Signaling the first commercial acceptance surrounding its barrier technology, Vitex Systems Inc., announced it has received its inaugural order -- worth more than $2 million -- from a major Japanese corporation. The flagship order is for one of the company's Guardian deposition systems and its proprietary Barix(TM) thin-film barrier coating solution, both of which will be used by the Japanese company for research and development on next-generation organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays and materials.
"Today marks a significant milestone for Vitex, as we have realized our vision of commercializing our enabling technology," noted Dr. Malcolm Thompson, CEO for Vitex. "We are very pleased to have received this milestone order from one of the world's top corporations in Japan. It is a further affirmation of what we've been witnessing for quite awhile -- mounting industry interest among today's top display leaders in our technology for helping bring to market OLED displays that are thinner and lighter than any other commercially available display," he continued.
According to market research firm iSuppli, the OLED market continues to grow at a rapid compound annual growth rate of 43 percent, and is expected to become a $2.2-billion dollar market by 2008.
One of the most critical challenges in OLED manufacturing has been the sensitivity of the OLED materials to moisture and oxygen, which can quickly deteriorate if unprotected. Vitex's Barix thin-film encapsulation, applied with its Guardian tool, enables the display manufacturer to deposit, in-situ, a planarizing Barix coating directly on top of the OLED material on the glass substrate thereby, eliminating the requirement for a sealed metal can or glass cavity lid with internal desiccant. This provides a much thinner, lighter and more robust display at a reduced manufacturing cost. Vitex's Guardian tool combines an in-line vacuum polymer deposition chamber and a ceramic deposition chamber that can be customized to interface with essentially any manufacturing equipment used to produce OLED displays, such as cluster tools and in-line deposition systems.
Under the terms of the agreement, Vitex will provide its Japanese customer with a total bundled solution, consisting of the Guardian tool, supply of the proprietary Barix resin system used in the process, Barix thin-film process technology and a license to use the patented Vitex technology and equipment. The system is slated for shipment to the customer in September 2005, and will be used for development that is targeted for a broad range of OLED display applications. Additional details surrounding the order were not disclosed.