Denso invests $270 million in OLED display developer

August 23, 2018 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
The Japanese automotive supplier Denso Corporation has invested 30 billion yen ($270 million) in JOLED Inc., a developer of printed organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays. With the investment, the companies can accelerates JOLED’s development and mass production of in-vehicle OLED displays, for human-machine interfaces (HMIs) in car cockpits.

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 Denso executive director Hirotsugu Takeuchi. 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 are believed to 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.

Tokyo-based JOLED was the first company in the world to commercialize printed OLED displays. The company 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. JOLED’s proprietary OLED printing method is said to be 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.

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