According to UBI Research
Samsung Display was reviewing potential investments to expand its production of organic light emitting diode (OLED) for notebooks, according to UBI Research
Speaking at an online conference on Thursday, UBI Research CEO Choong Hoon Yi also said Samsung Electronics will unlikely to use Samsung Display’s quantum dot (QD)-OLED for its TVs.
Samsung Display was considering building a Gen 6 rigid OLED production line at L7-2 plant at Asan, to produce more notebook OLED panels, Yi said.
L7-2 is currently used to manufacture large-sized liquid crystal display (LCD) panels, which the company is reducing the production of. In 2017, Samsung Display removed LCD equipment from the nearby L7-1, and built a new production line, called A4, that produced Gen 6 flexible OLED panels in 2018. A4 has a production capacity of 30,000 substrates per month.
L7-2, which will likely be renamed A4-2, will be used to manufacture low temperature polycrystalline oxide (LPTO) thin-film transistor (TFT) rigid OLED, Yi said.
It will have a production capacity of 15,000 or 30,000 substrates per month, he said.
However, Samsung Display may decide not to follow through with the expansion as demand may decline in 2022, Yi said. A2 rigid OLED line was also operating at full production capacity, he noted.
Samsung Electronics is expanding the use of LCD instead of rigid OLED for its mid-tier smartphones. Huawei’s smartphone business is contracting. A2 has been used to supply rigid OLED panels to the two smartphone makers but if demand from them continues to decline, Samsung Display may choose to use A2 to expand notebook OLED production instead of building the new A4-2 line, Yi said.
Samsung Display is already using some of the capacity in A2 to manufacture notebook OLED. Last year, the company shipped 800,000 units of them. The company is aiming to ship 2 million notebook OLED units. Yi said the firm is likely to actually manufacture 1.5 million units, and this can be handled with A2 alone.
Samsung Display also had no plans to expand its QD-OLED production line, the UBI Research CEO said. Samsung Electronics had no plans to use the panels for its TVs. Samsung Display in 2019 begin investments into its Q1 line to manufacture QD-OLED panels with a capacity of 30,000 substrates per month.
UBI Research confirmed that Samsung will be launching a QD-OLED monitor next year, Yi said, but not TVs. Japan’s Sony is more likely to consider using QD-OLED.
Sony used around 30% of the OLED panels produced by LG Display, the CEO said. If the Japanese company use Samsung’s QD-OLED panels, it can use it as leverage to cut panel prices from LG Display. However, it remains to be seen whether Samsung Display will sell QD-OLED panels while suffering losses.
Samsung Display will complete its review of quantum dot nanorod LED (QNED) next month and decide whether to spend more on testing, Yi said. The company will likely begin investments for mass production late this year or early next year. Mass production will likely start on 2023, he added.
Also, Samsung Display was originally planning to extend LCD production up to September, the CEO said. However, due to requests and pressure from Samsung Electronics, Samsung Display will now produce LCD up until the end of 2021, Yi said.