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Samsung heir’s visit viewed as signal for QD-OLED investment

Market analysts and investors said Tuesday it has become clearer that Samsung Display will invest in quantum dot organic light-emitting diodes as the next-generation display technology to replace liquid-crystal displays.

“Samsung Display is likely to stop its LCD production at the Gen 8.5 line in Asan in the coming months and covert the LCD business to large-size QD-OLED panel business phase by phase,” said Kim Dong-won, an analyst at KB Securities.

Such expectations were raised after Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong visited Samsung Display’s manufacturing facility in Asan, South Chungcheong Province, on Monday.

At the display affiliate, Lee stressed, “The company shouldn’t give up on large-sized panels despite the LCD business’s difficulties.”

The de facto leader of Samsung also reportedly highlighted the importance of investing in next-generation technologies.

“Lee’s comments are interpreted as Samsung’s determination for investments in new large-sized displays, including QD-OLED,” Kim said. “This has helped ease uncertainty about Samsung Display’s investment direction in the coming years.” 

Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong looks at a display product at Samsung Display’s facility in Asan, South Chungcheong Province, Monday. (Samsung Electronics)
Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong looks at a display product at Samsung Display’s facility in Asan, South Chungcheong Province, Monday. (Samsung Electronics)

Samsung Display has officially said it is considering QD-OLED as one of the next-generation display technologies at its research and development unit, but it has not confirmed any specific investment plan yet.

Samsung Display CEO Lee Dong-hoon recently affirmed to The Korea Herald that the company is “making good efforts.”

As the panel maker has decided to reduce LCD production in the second half of the year, due to falling profitability triggered by oversupplies from China, Samsung’s direction toward QD-OLED has appeared to gain traction.

In comparison with LG Display’s white OLED technology -- whose major weakness is the burn-in problem -- Samsung is striving to apply a quantum dot filter to a self-emissive OLED panel in order to expand the product’s lifespan while offering better picture quality.

Although Samsung has denied news reports on investment plans for a new QD-OLED line, a local newspaper said the company is considering purchases of vapor deposition and thin film encapsulation equipment from Korean manufacturers, instead of Japanese and American providers, for a pilot line for QD-OLED.

When the QD-OLED technology is ready, Samsung Electronics’ visual display business would join the growing OLED TV market.

“At least until next year, Samsung’s TV technology will have two tracks -- QLED and Micro LED,” said a Samsung official. “However, when QD-OLED is ready, there is no reason to opt it out.”

Samsung is expected to launch Micro LED TVs for residential use next year.

By Song Su-hyun (

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