Article last updated on: Jan 17, 2019

OLED is an emerging display technology that uses thin films of organic materials to make efficient, thin and high quality displays. OLED panels can made flexible, rollable and transparent. Korea's LG is at the forefront of OLED development and production - as the world's only OLED TV producer and a leading developer of flexible OLED and OLED lighting panels. LG's subsidiary LG Display is responsible for OLED R&D and panel production, while LG Electronics produces and markets OLED TVs.

LG OLED TVs

LG's 2018 OLED TV lineup include the flagship Wallpaper OLEDW8 (which attaches to the wall using magnets), the OLED-on-glass OLEDE8, the basic OLEDC8 and the entry level OLEDB8. The only TV that is shipping now is the 55" OLEDC8 which is priced at $2,500 (note: this is an affiliated link to Amazon).

As of 2018, the only company that produces produces commercial OLED TV panels is LG Display, and LG Electronics is the leading OLED TV producer - although LGD also supplies OLED panels to other companies including including Panasonic, Sony, Grundig, Philips, Metz, Loewe, Skyworth, Changhong, Haier, Konka and others.

LG OLEDW8 photoLG 2018 OLEDW8

Reviews of OLED TVs are terrific, and most experts and consumers agree that these OLED TVs are the best TVs ever produced - with virtually perfect image quality and beautiful form factors. LG is also developing next-generation OLED TV technologies, and has recently demonstrated a 65" rollable TV.

While the basic OLED TV design uses RGB OLED sub-pixels to create each 'pixel' (what is referred to as direct emission OLED, the design used in mobile OLED displays used in Samsung's and Apple's smartphones, for example), LG Display opted for a different OLED TV design. The so-called WRGB (or WOLED-CF) architecture uses four white OLED subpixels with color filters on top (hence W+RBG). The WRGB technology (developed by Kodak and now owned by LG Display) is much easier to produce and scale-up, even though it has some technical disadvantages - and it is the technology that enabled LG to be the first company to actually produce commercial OLED TV panels.



LG Flexible OLEDs for mobile devices

LG currently produces flexible OLEDs (branded as pOLEDs), for both wearable devices and smartphones. LG is the exclusive supplier of AMOLED displays for Apple's Watch smartwatch and it also supplies OLED displays for smartphones - such as the 6.4" 1440x3120 notch-type pOLED used in LG Electronics's V40 ThinQ, introduced in October 2018 and the 6" QHD+ display used by Sony in its Xperia XZ3 flagship. Click here for more information on LG's pOLED displays and its production capabilities.

LG V40 ThinQ photo

LG Transparent OLEDs

LG are also working on transparent OLEDs. In 2014 LGD unveiled a 18" transparent OLED prototype, and later in 2016 LGD demonstrated transparent 55" FHD AMOLED display prototypes. These panels are not yet in production, but hopefully LG will start producing these eventually.

LG OLED Light

LG Display is developing and producing OLED lighting panels, and the company is one of the leaders in OLED lighting. The company produces several panels, including flexible OLED panels and high efficiency panels. In December 2017 LG started mass production at its new 5-Gen OLED lighting fab in Gumi, Korea.

LG Chem truly flexible OLED lighting panel photo

The 5-Gen line has an initial capacity of 15,000 substrates per month - about 30 times the capacity of LG's previous 2-Gen line that had a monthly capacity of 4,000 substrates. LG hopes that the new line will enable it to produces OLED lighting panels at a much lower cost (initial estimates suggested a 95% cost reduction!) which it hopes will trigger the widespread adoption of OLED lighting globally.

Further reading

Latest LG OLED news

LGD installs transparent OLEDs at one of the lines of the Moscow Metro

In February 2019 LG Display started producing its 55" FHD 38% transparent commercial OLED displays, and the company recently announced several projects that utilize its 55" transparent OLED displays.

One of these projects is the installation of transparent OLEDs on subway train windows in China - in Beijing and Shenzhen. We now learn that the Moscow Metro has launched a pilot project, in which transparent OLED displays were installed in the windows of the cars on the Line 7 of the Moscow Metro.

A macro photo of the Nintendo Switch OLED shows it is not a Pentile display

A few days ago Nintendo started shipping its anticipated Switch OLED gaming console, with its 7-inch 1280x720 OLED display. The console costs $349.99, and initial reviews find the display to be an excellent improvement over the LCD used in the previous model.

Nintendo Switch OLED macro photo

This is an interesting sub-pixel structure, quite similar to the one used by the Apple Watch - and also to Samsung's S-Stripe displays (for example the one used in the Galaxy Note II). This is not Samsung's standard architecture for mobile devices, the Pentile display (or Diamond Pixel structure).

