines are needed to meet.
The thinner the flexible screen, the better the higher requirements are placed on the material.
Zhao Yong said that there are several requirements for folding screen and flexible screen technology in the future: First, the requirement of low power consumption, the total power consumption of 5G will become larger, and the screen is the largest power-consuming component in mobile phones. Electricity is very important. The second is low-latency technology. Third, it is flexible and bendable to achieve foldability and curlability. The most important thing is that the thinner the better, and there will be stretchable and deformable technologies in the future. Fourth, the technology that connects the screen with various sensors, such as the fingerprint on the screen, the sound of the screen, the camera under the screen, touch, etc., will be integrated into the screen.
Zhao Yong said that flexible screens have very high requirements for luminescent materials, especially red light and green light. At present, TCL Huaxing uses fluorescent materials, and the efficiency of blue light is relatively low. In the future, blue light will be the first to be upgraded. With better TADF materials, the efficiency and purity will be further improved.
Zhao Yong said that PI materials will be ubiquitous in flexible displays. First of all, the substrate is PI materials, and the cover plate on ordinary mobile phones is tempered glass. Transparent PI materials are used in flexible displays. A substrate is also required under the flexible screen, and PI is also used in the manufacturing process. The cover window is especially important in folding screens. Among Samsung folding screen phones and Huawei folding screen phones, the most commonly spoken place is creases, especially the creases under the screen are serious. The creases are related to the cover window. This can be Use ultra-thin tempered glass with a thickness of tens of microns. When Samsung launched the folding screen, it used two layers, with CPI below and a layer of PET on top. It may use double-layer CW material in the future. Which one will become the mainstream depends on future development.
Zhao Yong said that whether it is folded or curled, dislocations will become very serious. If the screen is thinned, the dislocation problem can be greatly reduced, so the thickness must be further reduced in the future. The flexible screen as a whole is now made at 300 microns, and may be smaller than 200 microns, 100 microns, or even less than 50 microns in the future. Future display screens have the ability to stretch. Like a rubber film, they can be stretched in various ways. Its principle is to make each display pixel relatively stable, so that the entire display screen can work on any curved surface.
Editor-in-chief: Liu Jing