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

Huawei and LGD to sign a long-term flexible OLED supply agreement

Sep 20, 2017

A few days ago we reported that the four largest smartphone makers in China (Huawei, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi) have all confirmed plans to adopt LGD's flexible OLEDs starting in 2018. A new report from Business Korea now suggests that Huawei and LGD are set to sign a strategic long-term OLED supply agreement.

Huawei Mate 9 Pro photo

According to the report Huawei is the largest customer for mobile OLED displays in China, and the company wants to sign a long-term supply contract with LGD. The agreement will call for a relatively small (tens of thousands, it seems) supply of OLEDs in 2018, so most of Huawei's OLEDs orders in 2018 will remain with Samsung Display as is the situation today. Huawei's upcoming Mate 10 flagship phone will adopt SDC's glass-based AMOLEDs.

The South Korean government may block LG's 8.5-Gen OLED TV line in Guangzhou

Sep 20, 2017

In July 2017 LG Display announced that it has decided to build a 8.5-Gen (2200x2500) OLED line in Guangzhou, China, to make OLED TV panels. this is the first time a Korean company plans to produce OLEDs outside of Korea, and the Korean government is not happy with this plan as it sees OLED as a strategic technology Korea' economy.

LG 2016 OLED TV lineup

According to reports from Korea, The Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy of South Korea organized a special committee to discuss whether to allow LGD to built its Guangzhou fab. This is the first time that a special committee was formed in Korea for such a matter.

Flexbile OLEDs Market Report

Updates from the TADF symposium: Cynora's latest blue, SDC and LGD hopeful on TADF

Sep 17, 2017

A few days ago, Cynora hosted the 2017 International TADF Symposium in Frankfurt, Germany. Cynora reports that about 150 attendees from all over the world listened to experts from the industry and academia and were updated on the latest news regarding TADF OLED emitters.

TADF Symposium photo 2017

Cynora itself showed an update on its latest blue emitter. The company now has material that features a CIEy of 0.18 (target - 0.1), EQE of 14% (target 15%) and a lifetime of 10 hours LT97 at 700 nits (target is over 100 hours). Cynora says that development is progressing well and it is confident it will reach its target material performance by the end of the year.

UBI: the OLED lighting market will reach $1.9 billion by 2021

Sep 17, 2017

UBI Research says that LG Display will start mass producing OLED lighting panels at its 5-Gen fab by the end of September 2017, which will the growth period of the OLED lighting market.

OLED lighting market forecast (2017-2025, UBI)

According to UBI, the market will reach panel sales of $1.9 billion by 2021, and continue its fast growth to reach $5.8 billion by 2025. That's a CAGR of 85% from 2017 to 2025!

The National Palace Museum of Korea adopts OLED lighting from LGD

Sep 15, 2017

The National Palace Museum of Korea in Seoul has replaced its lighting system with OLED lighting panels made by LG Display, significantly decreasing the amount of unwanted shadows and glare.

OLED lighting at the national palace museum of Korea

The OLED lighting panels also takes up less space than the previous system - the museum has old-fashioned low ceiling which made it difficult to light properly, and the museum curator explains that the low temperatures of the panels enabled them to place the lighter closer to the exhibited items without loss of damage.

LG Display wants to hear your predictions of the OLED market

Sep 14, 2017

LG Display teamed up with Cultivate Labs to launch a 6-month forecasting tournament about the display industry. The two companies wants to hear from a diverse group of thought-leading engineers, researchers, gamers, graphic artists, consultants, and high-end display experts to participate in the "LG Display Futurecasting" tournament.

LGD 18'' rollable OLED prototype (CES 2016)

The tournament will begin in mid-October, and LGD will award over $10,00 in prize money for forecast accuracy, participation, and qualitative input. Anyone that is interested in participating can sign-up here.

Cynora announces its Series-B funding round, raises €25 million from Samsung and LG

Sep 14, 2017

Cynora announced that it finalized its Series-B funding round. Both Samsung (via Samsung Ventures) and LG Display participated in this round which totaled €25 million. Both LGD and samsung will also establish separate joint development efforts to assist in advancing Cynora's R&D.

Cynora did not disclose how much did each company invest, although earlier reports suggested that LG invested €15 million while Samsung invested €10 million.

Huawei, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi to adopt LGD's flexible OLEDs in 2018

Sep 14, 2017

LG Display is ramping up its flexible OLED production capacity, starting with the E5 line in Gumi. This production line was already supposed to start producing a few months ago, but LGD still faces production issues (which reportedly caused LGD to lose a 3 million OLED supply deal with Xiaomi).

Oppo R11 Plus photo

Oppo R11 Plus

It is likely that LGD will begin mass production at the beginning of 2018, and Business Korea now reports that the four largest smartphone makers in China (Huawei, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi) have all confirmed plans to adopt LG's flexible OLEDs in 2018. According to the report, LGD will commit 20%-30% of its flexible OLED capacity in 2018 (or about 10-15 million panels) to Chinese phone makers.

Apple announces the iPhone X with a 5.8" flexible Super AMOLED

Sep 13, 2017

Yesterday Apple announced its new iPhone lineup which includes the flagship iPhone X that, as expected, features a 5.8" 1125x2436 (458 PPI) flexible Super AMOLED display that covers almost the entire front of the phone. Apple's first OLED iPhone will ship in November starting at $999.

Apple iPhone X photo

Some reports suggest that SDC is only able to supply a limited number of displays to Apple which will severely limit iPhone X shipments.

Changhong demonstrates a wallpaper style OLED TV at IFA 2017

Sep 06, 2017

Chinese TV maker Changhong demonstrated a new wallpaper-style OLED TV at IFA 2017. The TV prototype supports 4K resolution and HDR.

Changhong actually has a model name for the 65" TV, 65Q5AZH. The company did not yet reveal this an an actual product nor give any launch estimates, but it did say it will also have a 55" model.

Kyulux - Hyperfluoresence OLED emittersKyulux - Hyperfluoresence OLED emitters