Samsung Display is working with production partners to prepare pilot production of “QD-OLED” displays for the second half of 2019, according to a report by Korean ETNews.
OLED with quantum dots
In February 2018, rumors started circulating that Samsung had resumed its OLED research and development program, and that the company was focusing on “QD-OLED” – OLED displays with quantum dot filters.
Korean ETNews now reports that Samsung is working with Canon and Kateeva to develop production equipment where OLED displays can be evaporated on Canon machines and QD filters can be applied by using Kateeva’s ink-jet printing method. They are reportedly aiming for 8th generation production equipment, which is similar to LG.Display’s current production line for OLED TVs, allowing them to mass-produce primarily 55 to 65-inch displays.
The report says that Samsung will use blue OLED with quantum dots in the red and green color filters. This method will allow Samsung to steer clear of LG.Display's patents and create OLED TVs with a higher light output and wider color gamut than current TVs on the market. Patents reveal that Apple is also exploring combining OLED with quantum dots.
Pilot production in 2019
ETNews claims that Samsung is planning to start pilot production in the second half of 2019 in order to assess production yields and other factors. It will take additional time to set up full-scale mass production, if the company decides to move ahead.
There is a lot at stake for Samsung who has seen its share in the premium TV segment plummet from more than 50% to less than 10%, according to market data. In the last two quarters, sales of OLED TVs have surpassed those of “QLED” LCD TVs, and OLED is expected to enter the mid-range territory in the coming years.
An industry representative told ETNews that Samsung is currently relying on LCD TVs because it has no alternative, and added that if the QD-OLED project proves unsuccessful, the company’s “future panel business is likely to disappear”. Samsung is also developing displays based on microLED technology.