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Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Low Manufacturing Yields Of AMOLED TV Panels Continue

The cost of AMOLED panels will remain very high compared to TFT LCD display panels, limiting adoption by consumers and keeping their prices high.

The first 55" AMOLED TV is on the market, with others expected to follow. However, current manufacturing costs for AMOLED (Active-Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode) display panels are estimated to be almost seven times higher than costs for the LCD panels that now dominate the TV market, according to NPD DisplaySearch.

"The estimated total manufacturing cost of a full-HD 55" panel is $2,454 in Q1'13, due to low manufacturing yields," according to Tadashi Uno, Director of Materials and Components Market Research for NPD DisplaySearch. "As yields improve, the cost is expected to fall significantly over the next two years, but will remain much higher than equivalent LCD panels."

AMOLED TV panel manufacturing yields (the fraction of panels produced that are useable) are lower than TFT LCDs, because AMOLED manufacturing processes are not mature. Materials, depreciation, personnel expenses, and other cost factors are highly related to yield rate; therefore, improving AMOLED yields quickly is the key factor for making AMOLED TVs competitive with LCD TVs. According to the NPD DisplaySearch cost model, the manufacturing cost for AMOLED TV panels is expected to fall by 36% from Q1'13 to Q1'14, but the panels will still cost five times as much as LCD TV panels. In 32" TV panels, the cost model also that AMOLED is only twice the cost of LCD. However 32" is a much more cost-sensitive segment of the market, so AMOLED is not competitive even with this much smaller premium.

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