Samsung Display has today announced that it is pouring over 13 trillion won (approx. $11 billion) into "next-generation" QD-OLED displays. Production will start in 2021.
QD-OLED TVs from 2021
Samsung will invest $11 billion dollars to transition from ageing LCD technology to next-generation display technology over the next five to six years. The announcement comes after years of rumors.
- "We will invest over 13 trillion won only for next-generation displays," said Lee Jae-yong, Vice Chairman of Samsung.
Samsung Display said that it expects to start mass production of QD-OLED displays in 2021. It is planning to gradually convert existing LCD production lines in Asan, South Korea, into production lines for QD-type displays. In 2021, its first line (dubbed Q1) will have a monthly production capacity of 30,000 substrates that can be cut into smaller QD-OLED panels for TVs. It hopes to complete the conversion of all its local LCD factories by 2025. Samsung will focus on making QD-OLED displays of 65 inches and larger.
QD-OLED is different from LG Display's 'white OLED', which is currently used in all OLED TVs on the market. Although not detailed by Samsung, it appears that the company will use blue OLED combined with color filters and quantum dots to convert the blue OLED's light into red and green light for the red and green sub-pixels. This will provide advantages such as more saturated colors for a wider color gamut, while still delivering deep blacks and the other OLED virtues.
However, Samsung is facing several challenges in mass producing QD-OLED and LG Display has a head start with its 'white OLED' technology that is quickly becoming more affordable. LG Display is also conducting research into QD OLeD. At the same time, Chinese rivals are quickly taking over the market for LCD production, pressuring Samsung to act sooner rather than later.
Samsung tried to establish production of OLED TVs back in 2012 and 2013 but ultimately had to abandon the project, leading the company to initiate plan B. For the last few years, Samsung has been selling LCD TVs as "QLED TVs".
Korean government investment
The president of South Korea, Moon Jae-in, attended the launch event and applauded both Samsung and LG for investing heavily in OLED production, which will help South Korea maintain its top spot in the industry, he said.
The government also committed to investing 400 billion won into next-generation displays over the next seven years.
- "It is important to maintain the top spot of the global display market with game-changing technologies," president Moon said. "Following LG Display’s 3 trillion-won investment in large OLED panel production in July, Samsung Display’s latest investment plan brightens prospects further."
Samsung Display is the one making the $11 billion investment. Samsung Electronics, the TV maker, has yet to comments on its plans for QD-OLED TVs.
- Source: Samsung, Korea Herald