Category Archives: OLEDs

Molecular Lego blocks

February 15, 2019

Producing traditional solar cells made of silicon is very energy intensive. On top of that, they are rigid and brittle. Organic semiconductor materials, on the other hand, are flexible and lightweight. They would be a promising alternative, if only their efficiency and stability were on par with traditional cells.

Together with his team, Karsten Reuter, Professor of Theoretical Chemistry at the Technical University of Munich, is looking for novel substances for photovoltaics applications, as well as for displays and light-emitting diodes – OLEDs. The researchers have set their sights on organic compounds that build on frameworks of carbon atoms.

Both the carbon-based molecular frameworks and the functional groups decisively influence the conductivity of organic semiconductors. Researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) now deploy data mining approaches to identify promising organic compounds for the electronics of the future. Credit: C. Kunkel / TUM

Contenders for the electronics of tomorrow

Depending on their structure and composition, these molecules, and the materials formed from them, display a wide variety of physical properties, providing a host of promising candidates for the electronics of the future.

“To date, a major problem has been tracking them down: It takes weeks to months to synthesize, test and optimize new materials in the laboratory,” says Reuter. “Using computational screening, we can accelerate this process immensely.”

Computers instead of test tubes

The researcher needs neither test tubes nor Bunsen burners to search for promising organic semiconductors. Using a powerful computer, he and his team analyze existing databases. This virtual search for relationships and patterns is known as data mining.

“Knowing what you are looking for is crucial in data mining,” says PD Dr. Harald Oberhofer, who heads the project. “In our case, it is electrical conductivity. High conductivity ensures, for example, that a lot of current flows in photovoltaic cells when sunlight excites the molecules.”

Algorithms identify key parameters

Using his algorithms, he can search for very specific physical parameters: An important one is, for example, the “coupling parameter.” The larger it is, the faster electrons move from one molecule to the next.

A further parameter is the “reorganization energy”: It defines how costly it is for a molecule to adapt its structure to the new charge following a charge transfer – the less energy required, the better the conductivity.

The research team analyzed the structural data of 64,000 organic compounds using the algorithms and grouped them into clusters. The result: Both the carbon-based molecular frameworks and the “functional groups”, i.e. the compounds attached laterally to the central framework, decisively influence the conductivity.

Identifying molecules using artificial intelligence

The clusters highlight structural frameworks and functional groups that facilitate favorable charge transport, making them particularly suitable for the development of electronic components.

“We can now use this to not only predict the properties of a molecule, but using artificial intelligence we can also design new compounds in which both the structural framework and the functional groups promise very good conductivity,” explains Reuter.

Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have discovered a simple new tweak that could double the efficiency of organic electronics. OLED-displays, plastic-based solar cells and bioelectronics are just some of the technologies that could benefit from their new discovery, which deals with “double-doped” polymers.

Double doping could improve the light-harvesting efficiency of flexible organic solar cells (left), the switching speed of electronic paper (center) and the power density of piezoelectric textiles (right). Disclaimer: The image may only be used with referral to Epishine, as supplier of the flexible solar cell. For instance: ‘The solar cell was supplied by Epishine AB.’ Credit: Johan Bodell/Chalmers University of Technology

The majority of our everyday electronics are based on inorganic semiconductors, such as silicon. Crucial to their function is a process called doping, which involves weaving impurities into the semiconductor to enhance its electrical conductivity. It is this that allows various components in solar cells and LED screens to work.

For organic – that is, carbon-based – semiconductors, this doping process is similarly of extreme importance. Since the discovery of electrically conducting plastics and polymers, a field for which a Nobel Prize was awarded in 2000, research and development of organic electronics has accelerated quickly. OLED-displays are one example which are already on the market, for example in the latest generation of smartphones. Other applications have not yet been fully realised, due in part to the fact that organic semiconductors have so far not been efficient enough.

