LG Display Co., a global panel maker, plans to spend an additional 1 trillion won (US$915 million) this year on its large-sized organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panel production line in South Korea to meet growing demand, industry sources said Wednesday. LG Display has already spent 800 billion won on the OLED panel production line, which produces panels for TVs, the sources said. LG Display is told to have commenced production at the production line starting November 2014, but the detailed capacity has not yet been revealed.
The company aims to expand its monthly production of the eighth-generation OLED input sheets to 26,000 units at the line in Paju, just west of Seoul. When combined with its existing line, LG Display’s combined monthly production of OLED input sheets will reach 34,000 units, the sources said.
LG earlier said it will target the high-end TV market on the back of 77, 65 and 55-inch Ultra OLED models. The OLED technology, more advanced than LCD since it produces light without the backlight unit (BLU), is seen as the company’s future growth engine.
Korea’s exports of information and communications technology (ICT) products and services reached a record high of $170 billion last year, the government reported Thursday. According to data released by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, ICT products accounted for almost 30 percent of the nation’s $573 billion in exports, contributing to a 2014 trade surplus of $86.3 billion.
Semiconductors were the top ICT export category, thanks to DRAM and 3-D NAND flash memory chips. In 2014, memory chips became the nation’s first export product to surpass $60 billion, increasing 9.6 percent year-on-year to reach $62.7 billion. Semiconductor exports surged 33.2 percent last year to a record $34 billion, while shipments of system semiconductors slumped 9.8 percent to $22.5 billion. Exports of display panels slipped 3.2 percent, as demand dropped in China, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. Chinese producers of cheaper panels also dragged down prices for LCD televisions.
LG Display Co., the world’s second-largest display maker, on Monday announced plans to invest 706 billion won ($652 million) in OLED TV facilities in efforts to strengthen its leadership in OLED technology. The investment in the 8th generation OLED TV manufacturing line, set to be installed in the company’s Paju plant in suburban Seoul, is scheduled to begin in the first quarter, LG Display said in a press release. Mass production is set to begin in the first half of 2014 at a monthly capacity of 26,000 input sheets, according to the display maker.
The investment plan comes as global manufacturers are ramping up efforts to gain a bigger stake in the market for premium TVs, such as OLED TVs and ultra HD TVs. The display maker’s affiliate LG Electronics Inc. began pre-orders for its 55-inch OLED TVs last month, racing ahead of rival Samsung Electronics Co. in rolling out the large-display OLED TVs.
LG Display, the leading provider of liquid crystal displays (LCDs), is now preparing an all-out effort to extend its dominance to the new world of digital displays shaped by organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs).
The company is to spend 3.8 trillion won (about $3.6 billion) this year on adding facilities and improving technologies with the predominant focus on improving its capabilities for OLED screens, becoming conventional in smaller devices like smartphones and tablets and beginning to appear in larger products like televisions.
OLED screens provide a stunning upgrade in picture quality and power consumption compared to conventional LCDs. High costs and difficulty in mass production have been slowing their adaption in televisions, but major electronics makers like Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics and Sony believe they will see a breakthrough on this front this year.
Samsung Display, the display arm of Samsung Group, has decided to invest up to 2 trillion won or some $1.8 billion to boost the output of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens, according to Samsung officials. The officials said that the decision was mainly aimed at actively responding to the explosive demand for brighter screens.
To that end, the company will not build a new factory but extend the space to produce more small- and mid-sized OLEDs at its current factory in the provincial city of Asan, South Chungcheong Province, the officials said, Wednesday.
Despite the sluggish demand for electronic devices such as televisions and home appliances amid the prolonged recession in Europe and the weak economic recovery in the United States, the display unit is receiving more orders for those screens from Samsung Electronics.
“Samsung Display will invest as much as 2 trillion won for more OLED display outputs to push ahead with its plan to start mass production of displays using plastic rather than glass, a move that will make mobile devices lighter, flexible and unbreakable,” said one Samsung source, who is familiar with the matter.
