Tag: oled

LG to invest $8.71 billion in OLED

lg-55-inch-oled-tvLG Display said it will invest more than $8.71 billion to build a large plant to make panels using organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels.

It is not clear where it is getting the dosh from, LG has not exactly been rolling in it of late so it is pretty much betting the farm on the ultra-clear display technology.

The company said it has begun building the plant, called P10, in Paju, South Korea, to make panels across all product segments including large screens for TVs and flexible OLED panels for devices such as smartwatches and auto displays.

Production is expected to begin in the first half of 2018.

Japan’s Nikkei Asian Review claimed that LG Display was building a new plant in anticipation of Apple adopting OLED technology for its iPhone in 2018. A spokeswoman for LG Display declined to comment.

Even without the fruity cargo cult’s involvement, LG Electronics Inc and its affiliate LG Display are investing heavily on OLED for TVs, and LG Electronics recently slashed the prices of TV sets in the United States using OLED in a push to popularise the technology.

LG to slash OLED prices to push tech

lg-55-inch-oled-tvLG Electronics is going to slash the price of OLED TVs almost in half before Christmas in a bid to make the TV technology mainstream.

OLED is considered good technology but not made in enough quantities to bring the price down enough to interest the great unwashed.

LG has invested billions in OLED displays to rebuild profit decimated by Chinese competition in the liquid crystal display (LCD) TV market.

OLED screens deliver better picture quality, consume less electricity and promise wider profit margins than LCDs.

LG Electronics said production improvements allowed it to cut prices of six models in the world’s biggest TV market by as much as 45 percent from last month, without crimping margins. Two are now below $2,000, a fraction of the $14,999 of LG’s first OLED TV in 2013.

LG wants OLED to raise profitability in a saturated TV market plagued by sluggish demand and shrinking margins for LCD sets.

OLED is used mainly in smartphones and wearable devices, as production becomes complex as sizes increase. LG Display has spent $8.64 billion through 2018 mainly to develop OLED and is considering building a third manufacturing line for TV-sized OLED screens.

Japan’s Panasonic launched its first OLED TV, in Europe, for $10,791.00. Wall Street believes that decent sales volumes remain years away as LG is the only one committing significant resources to the technology.

LG said US sales are already growing after price cuts and promotions for OLED TVs that began on October 8.

Flexible OLED panels still too expensive

SamsungRigid LCD screens won’t be a thing of the past unless the makers of flexible panels get more price competitive.

The manufacturers of organic light emitting diode (OLED) panels are looking to make more flexible active matrix organic light emitting diode (AMOLED) panels, according to a report from research company IHS.

We don’t have to spell out all the words in AMOLED again, but the leaders in manufacturing these flexible panels are Korean giants Samsung and LG Display.

Those two manufacturers are ramping up production of flexible panels this year and IHS thinks flexible shipments are set to grow exponentially.

The reason why flexible panels seem to be the order of the day is because IHS believes wearable and other form factors need them.

But the snag is that smartphone makers – presumably other than Samsung and LG – find AMOLED panels to be a little too expensive for their purposes.

Principal analyst Jerry Kang at IHS, said: “Smartphone makers were unhappy with the price of AMOLED panels, because higher priced performance AMOLED displays had lower sharpness than LTPS LCD displays with the same resolution. As the wide colour gamut of AMOLED displays has not been a major differentiation factor in the smartphone panel market, current AMOLED panels will eventually lose their appeal, unless prices decline further.”

Bend that screen!

Cathode Ray TubeA report  by Technavio said that flexible displays are set to become more widespread over the next five years.

Flexible screens can be rolled up, folded or bent and still stay intact, and the research company estimates the global flexible display market will grow at a CAGR of 107.2 percent between now and 2019.

Companies at the leading edge of the market include E-Ink Holdings, Samsung Display and LG Display while other vendors include AU Optronics, BOE and Visionox.

The market intelligence company believes that flexible displays will appear in TVs, monitors, in publications, in medical equipment and even in fabrics.

But right now it’s the smartphone and tablet market that is being developed, with companies including Samsung and Apple working towards making devices that are practically unbreakable.

Flexible displays will also be more durable than current displays on devices.

AUO to debut 5-inch FHD OLED

Taiwanese display company AU Optronics will debut its 5-inch FHD OLED panel at China Optoelectronics Display Expo 2013 (CODE 2013) in Shenzhen, which it claims is the world’s highest resolution FHD OLED.