Doping in organic semiconductors operates through what is known as a redox reaction. This means that a dopant molecule receives an electron from the semiconductor, increasing the electrical conductivity of the semiconductor. The more dopant molecules that the semiconductor can react with, the higher the conductivity – at least up to a certain limit, after which the conductivity decreases. Currently, the efficiency limit of doped organic semiconductors has been determined by the fact that the dopant molecules have only been able to exchange one electron each.

But now, in an article in the scientific journal Nature Materials, Professor Christian Müller and his group, together with colleagues from seven other universities demonstrate that it is possible to move two electrons to every dopant molecule.

“Through this ‘double doping’ process, the semiconductor can therefore become twice as effective,” says David Kiefer, PhD student in the group and first author of the article.

According to Christian Müller, this innovation is not built on some great technical achievement. Instead, it is simply a case of seeing what others have not seen.

“The whole research field has been totally focused on studying materials which only allow one redox reaction per molecule. We chose to look at a different type of polymer, with lower ionisation energy. We saw that this material allowed the transfer of two electrons to the dopant molecule. It is actually very simple,” says Christian Müller, Professor of Polymer Science at Chalmers University of Technology.

The discovery could allow further improvements to technologies which today are not competitive enough to make it to market. One problem is that polymers simply do not conduct current well enough, and so making the doping techniques more effective has long been a focus for achieving better polymer-based electronics. Now, this doubling of the conductivity of polymers, while using only the same amount of dopant material, over the same surface area as before, could represent the tipping point needed to allow several emerging technologies to be commercialised.

“With OLED displays, the development has come far enough that they are already on the market. But for other technologies to succeed and make it to market something extra is needed. With organic solar cells, for example, or electronic circuits built of organic material, we need the ability to dope certain components to the same extent as silicon-based electronics. Our approach is a step in the right direction,” says Christian Müller.

The discovery offers fundamental knowledge and could help thousands of researchers to achieve advances in flexible electronics, bioelectronics and thermoelectricity. Christian Müller’s research group themselves are researching several different applied areas, with polymer technology at the centre. Among other things, his group is looking into the development of electrically conducting textiles and organic solar cells.

The flat panel display (FPD) equipment market is expected to start to decline after an unprecedented build-up in 2017 as panel makers take a more cautious approach as they wait for demand to catch up to rapidly ramping capacity. The FPD equipment market is forecast to fall from $20.2 billion in 2017 to $14.0 billion in 2020, declining at a compound annual rate of 11.6 percent, according to IHS Markit (Nasdaq: INFO).

“The expansion of the FPD equipment market that started in 2016 has been driven by the high equipment intensity of new flexible active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) display factories and the scale of Gen 10.5/11 LCD factories,” said Chase Li, senior analyst at IHS Markit. “This expansion has been further fueled by Chinese local governments, which have supported panel makers with various mechanisms such as financing, land grants, reduced taxes, infrastructure and direct subsidies.”

Such broad government support of Chinese FPD fabs for all types of display technologies and factory sizes is starting to distort the supply/demand balance as the new capacity begins to ramp. In the case of flexible AMOLED factories targeting smartphones, many multiple billion-dollar investments and even expansion phases have been moving forward before panel makers have proven their ability to produce high quality panels at high yields and competitive costs. The glut level of thin-film transistor (TFT) AMOLED panels for mobile applications is forecast to exceed 40 percent of the demand in terms of area in 2019. This implies that, on average, factories for mobile applications are likely to be underutilized.

This situation has caused both panel makers and China’s local governments to evaluate more critically new flexible AMOLED factory plans. Even South Korean panel makers have pulled back from their previous plans to expand Gen 6 flexible AMOLED capacity continuously due to slower-than-expected panel demand growth. Reduced spending on AMOLED fabs for mobile applications accounts for most of the decline in equipment spending in 2018 and 2019.

Even so, Chinese local governments continue to fund selected projects despite the tightening of credit, particularly for Gen 10.5/11 LCD factories. These projects are predicted to keep equipment spending relatively firm through 2020. However, it threatens to push the large display supply/demand glut level to a record annual high of 18 percent in 2020, unless panel makers reduce excessive LCD TV panel capacity by converting some of it to OLED TV panel production and shutter less productive legacy factories.

