Nikon Corp. will be boosting the production of its of display panels for smartphones and televisions in its factories in Japan. The company has decided to thrust the production as its competition in China and other Asian countries are aggressively investing in the development of high resolution LCD panels and OLED panels. The company has established additional production facilities in the premise of its existing . factories located in Tochigi and Miyagi Prefectures. Nikon has already increased the production capacity for its small-size panels (for smartphone) by 1.5x over those of 2015 and the production is being carried out at full swing. For large panels (for televisions), Nikon will increase the production 2x by 2018. Nikon currently enjoys about 65 percent of the world's share in panel manufacturing equipment. Nikon utilises the 10th generation size plates for manufacturing the large-format panels. Panel producers, Chinese companies in particular, are planning to build large-panel production factories, for which they are aggressively approaching the government to grant them subsidiaries.
Sumitomo Chemical Co. has developed a new technology which can reduce production costs of large-format OLED panels to a great extent. The company has developed a new chemical pigment material for manufacturing OLED panels that targets to cut the production cost to half of the current deposition method. The company plans to enter quantity production by 2019 and sell to panel manufacturers in and outside Japan, expecting reduction of prices for OLED TVs to expand the market. The current deposition method requires expensive equipment and lots of the chemical pigment materials are wasted. The light-emitting elements of red, green and blue are supplied by Idemitsu Kosan Co. of Japan, Merck from Germany, and so on. The new printing method can reduce production costs because it requires less manufacturing processes than the deposition method but has a drawback of difficulty of coating light-emitting pigment evenly on the panel plate, which becomes more difficult when the panel sizes get larger. The new pigment that Sumitomo Chemical has developed is expected to reduce colouring of the light-emitting pigments on to the panel. Sumitomo Chemical said it has developed new manufacturing equipment for the printing method. To develop the new pigments, the company has cooperated with foreign panel makers and JOLED, which was established by integrating the OLED business division of Sony and Panasonic in 2015. JOLED plans to develop 21.6-inch display for medical use by using the new OELD panel produced in the printing method and market this autumn.
Japanese MNC SHARP, recently launched a new smartphone AQUOS S2, which is currently available in the Chinese markets. It features a 5.5-inch, 100% bezel less display. SHARP AQUOS S2 with three bezels is currently the largest full screen smartphone. The company announced that it will continuously explore the field of 100% bezel less screen phone. SHARP aims at achieving technology breakthroughs in screen and anti-dropping technologies. The dimensions of AQUOS S2 are: 141.8 x 72 x 7.9 mm and it weighs 140 g (approximately). The smartphone is backed by a 3020mAh battery. It offers two variants - 4GB and 6GB RAM, providing internal memory of 64GB and 128GB respectively. The new AQUOS S2 is available in White, Black, Blue and Green colour variants. Sharing his thoughts at the launch, CEO of SHARP/InFocus Mobile- Dr. Luo Zhongsheng said, “The core of full screen design is to break through the technology limit, achieve the double sense of holding and visual comfort, and provide the ultimate experience for users.”