Persistent rumors have been circulating over South Korea’s player display panel manufacturer pursuing a new investment in large quantum dot organic light-emitting diode panels. Samsung Display, however, has refused to confirm the speculation, seemingly cautious over potentially overstepping the business strategy of Samsung Electronics.
The rumors spread from the financial market to the display industry on there being some concrete signs that Samsung Display could turn its eighth-generation liquid crystal display panel line in South Chungcheong Province into a QD OLED line for TVs in the second quarter this year with a timetable to start commercialization around 2021.
Some news reports have said the company is holding a deliberation committee on the new investment in April, and will start installing equipment for QD OLED panels within the year.
“Regarding the new investment plan, nothing has been decided or can be confirmed at the moment,” said a company public relations official.
“As our CEO has mentioned, the company is open to various technologies as next-generation display form factors, but it hasn’t select one single technology.”
Compared to LG Display’s white OLED, or WOLED technology, which puts yellow, blue and red light-emitting materials on the substrate to make white, Samsung’s QD OLED technology in the works is said to use only blue as an emitter.
Rather than using the three-color filter in WOLED, QD OLED technology is considered to have a better cost structure and production yields by industry experts.
For Samsung Display, which had given up on OLED in 2012 due to low yields, the new panel technology has been deemed an opportunity to secure an advantage in terms of profitability amid intensifying price competition in the LCD market and large OLED market.
However, the display subsidiary that belongs to the semiconductors division of Samsung Electronics is apparently cautious in outrunning its parent company in commenting on new technology, as it is closely intertwined with the visual display business of the tech giant.
Since Samsung’s VD business strategy sticks to the current LCD-based QLED and micro LED display technologies, it is difficult for us to say we are doing QD OLED ahead of them,” said a company insider who hinted that the new technology is internally underway.
As Samsung Electronics is expected to maintain the 8K QLED series as its flagship premium TV lineup and push for micro LED displays as a higher-end technology for this year, QD OLED could be a longer-term target both for the electronics and display businesses, the source added.