High-end OLED TVs are one segment that is still expected to face tight panel supply for the next few years. Although, demand is low compared to standard LCD TVs, OLED TVs are a growing niche, whose panel demand is forecast to rise from 2.9 million units in 2018 to 6.7 million units in 2020. Being the only panel maker to have commercialized OLED TV panels to-date, LG Display is shipping all the panels it fabricates and running its current factories at full utilization.

According to the AMOLED and LCD Supply Demand & Equipment Tracker by IHS Markit, equipment spending in 2019 will be significantly supported by the conversion of legacy LCD fabs to advanced AMOLED factories. JOLED, Samsung Display and others are utilizing previously purchased TFT tools, while adding OLED frontplane, color conversion, cell and module equipment, hoping that they will keep them ahead of rivals and enable them to ride the growth of the AMOLED TV market.

“The FPD equipment market has always been highly volatile depending on market and technology changes. Some slow-down is not surprising following years of record high equipment spending,” Li said. “How all the equipment being installed will affect the future opportunity is a question that equipment makers are now struggling to answer. Based on IHS Markit analysis, the correction will continue beyond 2020. Even so, hope for expanding the new technology investments in AMOLED and quantum-dot (QD) OLED TVs as well as foldable displays, combined with industry restructuring and increased demand as prices fall offers the hope of another positive cycle coming.”

Spurred on by growing demand for innovative user experience in smartphones, shipments of foldable active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) panels are expected to reach 50 million units by 2025 for the first time since their launch in 2018, according to IHS Markit (Nasdaq: INFO), a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions.

The foldable AMOLED panels are expected to account for 6 percent of total AMOLED panel shipments (825 million), or 11 percent of total flexible AMOLED panel shipments (476 million) by 2025.

“As the conventional smartphone market has become saturated, smartphone brands have tried to come up with an innovative form factor for a smartphone,” said Jerry Kang, senior principal analyst of display research at IHS Markit. “A foldable AMOLED panel is considered to be the most attractive and distinguishable form factor at this moment.”

In October 2018, China’s Royole Corporation unveiled the world’s first foldable-screen smartphone with a 7.8-inch AMOLED panel. A few other brands are also expected to launch foldable-screen smartphones in 2019.

“Smartphone brands are cautious about launching foldable smartphones because the phones should be durable enough for repeated folding and thin and light enough even when supporting a larger display and battery,” Kang said. “Unit shipments of foldable AMOLED panels may not grow as fast for the first few years, but area per unit will be expected to be larger than that of conventional displays. Panel makers are forecast to see an increase in fab utilization.”

Due to lower demand for conventional flexible AMOLED panels, suppliers are hoping that smartphone brands release foldable devices as early as possible. With more optimism, some are even considering investing in another fab solely for foldable AMOLED panels.

“Panel suppliers should consider how much demand will increase for the foldable application before investing in additional fabs, because the supply of flexible AMOLED panels is forecast to exceed demand even as we move into 2019,” Kang said.

According to the AMOLED & Flexible Display Intelligence Service by IHS Markit, the supply capacity of flexible AMOLED panels will account for more than half of total AMOLED capacity in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Researchers have set a new efficiency record for LEDs based on perovskite semiconductors, rivalling that of the best organic LEDs (OLEDs).

Compared to OLEDs, which are widely used in high-end consumer electronics, the perovskite-based LEDs, developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge, can be made at much lower costs, and can be tuned to emit light across the visible and near-infrared spectra with high colour purity.

The researchers have engineered the perovskite layer in the LEDs to show close to 100% internal luminescence efficiency, opening up future applications in display, lighting and communications, as well as next-generation solar cells.

These perovskite materials are of the same type as those found to make highly efficient solar cells that could one day replace commercial silicon solar cells. While perovskite-based LEDs have already been developed, they have not been nearly as efficient as conventional OLEDs at converting electricity into light.

