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 is the world's clear leader in OLED TV technologies. LG Display is the only company that produces commercial panels (although China's BOE is also entering production), and LG Electronics has several OLED TV models on the market - ranging in size from 55" to 77". Some of these are flat, and some are curved, and all the latest models support 4K (UHD) resolution and HDR. Reviews of LG's OLED TVs are great, and most experts say that these are the best TVs ever produced - with virtually perfect image quality. Following is a table of LG's 2016 models (LG's 2017 OLEDTV models are just entering the market now as well)

LG OLED65C6P photo
Curved 55"/65" ($2,497 / $3,499)
LG OLED65E6P photo
Flat high-end 55"/65" ($3,499 / $4,999)

In early 2017 LG launched updated 2017 models, and the company's new flag ship TV is the Wallpaper Signature OLEDW7. These extremely thin TVs (2.57 mm all the way) attach to the wall using magnets. LG Display also supplies panels to other companies - including Panasonic, Sony, Grundig, Philips, Metz, Loewe, Skyworth, Changhong, Haier, Konka and KTC.

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 such as those in Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and Apple's Watch), 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 plastic-based OLEDs in its Gen-4.5 fab, with a monthly capacity of 14,000 substrates (more than double its capacity in the beginning of 2014). LG Display's flexible AMOLEDs were used in LG's mobile phones (the G Flex 2) and are currently used in wearable devices (such as the Wear 2.0 Watch Sport) and in Apple's Watch and Watch Series 2.



LG's flexible OLED capacity is quite limited at this stage, but the company is set to dramatically increase its production capacity. With 3 flexible OLED fabs already underway. The first one will be the the E5 6-Gen (1500x1850 mm) $900 million line that is scheduled to begin mass production in the first half of 2017.

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 the world's largest OLEDs (at 300x300 mm) and the world's first flexible OLEDs (on a glass substrate).

LG Chem truly flexible OLED lighting panel photo

LG's current OLED lighting production capacity is limited, but the company is constructing a Gen-5 OLED lighting fab that will enter production in late 2017. The new fab will enable LG to increase production volume and cut prices dramatically.

Further reading

Latest LG OLED news

Is LG facing delays with flexible OLED production at its E5 plant? Reports suggest LGD lost Xiaomi's supply deal to SDC

Jul 22, 2017

According to Taiwan's Digitimes, LG Display is facing delays in flexible OLED production at its $900 million E5 line in Gumi that should have started producing panels last month, but now it is expected to start mass production in August.

Xiaomi Mi Note 2 photo

In April 2017 it was reported that LG Display has secured a 5.5" flexible OLED supply deal to China-based Xiaomi, for the company's next-gen flagship phone. According to Digitimes, however, LGD now lost this supply deal and Xiaomi has ordered over 3 million flexible OLEDs (6" QHD ones) from Samsung, who will supply the displays in December 2017 and January 2018. Xiaomi will have to delay the launch of its flagship phone to early 2018.

Video shows LG Display's latest displays shown at SID DisplayWeek

Jul 21, 2017

A new video shows LG's large SID DisplayWeek 2017 booth. The video begins with some displays we have seen before - LG's latest wallpaper OLED TVs and its Crystal Sound OLED system, but then continues to show some new displays.

LG demonstrated two flexible OLEDs for mobile devices - a 5.5" QHD (1440,2560, 538 PPI) panel and a 5.7" FHD (388 PPI) panel. Both are plastic-based and are conformable (edge-type). The displays offer a brightness of 350 nits. LG says the 5.7" FHD is now in mass production, while the 5.5" QHD will be ready in Q2 2017 (which means it's should already be in production). The video also shows a glimpse of LG's "VR displays" - but no details are given (this was for some reason labeled as confidential).

Graphene for Displays and Lighting Market Report

Will LG produce the OLED screen for Google's upcoming 2017 Pixel XL smartphone?

Jul 12, 2017

AndroidPolice blog claims it has exclusive information regarding Google's upcoming flagship smartphone, the 2017 Pixel XL. Besides the leaked image you see below, the blog claims that the Pixel XL will use a 6" flexible OLED display (2:1 aspect ratio) - produced by LG Display.

Google Pixel XL leaked photo (July 2017)

The OLED display will have (according to the leaked image) curved corners - but it will not sport an edge-folded design.

