Company hopes to double panel shipment in 2021
Chinese display giant BOE will start the first stage operation of its B12 Gen 6 (1500mm x 1850mm) OLED line at Chongqing in October this year, TheElec has learned.
The second and third stages will go live in March and October, respectively, of 2022.
Capacity of 16,000 substrates per month will be added in each stage for a total of 48,000 substrates per month.
B12 will be BOE’s third Gen 6 OLED line after B11 at Mianyang, Sichuan Province and B7 at Chengdu in the same province.
B7 and B11 each has a production capacity of 48,000 substrates per month. B7 went live in 2017 and B11 in 2019.
B7 manufactures low-temperature polycrystalline silicon (LTPS) thin-film transistor (TFT) OLED, while B11 and B12 were designed to handle both LTPS and low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) TFT OLEDs.
However, B11 and B12 will still mainly manufacture LTPS.
When or if BOE will begin spending on its fourth OLED line, called B15, to be built at Fuqing, is unknown.
Once B12 manufactures at full capacity next year, BOE will have a total OLED production capacity of 144,000 substrates per month.
Though it has a lower yield rate, in terms of pure capacity, BOE will match Samsung Display’s capacity of 140,000 substrates per month. Samsung Display is the world leader in OLED panels, and manufactures them at A3 and A4 Gent 6 OLED lines at its Asan plant. Its customer includes Samsung Electronics and Apple.
LG Display is also operating Gen 6 OLED lines at its Paju plant to service customer Apple. It is operating E6-1 and E6-2. It has placed orders for equipment for E6-3. Once E6-3 operates at full capacity, LG Display will have a capacity of 45,000 substrates per month, which is only 30% of BOE’s capacity.
BOE has its own obstacle however, which is yield rate. The company said it shipped 36 million Gen 6 flexible OLED panels last year, which was close to its target of 40 million units.
BOE is aiming to double its OLED panel shipment this year. The company needs a large customer to replace Huawei. It is aiming to supply Apple and Samsung, who are willing to buy flexible OLED panels. Other Chinese phone manufacturers prefer the cheaper rigid OLED panels.
According to Omdia, Apple is expected to use 169 million OLED panels this year, and 190 million units in 2022. Samsung Display will be providing 110 million units, LG Display 50 million units and BOE 9 million units this year, the market research firm noted.