Earlier hybrid perovskite LEDs, first developed by Professor Sir Richard Friend’s group at the University’s Cavendish Laboratory four years ago, were promising, but losses from the perovskite layer, caused by tiny defects in the crystal structure, limited their light-emission efficiency.

Now, Cambridge researchers from the same group and their collaborators have shown that by forming a composite layer of the perovskites together with a polymer, it is possible to achieve much higher light-emission efficiencies, close to the theoretical efficiency limit of thin-film OLEDs. Their results are reported in the journal Nature Photonics.

“This perovskite-polymer structure effectively eliminates non-emissive losses, the first time this has been achieved in a perovskite-based device,” said Dr Dawei Di from Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory, one of the corresponding authors of the paper. “By blending the two, we can basically prevent the electrons and positive charges from recombining via the defects in the perovskite structure.”

The perovskite-polymer blend used in the LED devices, known as a bulk heterostructure, is made of two-dimensional and three-dimensional perovskite components and an insulating polymer. When an ultra-fast laser is shone on the structures, pairs of electric charges that carry energy move from the 2D regions to the 3D regions in a trillionth of a second: much faster than earlier layered perovskite structures used in LEDs. Separated charges in the 3D regions then recombine and emit light extremely efficiently.

“Since the energy migration from 2D regions to 3D regions happens so quickly, and the charges in the 3D regions are isolated from the defects by the polymer, these mechanisms prevent the defects from getting involved, thereby preventing energy loss,” said Di.

“The best external quantum efficiencies of these devices are higher than 20% at current densities relevant to display applications, setting a new record for perovskite LEDs, which is a similar efficiency value to the best OLEDs on the market today,” said Baodan Zhao, the paper’s first author.

While perovskite-based LEDs are beginning to rival OLEDs in terms of efficiency, they still need better stability if they are to be adopted in consumer electronics. When perovskite-based LEDs were first developed, they had a lifetime of just a few seconds. The LEDs developed in the current research have a half-life close to 50 hours, which is a huge improvement in just four years, but still nowhere near the lifetimes required for commercial applications, which will require an extensive industrial development programme. “Understand the degradation mechanisms of the LEDs is a key to future improvements,” said Di.

MagnaChip Semiconductor Corporation (“MagnaChip”) (NYSE: MX), a designer and manufacturer of analog and mixed-signal semiconductor platform solutions, today announced that volume production of a new Display Driver IC (DDIC) for automotive panel displays has begun.

MagnaChip is planning to expand its business to various automotive display applications in the market, starting with the design-win of new product at a leading Japanese panel maker of automotive CSD (Center Stack Display) panels. The application of this LCD-based display driver product will be further extended to a wide range of automotive applications such as instrument cluster, GPS navigation and car entertainment displays in the future. Over time, it is widely anticipated that OLED display drivers also will be adopted for use in automotive applications.

The new automotive DDIC, S8311, has a maximum of 1440 channel outputs and an mLVDS (Mini Low-Voltage Differential Signaling) interface and supports all types of TFT-LCD such as a-Si (Amorphous silicon), LTPS (Low Temperature Poly Silicon) and IGZO (Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide) for various automotive applications. MagnaChip fabricates the product in-house using the 150nm process, which is a cost-effective method the company has successfully used for many different products in recent years.

According to market research firm IHS, automotive display shipments keep growing with three primary automotive display systems: instrument cluster, center stack and heads-up display system. Based on current trends, IHS forecasts that global shipments of automotive display panels will rise to 165Mpcs in 2018 and increase to 200Mpcs in 2022.

“As the global automotive display market continues to expand, demand for high quality display driver products is expected to grow,” said YJ Kim, CEO of MagnaChip. “With our know-how and long track record of success in the Display market, we will continue to cooperate with major automotive display panel makers to extend our automotive DDIC business from a-Si TFT-LCD to LTPS, IGZO TFT-LCD and further to OLED panel-type displays.”

