Samsung to Finalise QD-OLED Display Investment Plans Soon

Mike Wheatley

Samsung Display is expected to make a final decision on whether or not to commit billions of dollars to invest in its prototype Quantum Dot OLED TV display technology in the next few weeks, according to a South Korean media report.


The company, which has already committed itself to starting a pilot production run of QD-OLED, had originally planned to make a decision on its investment in April, only to hold off while it carried out further reviews.

But Business Korea reported that Samsung Display cannot postpone its decision any longer, as the firm’s planned schedule for volume production of OLED panels is already set in place. The company is already in the process of shutting down its LCD production line at its Asan campus in Cheonan, South Korea, and will place an order for the equipment necessary to transform it into a QD-OLED manufacturing facility by August, the report said.

Samsung Display, which dominates the market for smaller OLED display panels used in mobile devices, has high hopes for its QD-OLED tech, which combines the Quantum Dot technology used in its LCD displays with Organic Light Emitting Diodes. The company is pursuing the technology to better compete with its main rival LG, which supplies panels for virtually all of the OLED TVs on the market today. OLED’s best qualities are its extremely rich contrast ratios. Meanwhile, Quantum Dot uses semiconductor nanocrystals to produce pure monochromatic red, green, and blue light that delivers more vibrant, natural colours. A combination of the two should therefore be quite compelling, although we can only speculate as to the kind of image quality such technology could deliver.

Samsung Display officials are now expected to make a final decision on how much to invest in their QD-OLED plans by the end of June or early July, Business Korea said.

“The company has decided to shift its focus to QD-OLED,” an anonymous official who is well-informed with the matter told Business Korea. “It only needs to work out details for the conversion.”

The report speculates Samsung Display could invest anything between $2.15 billion (£1.69 billion) to $2.58 (£2.02 billion) in the new technology, as it strives to meet its goal of beginning mass production of QD-OLED panels by 2023. This figure would be lower than first expected however, as its parent company Samsung Corp. has not yet finalized its own investment plans. The company is expected to make a final decision once it has checked on the performance of the new QD-OLED line after the conversion from LCD has been completed.

Samsung Display is also said to be considering setting up a second QD-OLED production line at its half-finished A5 manufacturing plant, where construction work was halted earlier in the year as a result of lower-than-expected demand for its smartphone displays.