Samsung Display, Samsung’s display panel manufacturing arm, had decided to switch from LCD to QD-OLED technology for TVs in 2019. The company said that it would invest around $11 billion by 2025 to manufacture large-sized OLED panels. It appears that Samsung Display is on track to release its QD-OLED panels in the second half of this year.
The company plans to release pilot products based on its new QD-OLED panels and send them to TV brands for analysis. Samsung Display had aimed to launch its QD-OLED panels for monitors and TVs in Q3 2021, and the company appears to be on track for the release timeline. The QD-OLED display panels are based on OLED technology, but there is a Quantum Dot (QD) layer to improve colors.
Samsung Display is making its QD-OLED display panels at its Q1 plant in Asan, South Korea, which went through various phases of trial runs over the past few months. It will start rolling out 30,000 sheets of Gen. 8.5 glass per month to manufacture QD-OLED panels. These panels will be available from 55-inch to 82-inch sizes in 4K and 8K resolution. These panels will compete with LG’s OLED panels and could be used by brands like TCL, Panasonic, Sony, and others.
System LSI, which designs semiconductor chips and camera sensors, has begun developing the three-timing controller (T-Con) chip for Samsung Display. This chip receives data from the processor and passes it to the display driver IC.
Can we expect QD-OLED TVs from Samsung?
The South Korean firm used to supply LCD panels to Samsung Visual Display (which uses those panels to make TVs and monitors). However, with Chinese display manufacturing companies competing fiercely in the LCD market and Samsung Display’s profits falling, the company decided to switch to premium OLED displays and the production of LCD panels entirely. It even sold one of its LCD plants to China’s CSOT (China Star Optoelectronics Technology).
Samsung Visual Display, however, didn’t want to sell OLED TVs as it would go against years of its marketing strategy against LG and its OLED TVs. So, Samsung Visual Display decided to switch to Mini-LED and MicroLED TVs instead and denied buying QD-OLED panels from Samsung Display. Instead, it will purchase OLED panels from Samsung Display’s rival LG Display.
Samsung Display, the world’s biggest display panel seller for years, recently lost its first position to China’s BOE. Its revenue dropped 29% quarter-on-quarter to $6.2 billion, while BOE’s revenue rose 50% to $7.7 billion. The global flat panel display market grew to $34..8 billion in Q1 2021, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and increased demand for TVs for entertainment and monitors for work-from-home and gaming.