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.
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 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.
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).
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.
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.
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 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 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 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.
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.
LG Display announced a new partnership with Korea's Kakao Mobility, to adopt transparent OLED display at Seoul's Trade Tower's parking lot.
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. 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 will cooperate with Gauzy to replace windows in various types of transportation vehicles to enable smart and dynamic transparent displays.