AUO will show off the panel integrated into a smartphone, managing a resolution of 443 ppi and including what the company says is a fine shadow mask process. The company boasts its panel doesn’t need much power while displaying a high picture quality, a free viewing angle, high contrast, high brightness and a fast response time.

It will also show off LCD panels from 5 to 5.7 inches utilising AHVA technology with the LTPS production process and Hyper LCD technology, all with full HD 720 and wide viewing angle.

AUO’s 5-inch Full HD AHVA display has full HD resolution of 443ppi, or 1080×1920, sporting a narrow bezel of 1mm width from the display area to the touch panel border.

The company plans to demonstrate its 4K display technologies, too, including 65 inch and 55 inch panels to show off an HD resolution of 3840×2160, with the 65 inch panel boasting higher quality 3D images, the company says.

OLEDs get cheaper and brighter with a 'spin'

Scientists have put a new spin on organic light emitting diode (OLED) technology which could offer brighter, cheaper, and more environmentally sound screens.

The ‘spintronic’ OLEDs differ to the ones that are used in panels such as smartphone screens. Big telly vendors have also been bleating about launching large OLED screens for some time now, though these are expected to command dizzying price tags upon their eventual release.

University of Utah physicists reckon that they have cracked a cheaper way to produce the OLED, using the ‘spin’ of electrons to record information.

This technique is being looked at for the future of computer chips too, and developments with both have been made possible through the invention of a ‘spin valve’.

This was then modified over a number of years to create a valve that, rather than controlling electron flow, was able to produce light, opening the door to developing OLEDs.

The team made advances with the previous method by changing the material used in the organic layer of the spin valve, making the light more efficient.

They also added a material to allow negatively charged electrons to be injected into the valve at the same time as a positively charged one.  This meant that more light could be generated by the device.

Creating fully working TVs based on the spintronics method may be some time off, according to the scientists.

At the moment it is only possible to use the device at a rather chilly minus 28 degrees, and they can only create one colour so far – orange.  Fine for the Dutch football team and the 90’s ‘Tango Man’ but otherwise unappealing.

The scientists say that they are working one producing red and blue over the next couple of years, with white spin OLEDs in the future too.

As for spin OLED sets hitting the shops, the team reckons it could be another five years before the necessary developments are made.

Sony and Panasonic team up for OLED production

Sony and Panasonic have turned up the heat on Samsung with the announcement that they will partner to develop OLED TVs.

The two Japanese firms announced that they will team up to develop the organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels, with a view to finding a way to churn them out for mass production.

OLED screens are seen as a way to revive the TV market which is choking itself to death with low LCD set prices – meaning that major players are operating at a loss.

Sony and Panasonic will now work towards mass production of panels and modules for TVs and large-sized displays by 2013, according to a statement released by Sony.

Both firms have been toiling to work out a cost effective process to building large size screens, with others such as Samsung and LG also scratching their heads on how to make a profit from the nascent technology.

Sony has already managed to knock out some 11 inch TV screens but these are a long way off the size customers have become used to.  By teaming up with Panasonic it hopes to make use of its ‘all printing method’ of production to churn out cheaper OLED panel at larger sizes.

As DisplaySearch analyst Paul Gray pointed out to TechEye, the problem isn’t as simple as making screens bigger by scaling up. The real trouble is in finding a suitable technology that will work at large sizes, and without costing the earth.

Current OLED screens work well at small sizes, but would be prohibitively expensive at, say 55 inches.

55 inches is the size Samsung has claimed to be readying for its own OLED screens, having ‘unveiled’ products at various events such as CES.

But, with little in the way of real details about the product’s release – “price TBA, start date TBA, start country TBA, everything else TBA,” Gray points out – we are still far from having large sized screens actually on sale – despite the ongoing marketing hoo-hah.

“This is just like a bunch of boxers talking in the weigh in,” Gray said, speaking with TechEye.  “There is so much PR puff around this, but there is little of substance to back it up.”

What is crucial for all concerned is that the move into OLED, which is largely a case of maneuvering for pole position at the moment, does not descend into the cut-me-own-throat price drops that has hurt the LCD business.

“Starting a new product category where you lose money from day one is not a long term business proposition – we have seen that before, everyone has tried that and it didn’t work,” Gray said.