“MicroLED displays could potentially match or exceed OLED performance in all critical attributes,” said Dr. Eric Virey, Senior Technology & Market Analyst at Yole Développement (Yole).It includes brightness, contrast, color gamut, refresh rate, viewing angle, ruggedness and durability, resolution and pixel density, lifetime, power consumption etc.


Yole and its partner Knowmade, both part of Yole Group of Companies release two microLEDs reports to reveal the status of the technology and give a deep understanding of the industry, the companies involved and the related supply chain. MicroLED Displays 2018 and MicroLED Displays: Intellectual Property Landscape are now available. A detailed description is available on, Displays section.

This year again, Yole Group of Companies pursued its investigation to understand the technical issues and business challenges and confirms today its market positioning with a new online event: MicroLED Displays: Hype and Reality, Hopes and Challenges – Webcast on October 11, 2018 at 5 PM CEST – 8 AM PDT – Powered by Yole Développement. Make sure to get a clear vision of this emerging industry and REGISTER today.

Sony’s demonstration of a full HD 55” microLED TV at CES 2012, more than six years ago, was the first exposure for microLED displays and generated a lot of excitement. Since Apple acquired Luxvue in 2014, many leading companies such as Facebook, Google, Samsung, LG or Intel have entered the game via sizable internal developments, acquisitions, like those of mLED and eLux, or investments in startups such as glō or Aledia.

Analyzing Apple’s microLED patent activity shows that the company essentially halted its filing around 2015. This is a surprising finding in the light of the fact that the consumer electronics giant has maintained a large project team and consistently spent hundreds of millions of dollars annually on microLED development. A closer analysis however brought up the name of a possible strawman entity used by Apple to continue filing patents and shows that the company is still advancing key aspects of microLED technologies.

“Despite a later start compared to pioneers such as Sony or Sharp, Apple’s portfolio is one of the most complete, comprehensively covering all critical technologies pertinent to microLEDs,” explains Dr Virey from Yole. “The company is the most advanced and still one of the best positioned to bring high volume microLED products to the market. However, it also faces unique challenges”, he adds.
Apple can’t afford to tarnish its brand and introduce a product featuring such a highly differentiating technology that would be anything but flawless. Moreover, it requires high volumes, which makes setting up the supply chain more challenging than for any other company.

In addition, it has no prior experience in display manufacturing and due to its need for secrecy, has to develop pretty much everything internally, duplicating technologies and infrastructures that others have the option to outsource…

The smartphones sector is a good example to illustrate the leadership of Apple. Indeed smartwatch volumes could reach 100 million units by 2027 and Apple remains the single largest smartwatch maker, explains Yole’s analysts in microLED reports. Yole’s scenario assumes that Apple would start using microLEDs in 2021 in a new flagship model, and, as is common with the brand, will propagate the technology in a staggered fashion over the next three years as legacy products are discontinued… MicroLED Displays report invites you to discover the MicroLED world with a section dedicated to the patent landscape. With this focus, Yole Group of Companies offers you a unique opportunity to get a clear view of the competitive landscape, understand the current challenges and identify business opportunities.

MicroLED webcast will average both Yole’s reports, MicroLED Displays and MicroLED Displays: Intellectual Property Landscape report in order to provide a global overview and status of the microLED industry. Powered by Yole, this event taking place on October 11, will provide an update on the status of the microLED industry. Dr. Eric Virey will detail the activity of the major players as well as remaining technology and supply chain bottlenecks. In addition, cost aspects will also be discussed as well as an assessment of when products can realistically be expected to hit the market. Yole Group of Companies is pleased to welcome during this webcast, on October 11

Amid growing demand for active matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) panels for smartphones, shipments of flexible AMOLED panels are expected to account for more than 50 percent of total AMOLED panel shipments by 2020.

According to IHS Markit (Nasdaq: INFO), a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions, shipments of flexible AMOLED panels are expected to reach 335.7 million units by 2020, topping those of rigid AMOLED panels at 315.9 million units. Flexible AMOLED panels are predicted to make up 52.0 percent of total AMOLED panel shipments, up from 38.9 percent in 2018.

