LG.Display has decided to invest several billions of dollars to install the world’s most advanced OLED production line. The 10.5-generation line will enable production of even larger OLED TVs. LG is also setting up an OLED TV production line in China for the first time.
World’s most advanced
Samsung is reportedly building the world’s largest OLED plant to supply Apple with display panels for upcoming iPhones but LG.Display’s upcoming plant will be the world’s most advanced.
The 10.5-generation production line will handle significantly larger mother substrates from which smaller panels can be cut. This will enable LG to produce 80-100” and possibly even larger OLED TVs, depending on how the company decides to allocate capacity.
- “The size of mother glass produced in 10.5th generation production lines is 1.8 times larger than that in 8th generation production lines, and the industrial standardization of extra-large size displays has not yet been set. Therefore, LG Display is moving prudently on its new OLED production line,” the company said.
LG.Display is currently producing OLED TVs at an 8-generation line, which allows them to produce up to 77” TVs. The company did not confirm timing but previous reports have indicated that the 10.5-generation line will be ready sometime in 2018.
This was decided at a board meeting on July 25, 2017, the company announced. LG.Display will make an up-front investment of KRW2.8 trillion ($2.5 billion USD) in the 10.5-gen production line that will be located in the upcoming P10 factory in Paju, South Korea. Further investments are required, the company added.
Furthermore, LG.Display will invest in a new 6-gen production line for flexible OLED panels. This will almost double production capacity and enable LG.Display to produce 120 million 6” smartphone displays per year. Apple is rumored to be involved but the companies have not commented publicly on the matter.
First Korean OLED plant in China
Besides setting up new production lines in its home country of South Korea, LG.Display will for the first time – and first time for any Korean company – establish OLED production in China.
The 8.5-generation production line intended for production of large-size OLED TV panels will be located in Guangzhou, China. It will be a joint-venture with an undisclosed Chinese company. LG.Display will hold a 70% share and invest a total of KRW2.6 trillion ($2.3 billion USD). The move was motivated by the desire to be closer to the Chinese TV market, which is the world’s largest.
These new investments are on top of previously announced investments, meaning that LG.Display will invest a total of KRW 15 trillion (13.4 billion USD) into OLED production capacity through 2020. The company has previously said that it will earmark the majority of its investment pool for the organic light emitting diode technology and decrease further investments in LCD. It added that “Wallpaper OLED and Crystal Sound OLED (CSO) are earning popularity in global markets” with the latter being employed only in Sony’s A1 OLED to date.
- “We’re clearly seeing the possibilities the OLED business offers, not only in the global TV segment, but also in the smartphone and automotive markets,” said Dr. Sang-Beom Han, CEO and Vice Chairman of LG Display. “We plan to actively respond to customers’ demands by expanding OLED capacity in a timely manner and developing diversified flexible displays that are fit for various applications.”