Samsung Electronics to Take a Hard Look at QD/OLED Hybrid MP Decision
February 18, 2019
Reports from Korea indicate that Samsung Display Co. will hold an investment review committee in April to decide on whether to invest in their QD-OLED initiative, and could decide to install equipment by the end of this year to start mass production by the end of 2020 or early 2021.QD-OLED uses blue as a light source puts red and green QD filters over the OLEDs to get R, G, B. Until recently, Samsung has repeatedly announced that it will have two strategies regarding its TV business; LCDs with QD film backlight enhancers and micro LEDS. However, Samsung is falling behind the competition with LG and needs to have a TV product for the high end of the consumer market, which is demanding the highest performance level, meaning extremely high contrast. The QD film has not been able to bring LCDs up to the OLED level. Samsung Visual has started down the road of module micro LEDs, but this technology is currently targeted at commercial applications.
The hybrid approach was expected to use two blue layers deposited by VTE and then printed QDs. However, Samsung Display appears to have run into technical bottlenecks;
Therefore, the meeting with SEC leadership should address not only the readiness but also the competitiveness of QD/OLED. While Samsung Display looks to be the furthest along in the development and commercialization of the technology, it is not alone as ChinaStar and its parent, TCL have shown a 31” QD/OLED prototype to customers in January. The ChinaStar process maturity is unknown, although ChinaStar has been using ink-jet printing to print QD color filters, and solution based OLEDs, however the company said the prototype was of relatively low quality and has a large number of pixel defects, which it expects to overcome with a newly designed process. BOE is also developing a printed OLED panel for TVs, but there has been little information on their progress or quality. However, they do have an 8thgen pilot line and have produced samples.
“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.” However, Samsung Display 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.