“Growth in demand for smartphones with flexible AMOLED panels has accelerated since 2016 as demand increased for curved form or full screen displays,” said Jerry Kang, senior principal analyst of display research at IHS Markit. “Major smartphone brands have been promoting flexible AMOLED screens for their premium products, which allow a differentiated form factor from ones with rigid AMOLED and low-temperature polycrystalline silicon (LTPS) liquid crystal display (LCD) panels.”

Apple has applied flexible AMOLED panels first in 2017 to the iPhone X. It is expected to launch its second phone with a flexible AMOLED panel, slightly larger than the first one, in 2018. Demand for the new iPhone is expected to contribute to boost the shipments of flexible AMOLED panels.

“Another factor is that high-end smartphone brands are now planning to launch foldable applications using flexible AMOLED panels, which is not possible using rigid AMOLED or LTPS LCD panels. Foldable AMOLED panels will be key in changing the demand situation from mobile devices in the foreseeable future,” Kang said.

Shipments of flexible AMOLED panels are expected to reach 157.6 million units in 2018, more than triple compared to 46.5 million units in 2015, with a compound annual growth rate of 50 percent.

Each issue of the journal Nature Electronics contains a column called “Reverse Engineering,” which examines the development of an electronic device now in widespread use from the viewpoint of the main inventor. So far, it has featured creations such as the DRAM, DVD, CD, and Li-ion rechargeable battery. The July 2018 column tells the story of the IGZO thin film transistor (TFT) through the eyes of Professor Hideo Hosono of Tokyo Tech’s Institute of Innovative Research (IIR), who is also director of the Materials Research Center for Element Strategy.

TFTs using oxides including indium (In), gallium (Ga), and zinc (Zn), or IGZO, made possible high-resolution energy-efficient displays that had not been seen before. IGZO electron mobility is 10 times that of hydrogenated amorphous silicon, which was used exclusively for displays in the past. Additionally, its off current is extremely low and it is transparent, allowing light to pass through. IGZO has been applied to drive liquid crystal displays, such as those on smartphones and tablets. Three years ago, it was also used to drive large OLED televisions, which was considered a major breakthrough. This market is rapidly expanding, as can be seen from the products being released by South Korean and Japanese electronics manufacturers, which now dominate store shelves.

The electron conductivity of transition metal oxides has long been known, but electric current modulation using electric fields has not. In the 1960s, it was reported that modulating the electric current was possible when zinc oxide, tin oxide, and indium oxide were formed into TFT structures. Their performance, however, was poor, and reports of research on organic TFTs were mostly nonexistent until around 2000. A new field called oxide electronics came into existence in the early noughties, examining oxides as electronic materials. A hub for this research was the present-day Laboratory for Materials and Structures within IIR, and research into zinc oxide TFTs soon spread worldwide. However, since the thin film was polycrystalline, there were problems with its characteristics and stability, and no practical applications were achieved.

Application in displays, unlike CPUs, requires the ability to form a thin, homogenous film on a large-sizedsubstrate — like amorphous materials — and a dramatic increase in electric current at a low gate voltage when the thin film is subjected to an electric field. However, while amorphous materials were the optimal choice for forming thin, homogeneous film, high carrier concentration and other issues due to structural disorder arose, for the most part preventing electric current modulation by electric fields. The only exception was amorphous silicon containing a large amount of hydrogen, reported in 1975. TFTs made of this material were applied to drive liquid crystal displays, which grew into a giant 10 trillion-yen industry. However, electron mobility was still lower by two to three orders of magnitude compared to that of crystalline silicon — no better than 0.5 to 1 cm2 V-1 s-1. Amorphous semiconductors, therefore, were easy to produce, but were seen to have much inferior electronic properties.