He pointed out that such a situation has to be avoided in the OLED market, at all costs.

“Having Sony and Panasonic enter the OLED market when Samsung and LG are already there, you have that ghastly feeling of deja vu of hyper competition, and nobody making money,” he said.

According to Gray, OLED can be a profitable market, but those involved need to be canny about the way TVs are marketed, as prices are likely to stay high at least in the short term.

“It depends on strategy,” Gray said. “Making money tomorrow has been the strategy so far [in the LCD market].”  

If vendors “go in with the strategy that ‘we will make money from day one, we will drag it out for as long as we can for a premium product with large margins’” then the all involved could succeed.

“The risk is that someone breaks ranks,” Gray said. “If you market it as a premium brand, as something unique and special, you can get away with it.  but you have to sell it differently.”

Sony and Panasonic to team up on OLED

Sony and Panasonic are wining and dining each other’s executives with the aim of developing the technology to mass produce next-generation OLED televisions.

The pair want to compete with South Korean rivals in the technology which will kill off current LCD TVs.

According to Reuters, the cunning plan will take on a similar alliance between Samsung and LG to sell 55-inch OLED televisions, which can be as slim as 4 millimetres, consume less power and offer sharper images.

Sony and Panasonic have to share organic light emitting diode (OLED) technologies to take on Samsung and LG.

Kyoko Ishii, senior coordinator of global corporate PR for Panasonic, is refusing to confirm any deal. He said that Panasonic will continue its development and verification of OLED based on the result of research the company has been doing at its laboratories.

It has not even thought when it would try to commercialise the technology yet, Ishii claimed.

Sony, which created the the world’s first OLED TV in 2007, halted production of the $2,000 screens three years later because of the global downturn.

Currently Sony makes OLED screens costing as much as $26,000 for high-end customers. Needless to say it is not saying anything about the rumours either.

It has been predicted that shipments of OLED TVs may grow to 2.1 million sets in 2015 from just 34,000 this year, according to research firm IHS. 

LG makes product cuts and management changes

LG’s Display arm has decided to try and patch up its failing business, promising to reform “everything to the bone.”

LG, formerly known as Lucky Goldstar,  hasn’t had an easy time of it lately, posting losses of $158 million (178 billion won) in the first three months of this year.

In a bid to boost its failing financial sheets the company has now decided to overhaul its management structure and also make some changes to its product offerings.

It has decided to scrap its mobile organic light-emitting diode (OLED) division, which was launched in June of 2008, while its two top products – LCDs for mobile handsets and OLEDs – have been split and given to two existing divisions.

And it’s more work for other divisions with the company’s LCD business being given to the IT Division which is also in charge of panels for monitors on laptop and tablets.

The rest of the OLED business has been given to newly promoted CTO Yeo Sang-duk, who formerly headed the mobile OLED.

LG said many of the moves it is making is to “boost tension across the firm”, which it hopes will add “competitiveness” amongst its key workers.

However, many won’t be fortunate enough to see the changes, with the company also reportedly laying off around 100 staff, according to sources at the Joongang Daily.

Samsung spins off loss-making LCD business

Korean electronics giant Samsung Electronics has announced it will be spinning off its LCD business into an ‘affiliate’ while increasing its focus on OLED-based displays.

The move comes only a couple of months after it took over Sony’s share in its LCD joint-venture and a few days after announcing a $666 million loss for 2011, said Reuters. With business analysts predicting a bigger slowdown of LCD consumption in 2012, and increasingly low product margins, the fate of the loss-posting division has been cautiously excised from the company’s global fortunes, for now.

Tentatively named ‘Samsung Display Co. Ltd.’, the unit will launch on April Fools’ Day and will be left with an equal amount of cash in its pocket – $666 million – to fend off for its self. If you’re a cynic, you’ll think this little exercise in creative accounting is Samsung giving the business a one year chance to turn its fate around.

However, changes at the mothership are not expected to stop there. Among several working theories, Samsung Electronics may or may not merge the LCD subsidiary with its Mobile Display subsidiary, Samsung SMD, thereby concentrating all display businesses under one single unit.

This will be left up to the market, we believe, and how the LCD business will hold up on its own in the coming months.

While OLED, Samsung’s crown jewel, is far from mainstream, the transition from LCD to LED and then to OLED has been a bumpy one. It isn’t a surprise that Samsung management is cutting its risks. As we said earlier this month.