Investment speeds development of in-vehicle OLED displays, and brings HD images, improved lighting and efficient design to car cockpits
KARIYA, JAPAN – DENSO Corporation announced it has invested 30 billion yen ($270 million) in JOLED Inc., a developer of printed organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays. The investment accelerates JOLED’s development and mass production of in-vehicle OLED displays, which are used for human-machine interfaces (HMIs) in car cockpits to deliver key driving information to the driver quickly and accurately. Compared to conventional HMIs, which use thin-film transistor liquid crystal displays (TFT-LCDs), JOLED’s OLED displays offer higher-definition images, more vivid colors, and are designed to be thinner, lighter, and bendable–making them easier to install and produce more optimized light output for improved HMI functionality.
“DENSO’s investment in JOLED directly enhances the advancement of human-machine interfaces — technologies which are critical to keeping drivers informed behind the wheel safely,” said Hirotsugu Takeuchi, executive director of DENSO. “Working with JOLED will help us create a new mobility future that’s safer for all, emphasizes efficiency and smartly applies problem-solving innovations to the real world.”
As cars become more connected, more information can be provided to drivers to help them ensure effective road safety. Because of this, there is a growing demand for HMIs that can display information in a more visually appealing, larger, and easier-to-understand format — all while encouraging drivers to stay focused on the road. OLED displays enable these characteristics and will continue to gain prominence as HMIs are called upon to deliver improved visibility, more dynamic design and increased operational efficiencies.
JOLED was the first in the world to commercialize printed OLED displays, and the company’s OLED printing method is simpler and more efficient than traditional manufacturing approaches. This investment will enable DENSO to combine its accumulated technology and know-how regarding HMIs with JOLED’s OLED printing, thereby speeding up the development and mass production of various types of OLED displays for instrument clusters, center-stack displays, and other devices, and thus contribute to the development of more attractive and convenient cockpits.
DENSO will continue to emphasize the development of its HMI technologies, which underpin the ongoing evolution of vehicles, and seek to create cockpits that streamline interaction between human and machine to create a society free from road traffic accidents.
JOLED Inc. is headquartered in Tokyo and uses its Ishikawa, Kyoto, and Atsugi Technology Development Centers as bases to conduct research, development, manufacturing, and sales activities for OLED displays, their parts, materials, manufacturing equipment, and associated products. JOLED was founded in January 2015, combining the OLED display development divisions of Sony Corporation and Panasonic Corporation, with the goal of accelerating mass production development and commercialization of OLED displays.
In 2016, the company started up a pilot line (substrate size: G4.5), establishing a mass production technology and improving productivity. Later, in December 2017, JOLED began shipment of its first product, the 21.6-inch 4K OLED display. To further expand the business, in July 2018, JOLED established Nomi site in Nomi city, Ishikawa prefecture. Now the company started establishing the world’s first mass production line for printed OLED, aiming to commence production in 2020.
DENSO Corp., headquartered in Kariya, Aichi prefecture, Japan has more than 220 subsidiaries in 35 countries and regions (including Japan) and employs approximately 170,000 people worldwide. Consolidated global sales for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2018, totaled US$48.1 billion. Last fiscal year, DENSO spent 8.8% of its global consolidated sales on research and development. DENSO common stock is traded on the Tokyo and Nagoya stock exchanges.