Metal Oxide TFT Backplanes for Displays 2013-2018: Analysis, Trends, Markets by janejack


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Metal Oxide TFT Backplanes for Displays Market
Analysis and Trends, 2013-2018
Several major trends have been driving technological innovation in the display industry since
its early days. These trends include image quality, screen size, portability and form factor.
While these trends still remain strong undercurrents, new drivers are being introduced that
will play a more prominent role in shaping the industry.

These new drivers will open up new frontiers, both on the technology and the market side.
Indeed, they enable displays to both expand their existing markets and to diversify into new
spaces. These major drivers that are set to change the display landscape include product
differentiation, flexibility, 3D, transparency, system-on-panel, power savings,
interconnectivity and screen size, and new front plane technologies and more.

Major trends in the industry are changing the backplane functional requirements

Critically, these new trends can only be sustained so long as the underlying technology can
deliver the required performance demands. This is critical because the new functional needs
will stretch many existing solutions beyond their performance limits, suggesting that
alternative solutions will be required. One vital piece of technology that largely sets the
limits of display industry is the backplane technology. The backplane is responsible for
turning the individual pixels ON and OFF. It is composed of thin film transistors, which act as
the switches.

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Report Details:

Published: November 2012
No. of Pages: 187

Price: Single User License: US$4250

How major trends have driven technology innovation in the display industry at different

The over-arching trends in the industry are also changing the backplane requirements on
several fronts. Product differentiation is resulting in multiplicity of lighting/display
technologies, with each demanding a different power output and refresh rate from the
backplane. Flexibility is opening up room for a new value chain consisting of new material
systems. This is because many existing solutions are failing the flexibility tests, but what is
the realistic market opportunity for flexible displays and when?

3D and ultra-high resolution displays mandate higher refresh rates, stretching the switching
speed requirements past the capability limits of today's dominant technologies, such as
amorphous silicon (aSi) TFTs. System-on-panel thinking is requiring ever more processing
power to be integrated onto the panel, and therefore the backplane. Reducing power
consumption requires improvements in the entire lifecycle of the display, from reducing the
thermal budget during the processing all the way to the more efficient energy use during
operation. This will affect how thin film transistors are designed, made and operated.

There is no one size-fits-all-solution

Interestingly, there are already many different backplane technologies that are mature and
available, or are fast emerging. These include amorphous silicon, nanocrystalline silicon,
low-temperature poly-silicon, solution-processed or evaporated organic semiconductor and
various metal oxide thin film transistor technologies. Add to this multiplicity of solutions a
range of emerging nano-systems (e.g., various nanowires, graphene, carbon nanotubes) and
you will find a decision-making nightmare.

This is because each thin film transistor technology offers a different set of characteristics,
suitable for different needs. And yet none offers a one-size-fits-all-solution for all needs.
This suggests that, at least initially, many different technologies will co-exist, each rising to
satisfy a fragment of the emerging spectrum of needs and thus each occupying a different
niche. In addition, some of these options are further advanced than others while others
hold great promise. Yet bringing it to market will take time and there are unforeseen
technical issues to contend with.

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This report makes sense of this changing, fragmented space

This report analyzes major drivers that are shaping the display industry. The major trends
examined in detail include product differentiation, size and scaling, power savings,
prolonged lifetime, 3D, mechanical flexibility, rimless designs, etc.

The report will then assess how these trends create new functional needs on the technology
side. It provides an in-depth review of existing and emerging thin film transistor solutions
and critically assesses the pros and cons of each. The technologies covered include various
forms of silicon thin film transistors (amorphous, nanostructure and polycrystalline), organic
semiconductors, various nanostructured semiconductors and metal oxides.

In terms of metal oxides, it assesses the different material systems available (IGZO, HIZO,
IZO, ZNO, TZO, ZnO, etc) and critically assesses the merits of each. In doing so, it outlines
and discusses the leading research frontiers in metal oxides science and engineering,
including stability and persistent photoconductivity, processing window, p-doping, etc. The
report also discusses various requirements of dielectrics for emerging displays and explores
the material options for use as dielectrics on wide-bandgap metal-oxide semiconductors.

The report links material properties of all thin film transistor technologies to device figures-
of-merit, including mobility, sub-threshold voltage, threshold voltage, stability, contact
resistance, etc. These figures-of-merit are then connected to attributes of backplanes and
thereby to the emerging functional needs of the display industry as a whole.

Linking the mega trends with micro level technological details, we are able to map out how
the fragmented display backplane technology will look going forward.

In our assessment, we also provide a detailed outline of activities in the OLED display
segment, including

      An analysis of announced production capacity
      Number of units sold by manufacturer
      Which backplane technologies are used by which manufacturers
      A timeline of venture/partnerships activities taking place across the world in the
       OLED space.
      Product development cycle for oxide semiconductors

Who should buy this report?

      Major display manufacturers: This report helps major display manufacturers
       understand how the drivers and the functional needs of the industry are changing.
       This report will also help them see which technologies will win in which market
       segments, and why. It will enable them to ensure that they do not lose out when the
       landscape alters and when parts (or all) of their existing value chain become
      Thin film transistor technology licensors and researchers: It will help them identify
       how the changing display industry will benefit from which thin film transistor
       technology; helps them pinpoint key research frontiers and questions and therefore
       design their research programmes; helps them identify target markets and players
       for licensing their IP assets; helps them know their competitors, etc
      Material suppliers to all thin film transistor technologies: It will help them
       understand which thin film transistors (and their associated material system) will win
       in which markets and why. It will help them devise their strategies by backing the
       right technologies in the right time frames and for the right markets.
      Equipment suppliers: It will help them understand which new technologies will be
       required and why. As a result, it will help them see which new equipment systems
       will be required and why. It helps them therefore plan ahead and form the right
       partnerships or relationships.
      Circuit designers: It will help them see how oxide thin film transistors require new
       compensation techniques, why and for which market segments (this determines the
       required performance specification). This effectively highlights a new area of circuit
       design for companies.

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