Reports out of Korea this week said Samsung Display, the video display panel production arm of Samsung, is continuing to advance plans to begin manufacturing next-generation flat-panel technologies based on both QD-OLED and QNED, beginning as early as next month.

It was recently reported that Samsung Display will make an investment to install production equipment for Quantum Nanorod LED (QNED) displays next year, but a report from The Elec technology business news site in Korea Friday said the company has already started to ramp up production for another new quantum dot technology called Quantum Dot OLED (QD-OLED). This is a long-awaited hybrid between quantum dot display technology and OLED display technology, and designed to go after LG’s TVs based on self-emissive white OLED technology.

Trial runs for Samsung’s QD-OLED technology are to begin as early as next month, the report said.

Meanwhile, Samsung Electronics, which builds and markets finished televisions and displays for sale to endusers, is moving forward with new QLED TVs based on mini LED back lighting for 2021, after apparently seeing the promising performance of China’s TCL models based on the technology emerge since last fall.

Samsung Display plans to experiment with production output and performance of both QD-OLED and QNED panels, the Elec report said, to see which produces the most competitive and profitable product, be it for large screen televisions or as Display Daily has reported, for high-end computer monitors, which Samsung Electronics could be considering at the best implementation for QD-OLED.

Meanwhile, Samsung Electronics will keep moving ahead with new mini LED-backlit QLED LCD televisions (or whatever the new marketing brand will be) as its next television technology for the consumer big-screen TV market in the near term.

The Elec report cited sources saying that the initial QD-OLED line, dubbed Q1, is located at a factory in Asan, Korea. Production equipment first started to be installed in the facility back in July, the report said.

Thus, QD-OLED will mark the first of the new “QD display” technologies Samsung Display is to try to produce. The Q1 line is an 8.5th generation line (2,200×2,500mm), The Elec said.

The report said Samsung Display will gauge success of QD-OLED based on how much larger the large-format OLED panel business grows in the near future. The report speculates it would take about three months to gear up for production and another six months to stabilize the yield rate.

The Q1 line will begin by producing a targeted output rate of 15,000 substrates per month, but was designed for capacity of twice that number.

The Elec said Samsung Display will assess production until May, when it will make a decision on further investing in QD-OLED technology. The key to success will hinge on how quickly yield rate stabilization can be achieved. This is reportedly critical to winning potential customers in Samsung Electronics and possibly even Sony, the Elect said.

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Failing to achieve a sufficiently high yield rate for high quality QD-OLED panels would likely dictate shifting capital resources toward QNED technology, the report said.

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For now, The Elec said Samsung Electronics is planning to ship “2 million mini LED TVs” in 2021, to go up against LG Display’s OLED panel technology at the top of the premium TV range. If successful, it would likely be further developed by Samsung Electronics at the high end of the QLED line for the next several years.

A recent report by Display Daily indicated Samsung is spending some $36 million to build out 50 mini-LED production lines at a massive production complex in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Min City.

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By Greg Tarr

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