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.
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 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.
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.
Hyundai unveiled a new Ioniq EV concept cabin, which includes several new technology. The new cabin design was made in collaboration with LG Electronics, and includes a 77-inch curved OLED display on the ceiling.
The new cabin also includes other innovative technologies, such as automatic shoe cleaning and cloth cleaning - and even includes a floor cleaning robot.
In July 2020 LG Electronics announced that it aims to be the first company to introduce a rollable OLED smartphone - as early as the beginning of 2021.
LG seems to be progressing in this project, and the company released this teaser that shows what could be the next Explorer Project smartphone - and the one with the rollable OLED as the video shows a sliding-extending design.
LG Technology Ventures (LG's venture capital investment arm) announced a strategic investment in OTI Lumionics. The investment will help OTI accelerate the adoption of its materials including its including its ConducTorr CPM solution for under display cameras.
LG Display announced that its OLED TV panels have received an Accurate Picture Quality certification from Intertek, an assurance, inspection, product testing, and certification company.
LGD explains that Intertek's Accurate Picture Quality is tested in three categories: Delta Zero Color Fidelity, Black Luminance, and Viewing Angle Color Shift. LGD's OLEDs recorded perfect black level and in the Delta Zero Color Fidelity test, the results are similar to the level of professional "reference monitors".
In early 2019, LG Display started producing 55” transparent OLED TV panels, and these are slowly entering the market - in commercial displays, transportation displays, and perhaps even the consumer market - with Xiaomi’s first “consumer” transparent OLED TV (although at over $7,000 for a 55” display, it is not really priced at consumer level - and its usability is also not clear).
An OLED display is an emissive display, and some of our readers asked us - how is it possible for a transparent OLED TV to show a black color? Is the image above, released by Xiaomi, a fake?
According to reports from Korea, LG Electronics is seeing high demand for its 48-inch 4K CX OLED TVs - likely thanks to a high demand for stay-at-home entertainment during the global COVID-19 pandemic.
LG introduced the 48-inch OLED TV model in Korea towards the end of July, and pre-orders sold out "in one minute". In some countries in Europe, the model has gone out of stock in just one week after the launch. Apparently there's high demand from gamers who are looking for a high-quality mid-size gaming monitors. In the US, the 48-inch OLED CX is priced at $1,500 - and it out of stock at Amazon.com.
LG Display announced that it has supplied transparent 55" OLED panels that are installed on subway train windows, in Beijing (Line 6) and Shenzhen (Line 10).
The transparent OLEDs are used to show news, transit maps or other bits of information. LG says that it will aim to supply similar solutions to other subway networks around the world. LG did not detail how many such OLEDs were installed at subway trains in China.
Xiaomi announced what could be the world's first mass-produced transparent TV for the consumer market, the Xiaomi Mi TV LUX Transparent Edition that features a 55" 120Hz 120Hz WOLED TV panel.
The Mi TV LUX uses Xiaomi's AI Master Smart Engine built around a MediaTek 9650 TV chip, and has support for Dloby Atmos. The Mi TV Lux will start shipping on August 16 in China for 49,999 yuan (around $7,200).
DSCC updated its OLED material market forecasts, seeing a lower growth ahead. DSCC says the AMOLED stack material market will grow from $928 million in 2019 to $2.06 billion in 2024 in a CAGR of 17%. Only a couple of months ago DSCC estimated that the market in 2024 will reach $2.69 billion - and even these were reduced from earlier estimates due to COVID-19.
DSCC says that the main reason behind the reduction in its forecast is lower OLED TV capacity. The company now expects a slower ramp up at the Guangzhou fab, and LG's P-10 10.5-Gen fab is now removed from the forecast period.