After demonstrating its 6.5-inch flexible AMOLED product at FPD for the first time in 2008, Samsung announced plans to mass produce flexible AMOLED panels between 2012 and 2013. The goal was achieved in 2013 as Samsung presented the world’s first mass produced flexible AMOLED panel. However, Samsung’s commercialized flexible panels are only conformable, rather than truly flexible. Apparently, Samsung still needs to overcome several technology challenges. This report analyzes Samsung’s patents for flexible panel technologies with an observation on the company’s development of flexible AMOLED panel technologies in recent years to unveil its AMOLED development focuses and mass production plans. List of Topics Overview of Samsung's development of smartphones with flexible AMOLED panels, including Galaxy Round, Galaxy Note Edge, and Galaxy S6 Edge Profile of Samsung's patent applications related to flexible AMOLED, touching on total number of applications, major inventors, and classes Analysis of three of Samsung's most important flexible AMOLED patents: US20150048329A1, US20150034935A1, and US20140218321A1 List of Companies Samsun
Table of Contents 1. Commercialization of Samsung's Flexible AMOLED Products4 2. Samsung Flexible AMOLED Patents6 2.1 Sharp Rise in Patent Applications for Flexible Displays Since 20116 2.2 High Level of Distribution of Patent Inventors7 2.3 Growing R&D Workforce for Flexible Displays8 2.4 Patent Applications Covering a Wider Range of Classes8 3. Analysis on Samsung's Top Three Flexible AMOLED Technologies by Patent Class10 3.1 Class 257/040: Organic Semiconductor Material10 3.2 Class 345/156: Display Peripheral Interface Input Device12 3.3 Class 345/173: Touch panel14 Conclusion16 Increasing Curvature and Product Reliability as Key Technology Issues16 Creating Added Value with Deformable Features16 Appendix17 Patent Search Criteria17 Samsung's Definition of Flexible Displays and Deformation17 Glossary of Terms18 List of Companies19
List of Tables Table 1: Claimed Functions of Patent Applications in Class 257/04012 Table 2: Claimed Functions of Patent Applications in Class 345/15614 List of Figures Figure 1: Samsung's Smartphones with Flexible Displays4 Figure 2: Evolution of Radius of Curvature of Samsung's Flexible AMOLED Displays5 Figure 3: Number of Samsung's Patent Applications for Flexible Displays6 Figure 4: Number of Flexible Display Patent Applications Filed by Samsung's Top Ten Inventors7 Figure 5: Number of Flexible Display Patent Applications Filed by Samsung's Top 20 Inventors by Year8 Figure 6: Top 20 Classes of Flexible Display Patent Applications Filed by Samsung by Year9 Figure 7: Top 3 Classes of Samsung's 279 Patent Applications Filed between 2013 and 20149 Figure 8: Crack Suppressing Layer Description in Class 257/040 (Application No. US20150048329A1)10 Figure 9: Dummy Pattern Layer Description in Class 257/040 (Application No. US20150034935A1)11 Figure 10: Screen Unlock Function Description in Class 345/156 (Application No. US20150034935A1)13 Figure 11: Data Entry Method Description in Class 345/173 (Application No. US20140218321A1)15
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