Samsung to Cease Traditional LCD Production, Move To Quantum Dot OLEDs

According to a report from Reuters, Samsung Display will cease production of traditional LCD displays by the end of the year. The move comes as the company is apparently turning its full efforts away from traditional liquid crystal displays and towards the company’s portfolio of quantum dot technology. Building off of the Reuters report, ZDNet is reporting that Samsung is dropping LCD production entirely – including its quantum dot-enhanced “QLED” LCDs – and that their retooled efforts will focus on QD-enhanced OLED displays. A decision with big ramifications for the traditional LCD market, this means that by the end of the year, the LCD market will be losing one of its bigger (and best-known) manufacturers.

As recently as last year, Samsung Display had two LCD production facilities in South Korea and another two LCD plants in China. Back in October, 2019, the company halted production one of the South Korean factories, and now plans to suspend production of LCDs at the remaining three facilities due to the low profitability and oversupply of traditional LCDs.

Instead, the company will be turning its attention towards the quantum dot-enhanced OLED displays. A new technology for Samsung, this would be distinct from the company’s current QLED displays, which use quantum dots to enhance LCD displays. Samsung previously announced their plans to invest a whopping $11 billion in QD-OLED production, and now those plans are moving one step closer to completion as the company gets ready to wind-down traditional LCD production.

To that end, one of the two South Korean LCD lines will be converted to produce displays and TVs featuring quantum dot-enhanced OLED panels. Samsung Display hopes that their sizable investment will pay off as the new technology promises unprecedented image quality and lower cost compared to regular OLED panels. Meanwhile, Samsung’s longer-term plans include building of two QD-OLED lines, though it’s unclear for now whether this will include any of the company’s Chinese facilities, or what may happen to those lines once they shut down at the end of the year.

Overall, Samsung is not the first nor the only LCD panel manufacturer to reduce their production. LG Display has converted as least one of its LCD factories to an OLED facility, whereas Panasonic last year decided to cease LCD manufacturing by 2021.

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Source: Reuters, ZDNet