Samsung shelves OLED behind Micro LED

- Jan 30, 2018-

Samsung shelves OLED behind Micro LED

OLED panel problems

OLED panel becomes the trend of smart phone in 2017 due to Apple's iPhoneX, so that some people think that if the mobile phone can not become a high-end mobile phone without the OLED panel in the future, OLED panel will start to face problems in the increasingly popular OLED.

The current global demand for small and medium size OLED panels for smartphones is tight. Samsung, which owns over 90% of small and medium size OLED panels, is fully producing OLED panels to supply Apple. However, LGD, another South Korean panel supplier, is making great efforts to build OLED panel factories. Panel suppliers BOE and Huaxing also are scaling up or building medium and small-size OLED panel plants, of which BOE has started small and medium size OLED panels in October last year and is in the process of building a second line of small and medium size OLED panels.

However, the demand for OLED panels is growing and the production capacity is even bigger! As more panel makers have the ability to mass production and continue to expand the production line, OLED panel production will usher in explosive growth in the next 2-3 years, but the demand may not keep up, the global OLED panel production is likely to occur Excess situation, which will lead to the OLED panel industry into a price war, which became the Samsung A5 plan to shelve one of the reasons.

Earlier, Samsung was chosen to reduce TFT-LCD panel production capacity because it recognized that the expansion of TFT-LCD panel production capacity in China may lead to the global decline in the prices of TFT-LCD panels.

Samsung may focus its resources on developing microLED technology

At this year's Consumer Electronics Show, Samsung did not even mention OLED. Instead, the world's largest TV maker showcased a huge new 146-inch Micro LED television, also known as The Wall. This is the first time that a panel company in the world has been demonstrating a microLED TV, which shows that it has made some progress in microLED panel technology.

Compared with OLED panel technology, microLED panel has longer life expectancy, color display more delicate, but also has the color OLED display bright, thin, low power consumption, etc., it is considered to be one of the best technology to replace OLED.

Unlike the OLED TVs that LG and other competitors are pushing aggressively, Micro LEDs have not been commercialized yet. But Samsung said it is certain to go public this year.

Samsung has always been willing to invest heavily in the development of advanced technology, capital expenditures last year reached 44 billion US dollars, among the global capital expenditure among the highest enterprises, it is generally believed that it will not only invest in the development of memory chips, semiconductor technology, the panel technology is also its One of the directions to invest is one of the reasons it took the lead in getting the lead in microLED panel technology.

Developed more advanced panel technology to avoid the price war with Chinese enterprises into large-scale production of OLED panels, by making the first microLED panel technology to make huge profits, as previously in small and medium size OLED panel (OLED panel in 2017 Business profits for Samsung Samsung second only to the memory business).

Perhaps it is with these factors in mind that Samsung has shelved the A5 plant plan for the OLED panel plant and is likely to spend money on research and development of the microLED panel technology. Considering the low yield of the early-stage microLED panel, the microLED panel is expensive. The microLED Panel will also be first applied to smart phones and other small and medium size screen consumer electronics products.

MicroLED: The manufacturing cost and difficulty is too high

Several industry giants view MicroLED as the next big trend in display technology. In addition to Samsung's entry, Apple recently acquired LuxVue, a maker of MicroLEDs, and even filed a patent for a foldable iPhone using MicroLED technology, which led us to look forward to the advent of Apple Watch and iPhone using this panel.

Although the higher brightness, wider color gamut, and modular construction of the MicroLED appear quite attractive, it is still a nascent technology. MicroLED panel cost is very high, the production is also very difficult, even more than the OLED panel. You know, making and placing millions of pixel-sized LED lights and getting them to work together is not an easy task.

Sony actually started to explore MicroLED technology very early on, but they have now suspended the development of the technology in television. According to reports, the first generation of MicroLEDs made by Sony in 2012 requires 6.22 million independent LEDs, which not only consume very high energy, but also yield low yields. Although these issues have improved, it is still extremely difficult to achieve mass production of MicroLEDs.

Reducing MicroLED panels to mainstream TV sizes is not easy. Samsung's The Wall is a stunning product experiment, but it is actually derived from the company's cinema technology, a giant screen for commercial cinema, which is currently not possible to downsize.

If you look closely, in fact, is able to find The Wall each module splicing gap. Samsung said the technology can be downsized thanks to the modular design, but they are still unable to do so while maintaining a sufficiently high pixel density for 4K resolution. Even if Samsung is able to produce MicroLED TVs of the same size for ordinary people, this is impractical from a cost perspective.

Is considered the next trend in display technology, MicroLED can shake OLED status?

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