OLEDf and MicroLED Microdisplays Market Report

LGD's OLED TV panels recognized as the world's best gaming TV panels

LG Display announced that its OLED TV displays has received two global gaming certifications. First up is a "Qualified Superior Gaming Performance" certification from British certification company Intertek, and the second is the "High Gaming Performance Gold certification" from German inspection service TÜV Rheinland. LG Display says it is the first display company to receive these two certificates together.

LG Display OLED TV - gaminc certifications (2021-10)

According to Intertek’s test results, the LG's OLED TV panels are the fastest display available today with a fast response time of less than 0.1 ms (0.0001 seconds) based on GTG (Gray to Gray) measurement method. In addition, OLED is found to be inverse ghosting free – an issue commonly seen on LCD displays where previous image frames linger because they are simply too fast for the LCD displays to handle.

LGD is developing a tandem-stack 12.9" LTPO AMOLED display for Apple's 2024 iPads

A few days ago we posted that Apple has reportedly decided to delay its iPad OLED launch to 2023, and the company canceled its current joint development project with Samsung Display, as SDC could not develop what Apple wanted - a tandem stack structure, which would have improved the lifetime and performance of the AMOLED display.

According to a new report from Korea, LG Display is also developing a tablet display for Apple - a 12.9" AMOLED panel. LG's iPad display will be ready for mass production by 2023-2024, and it will use a tandem (2 stacks) architecture on an LTPO backplane. As SDC's project is canceled, it is likely that LG's 12.9" will be the first OLED adopted by Apple's tablets.

LG Display shows how it sees the future of shopping powered by OLEDs

LG Display is showcasing how OLED technology can change the shopping malls of the future. At LG's Science Park in Seoul's Magok district, the company build a show room with some nice OLED demonstrations.

First up are the glass doors to the show room, which have four 55-inch transparent OLEDs embedded in them. The next demonstration is the Smart Stall, which embed OLED electronic shelf labels and large-area OLED TV panels.

LG Display sees increasing demand for large-sized OLED TVs

LG Display says that demand for large-sized OLED TVs is increasing. In 2019, sales of 77" or higher OLED TVs were just 6.3% of LG's total OLED TV panel sales. The portion of large-sized TVs jumped to 17.8% in the first half of 2021.

LG Electronics OLED TV sales by size (2019-2022E)

LG added new panel sizes to its OLED TV lineup, and consumers are buying these new displays as well. Sales of OLED TVs sized 40-50 inch was just 3.6% of LG's total OLED panel sales in 2020, and this increased to 8.3% in the first half of 2021. LG expect both these trends to continue next year as well.

LGD sees the transparent OLED market growing to $8.5 billion by 2031

In February 2019 LG Display started producing its 55" FHD 38% transparent commercial OLED displays, and the company recently announced several projects that utilize its 55" transparent OLED displays - on subway train windows in China, in Seoul's Trade Tower parking and in an unmanned coffee shop in Singapore.

Cho Min-woo, head of LG Display’s Transparent OLED business, says that LG's is just "sowing seeds" in this market, which it expects to grow quickly. In fact, LG Display, together with a global consulting firm, looked into the potential of transparent OLED displays, and estimated that the market will grow to around $8.5 billion in the next 10 years.

LGD installs transparent OLEDs at the Seoul Trade Tower parking lot

LG Display announced a new partnership with Korea's Kakao Mobility, to adopt transparent OLED display at Seoul's Trade Tower's parking lot.

LG Display transaprent OLEDs at the Seoul Trade Tower parking

LGD and Kakoo will install 55" FHD transparent OLED displays at the six main entrances to the Trade Tower shops. The panels will show entertaining content, and visitors can interactwith these touch-enabled displays. LG says that "these unique panels add a vibrant and futuristic feel to an otherwise ordinary parking garage".

LG Display announces a collaboration with smart glass developer Gauzy to enhance its transparent OLED displays

LG Display announces a collaboration with smart glass developer Gauzy. The two companies will showcase 55-inch FHD transparent OLED displays at the International Motor Show (IAA) 2021 (which started yesterday in Munich, Germany).

LG Display's transparent OLED display at Gauzy's IAA2021 booth

LG Display will cooperate with Gauzy to replace windows in various types of transportation vehicles to enable smart and dynamic transparent displays.

Cambridge Isotope Laboratories - Deutreated Reagents and High-Purity Gases for OLEDsCambridge Isotope Laboratories - Deutreated Reagents and High-Purity Gases for OLEDs