Samsung targets 2021 for QD-OLED TV range launch

posted on Friday, 11th October 2019 by Steve May

home cinema  Corporate  OLED  High-end 

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Samsung Display's first manufacturing line for long mooted QD-OLED (Quantum Dot-OLED) technology, intended as a challenge to high-end LED LCD and WRGB OLED screens, will open in 2021, it's been reported.

The Q1 line represents the tip of a $10billion investment plan for the display manufacturer, and is expected to have a monthly production capacity of 30,000 screens, measuring 65 inches or larger. It’s expected that Samsung Display will migrate eighth-generation LCD lines at its Asan facility in south Chungcheong province, to QD-OLED production by 2025, increasing montly substrate production to 360,000 pieces.

A QD-OLED screen comprises a blue-light OLED panel, functioning as a backlight, overlaid with a quantum dot filter. The design promises several advantages over LG's WRGB OLED approach, including better yeilds and lower material costs. Lee Dong-hoon, CEO of the display firm, says that QD-OLED represents the company’s new vision for its large-sized display business.

The announcement comes as OLED gains traction at the premium end of the TV market, and competition heats up in LCD as Chinese vendors drive down the cost of large screen LCD.

The company is also expected to pursue Micro-LED as a third high-end display option, even though production costs are currently assumed to be prohibitive.

The wider consumer electronics industry is already gearing up for a shift to 8k for larger screen sizes in 2020. All key TV vendors, including Sony, Panasonic, LG, Sharp and Samsung, are expected to show 8k new models at CES 2020.

According to IHS Markit data, 8k remains a slow burn, not least because of content issues. Only Japan is broadcasting 8k content, driven by the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics.  The market analyst describes the 8k situation as ‘supply-push’ rather than ‘content-pull’.  Streaming services are also constrained by broadband speed, at least until sufficient advances in compression technologies are made.

Samsung recently added a 55-inch model to its Q900R 8k line-up, in an attempt to secure some mainstream market share for the format.

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology journalist, who also writes for T3, TechRadar, Home Cinema Choice and ERT (amongst others).

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