Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED)

OLED Features

OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) is a next-generation display that is thin, lightweight, low power consumption, and has excellent contrast and responsiveness.
The following is a detailed explanation of the general features of OLEDs and their advantages and disadvantages when compared to other displays.

General Features of OLED

A thin and light display that is easy to use for all people

Current mainstream liquid crystal displays (LCDs) require an LED backlight on the back to serve as the light source.
However, OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) is a self-emitting display that does not require a liquid crystal layer or LED backlight.
OLEDs are less than half the thickness and about half the weight of ordinary LCDs.
As such, OLEDs are thinner and lighter than LCDs, making them suitable for use in products that are carried around or used for long periods of time, as well as products that are used by children.

Table. Thickness and Weight Comparison of LCD and OLED

  Thickness Weight
A typical LCD monitor 5~15mm About 37g
Futaba's OLED 0.15~2.5mm About 19g

In the case of 3.5inch monochrome displays

Low power consumption reduces environmental burden

A liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) displays images and video by turning on all the LED backlighting when it is on, and blocking or passing the light through the liquid crystal molecules.
On the other hand, OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) is composed of self-luminous elements and displays images by emitting light from only the necessary pixels.
For this reason, OLED consumes less power than TFT-LCD for images and videos that require only a small number of white pixels (low lighting rate), such as text display.
The graph below compares the power consumption of TFT-LCD and OLED.
The graph below shows a comparison of power consumption between TFT-LCD and OLED, showing that OLED consumes less power when the lighting rate is 40% or less.
As you can see, the use of OLEDs not only prolongs the battery life of the product, but also contributes to energy conservation and the SDGs.

High contrast and easy to see clearly

When a liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) is used to display an image or video that contains black color, the liquid crystal layer cannot block 100% of the light from the backlight, and the black area also emits a small amount of light. (Left image)
On the other hand, OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) does not emit light in the black areas of the pixels, so it is able to express a darker black color than TFT-LCD, resulting in a clear and easy-to-see display with a high contrast ratio. (Right)
Self-luminous displays are suitable for products that are used at night or in dark places, such as home theaters and car interiors.

Wide viewing angle for a beautiful view from any angle

In a liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD), the LED backlight, which serves as the light source, is located behind the liquid crystal layer, so when viewed from an angle, the light is blocked, resulting in a decrease in brightness and contrast ratio and changes in chromaticity.
However, OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) has a wide viewing angle due to its self-generated light and thin structure, so text and images can be seen clearly from any angle.
OLEDs are more suitable than TFT-LCDs for places where the display is viewed from an angle, such as sitting in the driver's seat of a car and looking at the air conditioner or audio system in the center cluster.

100 times faster response time, resistant to low temperature environments

The response time of OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) is about 1/100th that of liquid crystal displays (TFT-LCD), and is ultra-fast at less than 0.05m seconds.
TFT-LCDs change color and brightness by changing the orientation of liquid crystal molecules through the application of voltage, while OLEDs change brightness instantly when the current is changed, resulting in a faster response time than TFT-LCDs.

In addition, because liquid crystals have liquid properties, their rotational viscosity increases in a low-temperature environment below 0℃, resulting in worsened responsiveness and abnormal behavior.
OLEDs can be used in harsh environments without any change in responsiveness even at temperatures as low as -40℃.

Comparison with other displays

In addition to OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) and TFT-LCD (Liquid Crystal Display), there are many other types of displays, each with different advantages and disadvantages.
In this section, we will explain the features of OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) and compare it with LCD (TFT-LCD), micro LED (mLED), and e-Paper (electronic paper).

    OLED display
(PM-OLED)
Liquid Crystal Display
(TFT-LCD)
Micro LED
(mLED)
Electronic Paper
(e-Paper)
Beauty of
the display
Resolution
~250ppi

~300ppi

~250ppi

~300ppi
Luminance
~300cd/m2

200~500cd/m2

Better than OLED, LCD
×
Non-luminescent
Contrast
Self-emission

Backlight

Self-emission

Reflects light from outside
Viewing Angle
~160°

~120°

~160°

~180°
Response Time
Tens to 100 µs

A few ms to 10 or more ms

Equivalent to OLED
×
100 m sec. or more
Reliability Lifetime
About 10,000hr

About 20,000hr

About 20,000hr

20,000hr or more
Operating Temperature
Response time degraded in low temperature

Response time degraded in low temperature
Power
saving
Power Consumption ×
Space saving Miniaturization Thickness
About 0.15~2.5mm
×
About 5~15mm

0.7mm

About 0.3~0.7mm
Mass Production Mass
Productivity
×
Cost ×

* Assuming 2inch, color product, 30% lighting rate

Beauty of the display

As for the resolution, there is no significant difference between the two types of displays, which are capable of high resolution of 250~300ppi.
The brightness of OLED and TFT-LCD is almost the same, 200~300cd/m2, and mLED is said to be capable of even higher brightness.
OLEDs and mLEDs are self-luminous displays, which means they have a higher contrast ratio than TFT-LCDs, which block the light from the backlight to produce a darker black color.
In addition, TFT-LCDs have a narrow viewing angle, so when viewed from the left, right, up, down, or diagonally, the brightness decreases and the chromaticity changes. 
However, OLEDs and mLEDs, which are self-emitting displays, have a wide viewing angle of 160° or more, so the display looks beautiful from any angle.
The response time of OLEDs and mLEDs is extremely fast, less than 1/100th that of TFT-LCDs, so there are no afterimages even when the image changes quickly.
Based on the above results, OLED is a very good display in terms of beauty and appearance.

Lifetime

OLEDs (Organic Light Emitting Diodes) and LCDs (Liquid Crystal Displays) lose their luminous efficiency and gradually lose their brightness after prolonged use.
In general, OLEDs are said to have a short lifetime, but as shown in the figure below, the actual lifetime (half-life of luminance) is more than 10,000 hours, and assuming 2-3 hours of use per day, it can be said to have a lifetime of more than 10 years.
OLEDs can be used in many products without any problems, except for some products that will continue to operate for longer than 10 years without maintenance or parts replacement.

Space saving and Miniaturization

A typical TFT-LCD has a thickness of about 5~15mm, while mLED and E-Paper have a thickness of about 0.7mm.
The thickness of OLEDs is about 0.15~2.5mm, which is much thinner than other displays, enabling products to be smaller and space-saving.
OLEDs are also light in weight, making them suitable for products that need to be smaller, thinner, and lighter, and for products that are worn or carried around.

Mass Production

TFT-LCD, OLED, and E-Paper are being mass-produced by many companies and are easy to procure at low cost.
On the other hand, mLED has the following issues

  • Flip chip bonding is required instead of general wire bonding.
  • The process for mounting a large number of LEDs with high accuracy and speed has not yet been established.

Due to these issues, the cost is high and mass production is difficult.

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