LGD launches a new OLED lighting collaboration program, will offer support for designers and architects

Jul 11, 2017

LG Display launches a new OLED lighting collaboration program, calling out to designers and product makers that look to create new products that utilize OLED lighting. LG will provide its OLED panels as needed, and may also offer financial support. Deadline for application is October 31st, 2017

LG OLED light collaboration program 2017 banner

The program has two categories, with the first one focusing on new products that utilize OLEDs lighting panels - which could be a lighting product or a non-lighting product. Note that LGD is not looking for "general lighting products" (luminaire or fixture) - it is looking for projects such as wearable devices that embed OLED lighting panels, integrated furniture, etc.

Idemitsu Kosan and LG Chem to share OLED material patents

Jul 10, 2017

Idemitsu Kosan and LG Chem announced a new collaboration agreement that will allow both companies to use each other OLED material-related patents in certain areas.

IDEL Korean OLED plant photo

Idemitsu and LG Chem hope that this collaboration and patent sharing agreement will accelerate the development of new high-performance OLED materials. Through this cooperative arrangement, both companies will strongly support the OLED business of LG Display - but will also offer the outcome of this collaboration to other display companies.

LGD aims to produce rollable OLED TVs by 2020

Jul 07, 2017

Following LGD's recent demonstration of a 77" flexible and transparent OLED display, the company has now decided (according to Business Korea, anyway) to start producing rollable large-area (55 to 75 inch) OLED TVs in 2020.

LGD 18'' rollable OLED prototype (CES 2016)

LGD will produce these rollable TVs in its upcoming P10 OLED fab in Paju. The P10 is LGD's most ambitious OLED fab - with a price tag of over $8 billion, it is expected to commence production in 2018, although it will take some time before mass production begins. The P10 will exclusively be used to produce OLEDs - both OLED TV panels (9-Gen or 10-Gen substrates, it seems LG did not decide yet) and small/medium flexible OLEDs.

Sumitomo Chemical starts to promote P-OLED materials and printers for OLED display production

Jul 06, 2017

Sumitomo Chemical acquired CDT back in 2007, and since then the Japanese company has been developing it's P-OLED (polymer-based OLED) materials and technologies. While initially Sumitomo aimed to produce materials for displays, in recent years it has focused mostly on OLED lighting materials and even panel production.

Touch panel production fab, Sumitomo

A noted exception was Panasonic's OLED TV development project which used printing technologies and Sumitomo's P-OLED materials. But Panasonic terminated this project in 2013. We speculated that JOLED, which is based on Panasonic's technology (and other technologies as well), uses P-OLED materials in its prototypes, but we were not sure.

LG aims to adopt a blue TADF emitter in its 2018 OLED TV stack

Jul 06, 2017

Korean news site DDaily posted an interesting article that states that LG Display is looking to replace the fluorescent OLED emitter used in its OLED TVs with a blue TADF emitter.

LG OLEDC7 photo

Following the introduction into LG's OLED TV production process, LG hopes to also use TADF materials in its small and medium OLED production. The report is a bit confusing, but it seems that LGD also aims to use its WOLED display in small and medium display formats - even for VR applications.

Digital Trends: LG's OLED TV outperforms Samsung's QLED

Jul 01, 2017

Digital Trends posted that interesting flagship TV shootout, pitching LG's E7 OLED TV against Samsung's Q9 QLED TV. Both TVs offer great image quality, and both has their strengths and weaknesses - but Digital Trends says at the end of the day they prefer LG's OLED.

According to Digital Trends, pretty much everybody who looked at these two TVs stacked up against each other chose the LG as the best TV - if by a razor-thin margin. Credit is due to Samsung, who did manage to produce a very bright, sharp and great looking TV though.

LG orders two 6-Gen flexible OLED deposition systems from Canon Tokki

Jun 23, 2017

Japan-based Canon Tokki is considered the world's leader in vacuum evaporation equipment, and the company has a large backlog - reportedly it had to decline orders from several OLED makers as all of its capacity was taken up mostly by Samsung Display and BOE.

LG 6'' flexible OLED edge phone prototype photo

The Korea Herald reports that LG Display has now managed to order two 6-Gen deposition systems from Canon Tokki. The price of each system is around $115 million, and it can support up to 15,000 monthly substrates. The first machine will be delivered in December 2017 and the second in February 2018.

Kyulux - Hyperfluoresence OLED emittersKyulux - Hyperfluoresence OLED emitters