THE KOREA TIMES 2013-08-01 15:35
LG Display CEO Han Sang-beom, fifth from left, pulls a lever with Gyeonggi Province Governor Kim Moon-soo, fourth from left, and other LG executives and guests to celebrate the first installment of equipment to be used on a new OLED display-manufacturing line at the firm’s display complex in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, Thursday.
LG Display, the world’s biggest display manufacturer, said Thursday it will start mass-producing OLED (organic light-emitting diode) screens to be used in televisions from the latter half of 2014.
“Our new OLED manufacturing line using the so-called eighth-generation glass-cutting technology will go online in the second half of next year after various pilot tests,” company spokesman Lee Sang-wook said.
The eighth generation technology screen measures 2,200 millimeters in width and 2,500 millimeters in height, which is customized for TV screens over 50 inches in sizes.
The new line has a monthly production capacity of 26,000 glass sheets. Total investment for the new line will reach 700 billion won, Lee said.
Unlike LG, its rival Samsung Display has yet to announce a plan to mass-produce OLEDs.
The mass production plan was unveiled at a ceremony to celebrate the installment of the first production equipment for the new line at the company’s main display complex in Paju, Gyeonggi Province.
Present at the ceremony were Gyeonggi Province Governor Kim Moon-soo; Paju City Mayor Lee In-jae; LG Display CEO Han Sang-beom; Idemitsu Kosan, Vice President Matsumoto Yoshihisa; Merck Korea CEO Michael Grund; and other executives from LG’s top-tier local partner firms.
“As you know, LG was the first firm to release 55-inch OLED screens. Now, we are moving toward mass-production. It will be tough. But we will closely collaborate with our partners to complete the plan as scheduled,” the CEO Han said during the event.
LG, which bought Kodak’s OLED patent portfolio in 2009, has been paying more attention to the white-OLED with color filter TV panel process using both phosphorescent and fluorescent materials that can help ease the mass production of OLED TV screens as compared to the “RGB” approach being pushed by its biggest bitter cross-town rival Samsung Display.
LG Display said it has recently developed a hybrid technology designed to cut costs and generate better production yields.
The spokesman said this is a “WRGB-OLED,” which uses advantages of white- and RGB-based OLED technologies, respectively.
According to an estimate by iSuppli, a market research firm, it hopes to produce 75,000 OLED TV units annually.
“The success of Samsung and LG in implementing a large-sized curved OLED was thought to be a meaningful achievement in the display industry. But both companies still face challenges with mass production and market availability of curved OLED TVs isn’t near-term possibility,” said Vinta Jakhanwal, analyst at iSuppli said.
“Limited availability, as well as the high retail pricing, of OLED TVs will likely restrict shipments by Samsung and LG during the next few years. Another point is that by the time OLED TV production achieves efficiencies in large-scale production, the industry’s current mainstream of LCD TVs will have had an opportunity to become even more competitive in performance and price,” Jakhanwal stressed.