OLED production in Korea could be halted by the end of July due to Japan's restriction of free exports

A few days ago we reported on Japan's government decision to restrict some material exports, including fluorinated polyimide, to South Korea, following a diplomatic tension between the two countries.

Samsung W2019 photo

Polyimide is required for OLED production, and Japan controls about 90% of the world's production. According to a new report from Korea, Samsung and other companies have warned the Korean government that production in some plants could be halted as early as by the end of July if these materials are not available. It is not clear what is the situation of Samsung's (and LG's) OLED production.

Business Korea: Samsung to decide on its QD-OLED TV plans soon

Samsung has not committed yet to its QD-OLED TV technology, and according to a new report from Korea the company will make its final decision by the end of June (or early July). Samsung originally planned to hold an investment review committee on April 2019 but that did not materialize. According to an industry insider, Samsung already decided to start QD-OLED TV production, the only question is timing.

QD-OLED stack scheme (DSCC, Oct-2018)

Samsung's plan is to shut down an LCD TV production line and convert it to QD-OLED production - although Business Korea now suggests that another possibility is to build a new production line instead of its planned A5 fab (which was delayed/canceled in early 2018).

Reports from Korea suggest that Samsung still faces technology challenges before it can begin producing QD-OLED TVs

Samsung is developing its QD-OLED TV technology and the company was supposed to hold an investment review committee on April 2019 to decide whether to go ahead with plans to start production soon (mass production by the end of 2020).

QD-OLED stack scheme (DSCC, Oct-2018)

However in May we later reported that Samsung decided to delay the production - trial production will begin towards the end of 2020, with real mass production on a new 10-Gen line only at around 2023. A new report from Korea sheds some more light on Samsung's situation.

UBI: OLED production capacity to double by 2023, Korean makers to retain their 80% market share by area

UBI Research estimates that OLED production capacity will increase from 34.9 million sqm to 68.5 million by 2023. LG Display and Samsung Display are expected to increase production of OLED TV and introduce new 10.5-Gen fabs better suited for 65" TV production.

OLED production capacity by country (2019-2023, UBI)

Mobile OLED production capacity will also grow, but at a slower rate - from 13 million sqm in 2019 to 19.3 million sqm in 2023, mainly driven by Chinese OLED producers that produce flexible smartphone OLED displays mainly for the Chinese domestic market. Korean OLED producers (SDC and LGD) will continue to dominate the market and will retain their ~80% market share in 2023.

LG Display halts flexible OLED production at its E6 line due to encapsulation equipment glitches

According to a report from Korea, LG Display has halted production at one of its production lines at its E6 production fab, LG's 6-Gen flexible OLED line that commenced production at the end of 2018.

According to the report, the problem lies with LGD's thin film encapsulation equipment - specifically the equipment that deposited the organic particles - which apparently suffers from sub par performance, not good enough for commercial production. LG is using equipment made by its subsidiary LG PRI in the E6-1 line, which is now halted.

BOE to start producing AMOLED displays with laser-cut holes

Samsung's Galaxy S10 smartphone family introduced the world's first OLED displays with round holes cut into the display to house the front cameras- which is seen as an improvement over notch-type displays.

Samsung Galaxy S10 photo

Up until now Samsung Display was the only company that had the technology to create such displays, but now it is reported that China's BOE is gearing up to produce its own OLED displays with camera holes.

TCL starts flexible OLED pilot production at its Wuhan CSoT fab

China-based display maker TCL announced that its 6-Gen LTPS flexible AMOLED production line in Wuhan has commenced operation. The company already achieved some design wins with "top-class" phone makers and is expected to start shipping OLED displays to its customers in Q4 2019.

TCL's production line in Wuhan (which is actually owned by the company's subsidiary CSoT) will have a production capacity of 45,000 6-Gen substrates.

New reports suggest that Samsung delays its QD-OLED TV production plans

In February 2019 it was reported that Samsung Display will hold an investment review committee on April 2019 to decide whether to go ahead with plans to start producing QD-OLED TV panels - and then commence mass production by the end of 2020.

QD-OLED stack scheme (DSCC, Oct-2018)

According to a new report from China, Samsung will indeed go ahead with its QD-OLED production plans, but at a slower pace than was first estimated. Samsung will only begin trial production towards the end of 2020, with real mass production on a new 10-Gen line only at around 2023.

Digitimes: AUO to build a 6-Gen OLED ink-jet printing line

Digitimes reports that AU Optronics has setup a 3.5-Gen test ink-jet OLED printing line, and the company now intends to start building a 6-Gen production line. AUO will start constructing the line before the end of 2019.

AUO's Chairman confirmed that the latest advances in printing materials and equipment are starting to make OLED printing viable for commercial use. AUO has not yet decided the schedule for volume production.

Lumtec starts to produce OLED lighting panels for the automotive market

Taiwan-based Luminescence Technology (Lumtec) announced that it has started to mass produce OLED lighting panels, targeting mainly the automotive OLED lighting market.

LumTec automotive OLED lighting at Taipei AMPA 2019

Lumtec has been developing OLED materials and technologies for many years, and the company has now accelerated its market strategy for OLED lighting, and vertically integrated the business under its "LUMLIGHT" business division.

Kyulux - Hyperfluoresence OLED emittersKyulux - Hyperfluoresence OLED emitters