OLED is an emerging display technology that is fast becoming the mainstream display technology in many markets, as OLED enables display panels that offer the best image quality and free design as they can be made flexible and transparent. The Samsung OLED displays are considered to be the best in the industry and the Korean company is the clear lead in AMOLED production for mobile devices.

SDC 5.7'' FHD rollable OLED at SID 2016

Over the pay years Samsung invested billions of dollars in OLED research and production facilities as the company sees OLEDs fast replacing LCD displays in all mobile applications.

Samsung AMOLED displays

Samsung is currently producing over 300 million AMOLED displays in a year, used mostly in smartphones - such as Samsung's own Galaxy S7 (and S7 edge ) - but also in smartphones from Gionee, Meizu, Acer, HP, Vivo, Microsoft, Lenovo, ZTE, Hisense, Konka and others. Samsung also produces large mobile OLEDs for tablets, laptops and monitors.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge photoSamsung Galaxy S6 Edge

In August 2013 Samsung launched the company's first OLED TV, the KN55S9C, which used a curved 55" OLED panel. The TV was priced at around $8999 in the US and Korea, but is no longer in production, and was never in real mass production. Samsung has yet to return to OLED TV production.



Samsung flexible OLED displays

Following its initial flexible OLED production launch in 2013, and the huge success of its edge-type phones, Samsung is currently producing around 9 million flexible OLEDs each month to satisfy demand for the Galaxy S7 edge and its other flexible OLED products. Samsung has reportedly been chosen to supply 100 million flexible OLED panels to Apple's future iPhones.

Future Samsung OLED devices

Samsung is developing several next generation display technologies based on OLEDs. Samsung has been developing a foldable OLED device for a long time - which may dramatically change the mobile device market as it could enable smartphone to turn into tablets or phones that can be folded into smaller devices.

Samsung is also developing transparent OLEDs (see the company's 55" FHD transparent and mirror-type OLEDs here) for retail application, and also readies next generation displays for the automotive industry.

Several years ago Samsung released the following video, showing a concept transparent flexible AMOLED tablet device. It will be years before Samsung can commercialize such a display, but it's nice to see what the future holds:

Further reading

Latest Samsung OLED news

Samsung Display gets an approval from the US to continue suppling OLED dispays to Huawei

Last month it was reported that following the US government sanctions against Huawei, both Samsung Display and LG Display may not be able to sell OLED panels to Huawei any more, as these use drivers that are based on US-developed technology.

Huawei P40 pro photo

Samsung Display has applied to the US government to get an approval to export these OLEDs, and according to new reports from Korea SDC has obtained the approval. According to the report, the US agreed to this sale as Huawei is also buying OLED displays from Chinese-based producers which means that this is not a required import for Huawei.

Samsung and Stanford researchers develop a novel Metaphotonic OLED structure that enables high performance OLED displays

Researchers from Stanford university in collaboration with Samsung's Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) developed a new OLED structure that enables resolution of up to 10,000 PPI, high brightness and a cost-effective production process.

Metaphotonic OLED structure

In the new so-called Metaphotonic OLED structure, the panel is produced on a base layer of reflective metal with nanoscale corrugations. This 'metasurface' can manipulate the reflective properties of light and thereby allow different colors to resonate in the OLED sub-pixels.

OLED Microdisplays Market Report

DSCC: OLED production rebounded in Q3 2020, and will continue to be high in Q4

DSCC says that the first half of 2020 has seen lower production at OLED fabs, due to normal season-related weakness in combination with the COVID-10 pandemic. Utilization rates and production capacity, however, rebounded in Q3 and will continue to be higher in Q4 of 2020.

TFT input for OLED and LCD production, 2019-2020 DSCC

The main reason for the bounce of flexible OLED production in Q3 was due to new products by Apple, Samsung and other device makers. In fact flexible OLED production in 2020 was higher in all months of 2020, including the weak quarters. However rigid OLEDs have seen a large drop in 2020 which has risen slightly in Q3 and will continue to rise - but remain smaller than 2019.

Online review shows that the Galaxy Z Fold 2 is more durable than the original Fold, but not by much

When Samsung launched its original foldable smartphone, it used a polyimide-based cover, and the screen was fragile and not very durable. Later in 2020 Samsung Display launched its ultra-thin-glass (UTG) cover (produced by Schott and processed by Dowoo Insys) which the company said is more durable the the Polyimide.

