Samsung’s display panel manufacturing company Samsung Display plans to begin mass production of new Quantum Dot (QD) based display panels, beginning next year, as a competitive option for higher-margin-producing video display technologies than LCD and OLED panels churned out of China’s new 10-Gen and larger panel fabs.

Samsung made the disclosure at its production facility in Asan, South Chungcheong Province, Wednesday, when the first lot of QD panel production equipment arrived on site, according to The Korea Hearld.

Although Samsung Display has been involved in the production of quantum dot LED LCD TV panels for some time, that approach has relied on the use of Quantum Dot Enhancement Film, in which a sheet of film encapsulating millions of color-boosting nano-sized red and green quantum dots is placed toward the back of an LCD panel stack near the blue-LED back or edge light source. This approach has been used by Samsung and others for years to produce today’s quantum-dot LED LCD panels (known as a QLED LCD).

Samsung’s forthcoming new generations of “QD” panels will use techniques to produce either hybrid quantum dot OLED displays or next generation Quantum Nano Emitting Diode (QNED) panels based on Blue nanorod LEDs coated with inkjet applied Red and Green quantum dots.

As with quantum dot color enhancement film in today’s QLED TVs, the blue LED light is used to excite the quantum dot particles with photons to produce a quantum reaction that intensifies color brightness while widening the gamut of visible color.

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With Hybrid QD-OLED displays, Samsung would use a Blue OLED panel combined with Quantum Dot color filters placed toward the front of the display stack to produce high brightness for high-color volume producing Red, Green and Blue hues.

Information on exactly what technology Samsung plans to produce at the South Korean facility was scant in Samsung’s announcement. Company directors said only that they are working in close cooperation on “unparalleled QD displays based on our advanced technology and 20-year-long experience in large-size liquid-crystal displays.”

We have been reporting on many of these developments over the years, including strides taken to move quantum dots further out in front of the display stack for greater brightness and black level performance as these approaches allow turning off and on individual nanorod-LEDs to achieve pure black and much higher brightness levels with reduced risk of burn-in.

According to the report, Samsung Display has been at work since October partially removing its L8 manufacturing line for LCD screens for TVs and recently completed construction of clean rooms for the new QD lines. Samsung Display has started the installation of 8.5-generation vapor deposition machinery and plans to complete the QD manufacturing line this year to begin commercial level output in 2021.

These new approaches should deliver a new state of the art in large-screen TVs and computer monitors in the near future, although it’s likely to take a few years before they are sold at mass market price points, that generally range below $1,000. In part, this is because they are intended to bring manufacturers higher prices and better profitability than existing display technologies.

This is necessary to continue priming the pump for better-and-better technologies needed in the future. The current margins have continually eroded profit margins at an accelerated pace the years as newer China-based competitors have made tremendous gains taking market share from established Japanese and Korean manufacturers.

By Greg Tarr

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