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 Lighting

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 320x320 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 early 2017. The new fab will enable LG to increase production volume and cut prices dramatically.

Further reading

Latest LG OLED news

LG Display is developing higher image quality OLEDs for broadcast monitors

Apr 21, 2017

LG Display announced that it developed an OLED display with a higher image quality and high color uniformity. LG Display says it is aiming to use these new OLEDs in broadcast monitors.

LGD says that the new displays feature a "Real Black" image. LG Display used various OLED and TFT compensation technologies to achieve this high uniformity and better image quality. LG Display will provide more information at SID DisplayWeek 2017 next month.

LGD to supply Xiaomi with curved flexible OLED panels

Apr 19, 2017

Reports from Korea suggest LG Display has secured an OLED supply deal to Xiaomi, for the company's next-gen flagship phone. LGD will supply Xiaomi with curved flexible OLEDs, similar to the ones used in Xiamoi's Mi Note 2.

Xiaomi Mi Note 2 photo

According to the report, LGD already supplies flexible OLEDs for Xiaomi's Mi Note 2 - but with very limited volume. Once LG's E5 fab starts producing panels later this year the company's capacity will be increased dramatically and it will be able to support volume production to Xiaomi - and also to other handset makers in China. We recently reported that Apple is in talks with LGD regarding flexible OLED supply for the 2018 iPhone, and other reports say that Google is also discussing a possible supply agreement with LGD.

Flexbile OLEDs Market Report

Apple wants LGD to supply it with flexible OLEDs starting in 2018

Apr 17, 2017

Apple is moving forward with its 2017 flexible OLED phones, and the company has to rely exclusively on Samsung Display as SDC is the only OLED maker capable to produce the capacity Apple needs and the quality flexible OLEDs.

LG Display 5.5'' flexible AMOLED panel (SID 2015)

But in 2018 LGD is also planning to ramp up its flexible OLED capacity, and according to a new report from Business Korea LGD was approached by Apple with an aim to secure LG's capacity for Apple's 2018 phones. LGD reportedly did not yet make a decision - which will have to be made at the end of June once its new Flexible OLED fab comes online.

Skyworth unveils its own Wallpaper OLED TV

Apr 14, 2017

Skyworth has been producing OLED TVs since 2014, and the China-based TV maker has now unveiled its latest two OLED TVs, the S9E and the Wallpaper OLED TV. The Wallpaper one resembles LG's Wallpaper OLEDW7 TVs and also use a design that enables hanging the 3.6 mm screen on the wall and connecting the input box via a cable.

Skyworth Wallpaper OLED TV photo

Skyworth's Wallpaper OLED TV will cost ¥99,999 ($14,500) for the 65" model - which is almost double than LG's OLEDW7 ($7,999)!

ETNews: Google wants to invest $872 million in LGD to help secure flexible OLEDs for its next-gen Pixel phone

Apr 11, 2017

ETNews reports that Google aims to help LG Display to scale up its production of flexible OLED panels. Google offered to invest 1 trillion Korean Won ($872 million USD) as it seeks to adopt LG's flexible OLEDs in future Pixel phone devices.

Google Pixel photo

Google first-gen Pixel use rigid AMOLED displays produced by Samsung Display, but Google reportedly could not get enough displays from Samsung Display (Google is not alone with this problem). Google wants to secure its supply of flexible OLEDs - the same as Apple does with its deal with SDC.

LG Display expects 50% of its revenue to come from OLED displays by 2020

Apr 08, 2017

LG Display's CTO says that the company current generates about 10% of its revenues from OLED displays, but it expects OLED's share to reach 50% by 2020.

LG 2017 OLED TV lineup photo

Currently almost all of LGD's OLED revenues come from OLED TV panels. LGD managed to reach production yields of 80% in two years, while this took 10 years to reach the same yields in LCD production. The price decline rate of OLEDs have been faster than that of LCDs - which makes LGD optimistic it will be able to increase production and profits going forward. OLEDs of course also have other advantages of LED LCDs, including the possibility of a flexible design.

LG's Wall of the Sun is the world's largest OLED lighting installation ever with 30,000 panels

Apr 07, 2017

LG Display has put on an ambitious OLED lighting display at Euroluce which is a part of the Milan Design Week. LG actually has two booths, with the first one designed by Tokujin Yoshioka. Tokujin's installation is called Wall of the Sun, and it uses 30,000 of LGD's OLED lighting panels installed on the wall.

Wall of the sun closeup, LG OLED installation by Tokujin Yoshioka (2017)

This makes this installation the world's largest ever OLED lighting installation, which is double in size compared to Konica Minolta's OLED Tulip installation from 2015. This seems to be a very impressive display. The 15 chairs scattered on the floor, by the way, are embedded with LGD's OLED TV panels.

LG starts shipping its high-end 65" Signature OLEDG7 OLED TVs

Apr 07, 2017

LG starts to ship its high-end 2017 OLEDG7 Signature OLED TVs. The price for the 65" model is $6,999. The 77" model is not shipping yet (the price will be $16,999 when it does).

LG OLEDG7 photo

The OLEDG7 is an update to the OLEDG6 series from 2016. These OLED TVs (65" or 77") feature 4K resolution, HDR support (four different standards), WebOS 3.5, Dolby Atmos sound and an on-glass design.

LG officially launches its OLED Wallpaper Commercial Display

Mar 30, 2017

In January 2017 we posted about LG Electronics wallpaper OLED panel that will be adopted in its commercial OLED signage range. LGE finally officially launched this new product, as part of its commercial unit, which also ships dual-sided flat OLEDs and dual-sided curved OLEDs.

The so called "LG OLED Wallpaper Display" features a 55-inch panel and surprisingly only an FHD resolution (all of LG's 2017 OLED TVs feature 4K resolution). The whole panel weights less than 5.8Kg and the width is just 3.65 mm.An ultra-slim mounting brackets with a magnetic mat create a truly seamless design that becomes one with the wall. Electronic components are housed in a separate control box connected to the display with a 2-meter cable. You can see more in the installation video above.