Korean scientists have developed new organic materials that may help the electronics industry produce next-generation displays and maintain its global competitiveness. A team of scientists led by professor Choi Dong-hoon of Korea University said it has discovered extended conjugated molecules through compounds of porphyrin. The porphyrin derivatives may be used to boost the efficiency of semiconducting devices such as organic field-effect transistors for next generation displays, it said.
The organic materials could be applied to the development of flexible displays, transparent displays and foldable displays, or the convergence of all these types of future displays, which, experts said, could replace newspapers and magazines in the near future. The team found that the materials provide “strong intermolecular interactions, while enhancing the charge-transport efficiency” in organic FETs as well as optoelectronic devices.
LG Display, the world’s No. 2 maker of liquid crystal displays, said yesterday that it has lodged a complaint with the Seoul Central District Court against archrival Samsung Electronics for allegedly infringing upon seven local patents on organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technologies.
LG Display claimed five products of Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest smartphone maker, including the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy S2 smartphones, the Galaxy Note, and Galaxy Tab 7.7, violated its patents.
The patents cover LG’s OLED panel design, OLED driver circuitry and OLED device design, it said. The company is asking for 7 billion won ($6.3 million) in damages.
Beginning in late November, Korea’s largest display maker will mass-produce flexible OLED displays, which is the world’s first. It sets the tone by searching for contractors that will supply OLED parts. For better efficiency and longer lifespan, Samsung plans to tweak a new display technology by applying phosphorescence materials to not only green but red light emitting materials.
The target flexible display is using plastic, which means flexible plastic: virtually shatter –proof. “Flexibility” allows for bending, and it indicates a slim look compared to conventional OLED types. Samsung’s next version of the Galaxy Note is expected to feature this technology, but, unfortunately, bending is unlikely.
As plastic breaks down at high temperatures during TFT(Thin Film Transistor) process, the display maker has to resort to a new method; removing glass from a TFT created by coating polyimide (PI) to a glass plate. For plastic, Samsung puts a spin on the encapsulation process that keeps organic materials free of oxygen and moisture. Traditionally, OLED’s encapsulation process involves attaching melted glasses.
It remains to be seen whether Future generations of the iPhone could have flexible organic light emitting diode (OLED) displays that can bend and twist.
LG Display, a major supplier of flat-screens to Apple, confirmed Thursday it would be able to mass produce flexible OLED displays from the second-half of next year.
Han Sang-beom, LG Display’s CEO, didn’t reveal any names when talking about the orders the company has been receiving. However, it’s difficult to presume LG Display attempting such a big jump in technologies without commitment from Apple, its largest customer for screens.
It’s hard to predict when smartphones with rubbery touch screens will ever be commercialized, but Han says at least LG Display’s screens will be there by the end of 2013.
Anyone who saw Tom Cruise’s “Minority Report” would remember that incredible clear-as-glass screen he used to manipulate images and data. This futuristic display seemed like a distant dream 10 years ago when the movie was released, but in the near future, this dream is about to come true. The development of transparent and flexible displays was selected as one of the Future Industrial Technology Development Projects led by the Korean Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE)’s Office of Strategic R&D Planning(OSP).
The main role of OSP is to develop strategies and guidelines of next year’s budget for the around USD 4.2 billion of MKE’s R&D budget, having a consultation with each department. This time, the Office initiated the Future Industrial Technology Development Projects, selecting and supervising projects which will create future growth engines of Korea. Being comprised of former CEOs or CTOs well-versed in market trends, they are expected to have more sense of responsibility in investing in business.
The projects are categorized as fast track or slow track where fast track, referred to as “Creation of Early Outcome” is a short-term project lasting for three years involving conception new of botanical drugs and key system semiconductors for IT convergence. On the other hand, slow track called “Creation of New Market” lasts for five to seven years concentrating on long-term projects such as transparent and flexible display creation, one of the three projects initiated this year, six in total.