The Market for Organic and Printed Electronics
Based on the latest research by IDTechEx, reported in the new report Organic & Printed Electronics Forecasts, Players & Opportunities 2007-2027, the market for printed and thin film electronics will be $1.18 billion in 2007. 59.1% of this is spent on organic electronics, predominantly OLED display modules. Of the total market, 31.6% will be printed. IDTechEx forecast the market growing to $5.06 billion by 2011, and $48.18 billion in 2017.
The last year has seen a rapid change in the perception of organic electronics. What is it, why use it and what is it for? Conventionally, we have defined organic electronics as devices with the most active (non-linear) element made entirely of organic material. That means the semiconductor in a printed transistor for example. Reduced cost has been the primary objective and participants have usually sought to replace existing products such as the silicon solar cell. Indeed, most of the recent investment in organic electronics has been dedicated to nothing more imaginative than replacing existing television displays, in this case because of an incremental improvement in performance.
Fortunately, we are now realising that there are a very large number of reasons for using organic and printed materials in what remains the main objective - flexible, low cost products. And they are not just replacements for existing products. Science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. “ We certainly have some magic coming along. In this article we start with the modest and progress to the dramatic, looking at some of the breakthroughs and disappointments along the way.
With Samsung, world leader in OLEDs, investing $450 million in its latest generation of OLED displays, there is certainly a threat to conventional LED and plasma displays, where some manufacturers are already incurring huge losses. These OLED displays are neither printed nor flexible and they are sold on superior performance such as colours and viewing angle.