Osram Opto puts OLED focus on lighting applications

Osram Opto Semiconductors will cease production of OLED passive-matrix displays and focus on OLED lighting products.

OSRAM Opto Semiconductors is to cease production of passive-matrix displays based on organic LEDs (OLEDs) at the end of the year. The company says that it will now concentrate its OLED activities on developing market-ready OLED lighting products.

As a result, the OLED display manufacturing line in Penang, Malaysia, will cease production at the end of the year. The 270 employees there will be transferred to other activities within Osram Opto Semiconductors, including the new LED chip production facility in Penang.

Since the end of 2003, Osram Opto Semiconductors has been manufacturing and marketing passive matrix displays based on OLEDs under the brand name of Pictiva(tm). Worldwide demand for the displays, which are used predominantly in communication systems, industrial applications and mobile consumer electronics, has lagged far behind the company's expectations.

Against this background, Osram Opto Semiconductors has decided to withdraw from the display business and concentrate exclusively on the core business of lighting.

Rüdiger Müller, CEO at Osram Opto Semiconductors, commented: "We have decided for strategic reasons to withdraw from the passive matrix display business and close our production line in Penang. Obviously we shall honor our obligations toward our customers and employees and look for constructive solutions in close cooperation with these groups."

Müller added that Osram Opto's attention in the OLED sector will now be focused exclusively on the core busines of lighting using organic LEDs, for example for area lighting.

Osram says that, as a leading OLED developer, it expects to launch the first market-ready products in the next few years. A team of 50 people is currently working in the research center in Regensburg on the development of products and production methods for OLED lighting. "The experience we have gained in the display sector will speed up the process considerably", said Müller.

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