Choose TFT vs OLED for new designs

OLED lead-time Concerns ~ Use TFTs for new designs

Engineers should choose TFT vs OLED for new designs…and here’s why. OLED (organic light-emitting diode) technology continues to increase in popularity, but its growth has really exploded in the last few months due to such large-scale mass production of consumer products such as: e-cigarettes (personal vaporizers), smart-watches, cell phones and other wearables.

OLED designs

Apple alone is producing 2 million to 3 million OLED equipped watches a month.

Engineers choose OLEDs for new designs due to many advantages including:

  • Thinnest profile of all color LCD technology displays
  • Ability to operate to -40C without a heater
  • Low power consumption (great for battery driven products)
  • Sharp, vibrant colors.

But these advantages have worked against OLEDs in new products as more and more new designs have incorporated OLEDs, increasing demand, while the supply side of this technology has failed to keep pace.

“There are only a handful of factories here in Shenzhen that produce OLED screens,” says Alex Liu, President of EC Supply Inc., a leading distributor of vape and electronic cigarette products. “These factories are extremely understaffed for the tens of millions of OLED screens that are in demand, yet everyone wants to jump on board the wearable technology craze. These factories simply lack the work force and raw materials to keep up with production of wearables, let alone fulfill relatively small orders for the vape industry in time for the holiday season.”

Adding to the OLED supply nightmare is the labor shortage in China coupled with many OEM customers increasing their order quantities in a race to beat the Chinese New year shut down.

The OLED pipeline is full and backing up

Negative consequences of a lagging supply of OLEDs include:

  • Lead-times growing from eight weeks to sixteen plus weeks (and growing)
  • MOQs (Minimum Order Quantities) have increased to 2K units per build and this looks to increase soon
  • Display cost are bound to increase as demand continues to outstrip supply
  • OLED manufacturers may discontinue less popular sizes

There is nothing more frustrating than designing in a new display, only to find out it has been discontinued just as you are ready to place an order.

“I strongly recommend customers purchase any MODs with OLED screens through a trusted source that can guarantee inventory.” – Alex Liu, President of EC Supply Inc.

For this reason we are ‘recommending’ that engineers avoid OLEDs on any new designs at this time and instead select TFTs (Thin Film Transistor).

Why Choose TFTs?

TFT technology has been in production for several years and is here to stay. There are several TFT glass suppliers to support current demand and they have a great deal of capacity for increased demand.

Advantages of TFT vs OLED for new product designs

  • Less chance of your TFT being discontinued
    • TFTs are available in industry sizes (1.7, 2.4, 3.5, 4.3, etc.) that have been in production for many years and should continue for many more.
    • Standard OLED sizes are discontinued as their demand decreases.
  • In Stock and short lead time
    • Focus Displays carries TFT Displays as a standard stock item and can be shipped the same day from our online store as well as from distributor: Allied Electronics
  • No MOQs
    • There are no MOQs for TFTs. We can supply one or two prototype samples the same day you contact Focus Displays.
  • Stable cost
    • TFT technology has matured and is not subject to the roller coaster price changes that may occur on OLEDs as the supply and demand curve grows apart.

New LCD project in the works? Call stg-focuslcds-staging.kinsta.cloud first

  • When deciding which color LCD technology to use for a new project; choose TFT vs OLED.
  • Do you have a new design that requires a LCD display?
  • Focus Display solutions is a US base supplier of custom and standard off-the-shelf displays. Call today to talk to a human at 480-503-4295.