Massive G8.5 display lines are being planned across Asia, with manufacturing leaders setting aggressive production targets and timelines to meet market windows. It is not a simple transition. There will be technical challenges to resolve as G8.5 mass-production equipment goes online. And with fab costs growing ever higher, there is no margin for error.
Kateeva is at the vanguard of the migration to G8.5. We led the industry when we pioneered the first ½G6 inkjet solution to mass produce TFE OLED for mobile products. Known as the YIELDjet® Lassen system, it shattered technical barriers that had delayed the transition to OLED technology, and made mass producing the displays affordable for the first time. With its precision deposition capabilities, industry-leading yield, and high throughput, it displaced conventional vacuum technologies for OLED TFE.
Kateeva YIELDjet® inkjet printer
Our YIELDjet Jarvis system propels Kateeva into the G8.5 era. Jarvis is designed to enable pixel printing for advanced 8K TV displays. Leveraging the production-proven Lassen platform but with a larger print head assembly, Jarvis is configured to handle area printing, as well as pixel printing. Additionally, Jarvis has the ability to print using solvent-based RGB inks or nanoparticle inks with its proprietary ink recirculation system to ensure uniform particle distribution. In-situ system self-calibration allows perfect placement of billions of droplets into pixels even as print heads age or slight size variations occur on incoming displays. Our printers anticipate changes, and thanks to measurement techniques and compensation algorithms they are optimized to consistently achieve micron-level drop placement accuracy over time, resulting in fewer defects.
When designing the Jarvis tool our critical focus was to preserve the productivity advantages that differentiate our ½G6 tools. We challenged the theoretical assumption that process time for a G8.5 print (with 4X footprint) would greatly exceed that of a ½G6 print. However, thanks to myriad innovations and inkjet’s digital scanning capabilities, the Jarvis tool can operate with similar process times for similar applications regardless of substrate size.
We applied the same principles to cost. A 4X increase in substrate size should not drive a corresponding rise in the cost of the process tool. That is why we relentlessly implemented efficiencies across the board, from system design innovations to print software, and throughout our supply chain to offer a G8.5 solution with industry-leading Total Cost-of-Ownership (TCO) advantages and production-proven operational reliability.
To support our leading TCO promise, we shifted our local supply chains to help customers meet tight market windows. Our strategy to collaborate with carefully selected local partners and providers helps us meet aggressive shipment and installation timelines, even as the size and complexity of our inkjet systems increase for the G8.5 era.
Of course the North Star that perpetually guides product development at Kateeva is superb print accuracy. The stakes are higher in the G8.5 regime and there are additional technical imperatives for the printer. For example, new TFE and other area printing applications require “smart” tools, i.e. tools that can process a wider-than-ever range of target film thicknesses, and even multiple film thicknesses within the same layer. And the tool must consistently deliver mura-free results.
These are the kinds of G8.5 challenges that excite our print technology experts in Silicon Valley and Asia. Finding solutions to optimize inkjet for G8.5 mass production drives us to innovate more. For instance, to address customers’ film thickness requirements, we pioneered a technique that we call Multi-Thickness Area Printing (MTAP) and Multi-Segmented Edge Compensation (MSEC) capabilities. The technique is now deployed in production.
Superb print accuracy, as well as high yield, throughput, and excellent material utilization made Kateeva’s inkjet a winning manufacturing solution for advanced displays. These attributes are helping our inkjet scale effortlessly to enable G8.5 mass production, while addressing rigorous TCO priorities.