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.
Nikon Corp. has released a new FX-format telephoto zoom lens, AF-P Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E ED VR for full-frame D-SLR cameras. The lens employs a stepping motor to the AF drive to realise high speed and quiet shutter release, also important to videography. The lens is equipped with optical vibration reduction (VR) function giving about 4.5-step advantage. It is also equipped with a SPORT mode to photograph fast-moving subjects. The lens consists of 18 elements in 14 groups, including one ED (Extra-low Dispersion) element to correct chromatic aberrations. The closest shooting distance is 1.2m for the entire zoom. The lens is also designed as ‘antidust and antisplash’. The maximum diameter is 80.5mm, length 146m and weighs about 680g. Suggested list price: 94,000 yen.
Sony Corp. will boost production of CMOS image sensors from current monthly production capacity of 88,000 wafers in 300mm including those produced by the third party consigned partners to 100,000 wafers per month by March 2018. Demand for the image sensors are mounting for smartphone cameras, digital cameras and on vehicle cameras. As smartphones popular in China are getting feature-driven especially camera features to take better photos that most users post their photos on their SNS sites such as Instagram and Facebook. In China, dual camera models are getting popular with a high-quality front camera as well as the main cameras to take better selfie pictures. In order to take better selfies, the quality of the front camera is getting important. Image sensors are being used now to detect color wavelength or depth information that the human eyes cannot recognize, to be mounted on cars and for IoT devices. Sony will absorb such demand for industrial use to sell 680 billion worth sensors for fiscal 2017 ending March 2018 and its semiconductor business including LSI chips to sell 880 billion yen with profit in operation to 120 billion yen from 7.8 billion loss in the previous year.