Hosono focused his attention on oxides with highly ionic bonding nature, the series made up of non-transition metals belonging to the p-block of the periodic table. In this material series, the bottom of the conduction band, which works as the path for electron, is made up mainly of spherically symmetrical metal s-orbitals with a large spatial spread. Because of this, the degree of overlap of the orbitals, which govern how easily electrons can move, is not sensitive to bond angle variation which is an intrinsic nature of amorphous materials.

The professor realized that this characteristic might allow for mobility in amorphous materials that is comparable to that of polycrystalline thin films. He experimented accordingly, and was able to find some examples. In 1995, he presented his idea and examples at the 16th International Conference on Amorphous Semiconductors, and had the paper on its proceedings published the following year. After proving this hypothesis through experiments and calculations, he started test-producing TFTs. Many combinations of elements fulfilled the conditions of the hypothesis. IGZO was selected because it had a stable crystalline phase that is easy to prepare, and its specific local structure around Ga suggested that carrier concentration could be suppressed. In 2003, Hosono and his collaborators reported in Science that crystalline epitaxial thin film could produce mobility of around 80 cm2 V-1 s-1. In the following year, they published in Nature that amorphous thin film could also produce mobility of around 10 cm2 V-1 s-1.

Following these findings, research on amorphous oxide semiconductors and their TFTs began increasing rapidly around the world — not just among the Society for Information Display (SID) and the International Conference on Amorphous Semiconductors. This activity has continued, and Hosono’s two papers have now been cited over 2,000 and 5,000 times respectively. The total citations of the patents associated with these inventions now exceed 9,000. Products with displays incorporating these TFTs have been available to the general consumers since 2012. In particular, large OLED televisions, which appeared around 2015, became possible only due to the unique characteristics of amorphous IGZO TFTs — their high mobility and ability to easily form a thin, homogenous film over a large area. Such displays are installed on the first floor of the Materials Research Center for Element Strategy and the foyer of the Laboratory for Materials and Structures at Tokyo Tech. Application of IGZO TFTs to high-definition large LCD televisions are expected to start soon.

Smart technologies take center stage tomorrow as SEMICON West, the flagship U.S. event for connecting the electronics manufacturing supply chain, opens for three days of insights into leading technologies and applications that will power future industry expansion. Building on this year’s record-breaking industry growth, SEMICON West – July 10-12, 2018, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco – spotlights how cognitive learning technologies and other disruptors will transform industries and lives.

Themed BEYOND SMART and presented by SEMI, SEMICON West 2018 features top technologists and industry leaders highlighting the significance of artificial intelligence (AI) and the latest technologies and trends in smart transportation, smart manufacturing, smart medtech, smart data, big data, blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Seven keynotes and more than 250 subject matter experts will offer insights into critical opportunities and issues across the global microelectronics supply chain. The event also features new Smart Pavilions to showcase interactive technologies for immersive, virtual experiences.

Smart transportation and smart manufacturing pavilions: Applying AI to accelerate capabilities

Automotive leads all new applications in semiconductor growth and is a major demand driver for technologies inrelated segments such as MEMS and sensors. The SEMICON West Smart Transportation and Smart Manufacturing pavilions showcase AI breakthroughs that are enabling more intelligent transportation performance and manufacturing processes, increasing yields and profits, and spurring innovation across the industry.

Smart workforce pavilion: Connecting next-generation talent with the microelectronics industry

SEMICON West also tackles the vital industry issue of how to attract new talent with the skills to deliver future innovations. Reliant on a highly skilled workforce, the industry today faces thousands of job openings, fierce competition for workers and the need to strengthen its talent pipeline. Educational and engaging, the Smart Workforce Pavilion connects the microelectronics industry with college students and entry-level professionals.

In the Workforce Pavilion “Meet the Experts” Theater, recruiters from top companies are available for on-the-spot interviews, while career coaches offer mentoring, tips on cover letter and resume writing, job-search guidance, and more. SEMI will also host High Tech U (HTU) in conjunction with the SEMICON West Smart Workforce Pavilion. The highly interactive program supported by Advantest, Edwards, KLA-Tencor and TEL exposes high school students to STEM education pathways and useful insights about careers in the industry.