Samsung Electronics continued to adopt the new foldable UTG cover and used it in its Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold2 5G (7.6" 1768x2208 HDR10+ 120Hz Dynamic AMOLED) smartphone. But the question remains - just how more durable is the UTG-protected OLED?

BOE plans to become the world's leading flexible OLED maker by 2024

BOE says that its current flexible OLED market share is around 20%. The company says that it plans to increase its market share to 40% by 2024 - and become the world's leader in flexible OLED production by then. BOE estimates that the flexible OLED market will generate $49.7 billion in revenues in 2024.

BOE Flexible AMOLED prototype photo

Earlier this month BOE announced that it shipped 16 million flexible OLEDs in the first half of 2020, and the company expects to ship over 40 million panels in the whole of 2020. BOE main problems currently lie with its Huawei account - the Chinese smartphone maker is expected to producing only 50 million smartphones in 2021 - down from 190 million in 2020. BOE hopes to recoup some of its Huawei orders by becoming an OLED supplier to Apple.

Samsung Electronics may not adopt QD-OLEDs for its TVs, SDC looking for other customers

In October 2019 Samsung Display formally announced its decision to invest $10.85 billion in QD-OLED TV R&D and production lines. The company is already starting to produce prototypes, and is on track to start mass production in Q3 2021.

But SDC is facing a problem it probably did not anticipate - Samsung Electronics is hesitant about the adoption of QD-OLED panels, and may not ship QD-OLEDs in 2021 - or maybe even at all. Apparently Samsung Electronics wants to focus on microLEDs for next-generation displays as it finds QD-OLED TVs to be not bright enough - and also because it suffers from burn-in issues.

Samsung Display announces a 1.4R foldable OLED display

Samsung Display announced that it has commercial a new foldable OLED display that is the first to achieve a curvature radius of 1.4R mm. This display will be adopted in Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold2 5G (7.6" 1768x2208 HDR10+ 120Hz Dynamic AMOLED) with an Ultra-Thin Glass (UTG) cover glass.

Samsung 1.4R foldable OLED display photo
Samsung says that in order to minimize the folding stress that is increased in such a small folding radius, the company has optimized a series of technologies related to the material of the display, the panel design and the module assembly, so that the multi-layered structure will function like a cushion when the panel is folded.

Samsung may be forced to stop supplying OLEDs to Huawei due to US sanctions

The US government imposed sanctions against Huawei, which prevents the Chinese company to acquire components that use US-developed chips. According to a report from Korea, both Samsung Display and LG Display will have to stop supplying OLED displays to Huawei as these use drivers that are based on US-developed technology.

Huawei P40 pro photo

Samsung Display has applied for a US US Department of Commerce license which will allow it to export the technology to Huawei. LG Display decided not to apply for the license, at least for now, as its OLED sales to Huawei are limited in any case.

Is Xiaomi developing a transparent OLED monitor in collaboration with Samsung?

In an interesting report from China, it is claimed that Xiaomi is developing a 27-inch transparent OLED monitor, based on panels supplied by Samsung Display. According to the rpeort Xiaomi plans to release this display by 2021.

Xiaomi Mi TV LUX Transparent Edition photo

Last month Xiaomi announced the world's first "consumer" transparent OLED TV, the Xiaomi Mi TV LUX Transparent Edition that features a 55" 120Hz 120Hz WOLED TV panel. The Mi TV Lux is now shipping in China for 49,999 yuan (around $7,200).

Samsung Electronics collaborates with Corning on Ultra Thin Glass technology for foldable OLEDs

Samsung started to adopt ultra-thin glass covers for its foldable AMOLEDs, instead of polyimide, as it says UTG offers higher durability. In the Galaxy Z Flip, Samsung used a UTG cover produced by Korea-based Dowoo Insys, who processes Schott's ultra thin glass for Samsung Display.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip photo

In April 2020 it was reported that Samsung Electronics wants to develop its own UTG cover technology, as as it feels that Samsung Display's UTG is still not robust enough and the company also wants to increase production yields and reduce costs. Now there are new reports from Korea that say that Samsung Electronics is collaborating with Corning in this new UTG project.

Cambridge Isotope Laboratories - Deutreated Reagents and High-Purity Gases for OLEDsCambridge Isotope Laboratories - Deutreated Reagents and High-Purity Gases for OLEDs