According to new reports, Panasonic started to build a new 8.5-Gen OLED TV pilot production plant in Himeji, Japan. The company has already ordered some of the equipment. Panasonic's Himeji plant is currently producing LCDs (apparently it has a capacity of 810,000 monthly TVs).

OLED production at SMD photo

Reportedly, the investment in this stage will not be large as this will be a small pilot line - Panasonic currently only wants to do some R&D and testing there. The company still needs to assess the business model. But its clear that the Japanese maker does not want to leave the emerging OLED TV business to its Korean competitors...

Back in 2009, Panasonic teamed up with Sumitomo to jointly-develop OLED TVs, based on Sumitomo's PLED materials and technology. We haven't heard anything about this collaboration since, so we do not know whether Panasonic will attempt to produce SM-OLED or PLED based TVs. Interestingly, just a few weeks ago it was reported that Sumitomo is building a mass scale plant to produce PLED materials that are aimed towards OLED TV products. So will Panasonic use these materials?

Panasonic is also working towards OLED lighting (via its Panasonic Electric Works company) - and has teamed up with Idemitsu Kosan to estalish PIOL, which is already offering OLED panels. Panasonic is collaborating with UDC and is using their PHOLED materials. Indeed a couple of month ago PEW presented the world's most efficient white OLED (128 lm/W). So the company has experience with both PLED and SM-OLED materials, it will be interested to see which technology they'll choose for their OLED TV products...

PEW OLED Lighting panelsPEW OLED Lighting panels


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