Samsung wants to expand its production capacities for large OLED panels. As reported, the Korean leader wanted to say goodbye to its own LCD production at the end of 2020. Instead, Samsung wanted to concentrate on the production of displays with quantum dots, it was said at the time. Although the plans were postponed due to the corona pandemic, the display division of the South Korean company is basically sticking to the fact that it no longer produces its own LC displays.
Contrary to what was initially expected, after the outbreak of the pandemic, televisions sold like sliced bread in this country: people were forced to make themselves comfortable at home and because vacation trips were canceled, many had more scope for other expenses – for example for durable products such as televisions. Samsung’s marketing manager Leif Erik Lindner reports in a c’t interview about an outstanding 2020 financial year for the consumer sector.
OLEDs statt LCDs
Now the South Korean manufacturer wants to finally convert its LCD factory in South Korea into a production facility for OLEDs. Like the industry service Digitimes reported, the existing equipment was replaced by equipment for a Generation 6 OLED production line with 1.50 × 1.85 meter mother glasses. On the new line of the L8-1 factory, up to 30,000 glass substrates will roll off the assembly line every month. Two 55-inch and one 65-inch models can be cut from this – a total of around one million OLED panels could roll off the production line per year.
In the previous LCD, now OLED factory, another Gen 6 line is to be installed in the future, or a new generation 8.5 with 2.20 × 2.50 meter substrates. This would be more profitable, especially for TV panels with diagonals over 65 inches, because less unusable, but expensive, remaining area would result when the finished panels are cut from the substrates.
Quantum dots instead of color filters
Unlike LG, Samsung wants to combine the organic luminescent layer with quantum dots (QDs, quantum dots): These should be stimulated in the subpixels by a blue-glowing organic layer and thus emit green or red light (blue is generated without QDs). LG uses a “white” glowing layer in its OLED TVs, which consists of several organic layers that glow in red, blue and green and whose light falls through RGB color filters like LCDs. In the Samsung QD OLED, the quantum dots virtually replaced the color filters. Which problems could arise, c’t has in the article “What’s next with OLED technology? “Outlined.
LCD TVs with panels from China
Samsung wants to sell the old production lines for LCDs to the Chinese competition, namely to the largest Chinese panel producer BOE and to China Star Optoelectronics Technology (CSOT).
Samsung Electronics will continue to sell LCD televisions, but will then buy the panels from other panel manufacturers; for example from BOE. Thanks to the use of mini-LEDs in the finely dimmable backlight, LCD televisions were able to catch up with OLED TVs: Although they do not achieve the rich black of OLEDs, they can achieve very high luminance levels thanks to LED backlighting and with a large number of backlight segments also good black levels. This has also been shown in the current smart TV test in c’t 25/2021, where the Samsung TV GQ55QN85A could definitely compete with the inexpensive OLED TV 55A19LA from LG.