[IMID 2018] LG Display, showcased 2-stack RGB OLED for automobile OLED with improved life span.

At IMID 2018 held in BEXCO, Busan on August 29, Kim Kwan-Soo, research fellow of LG Display presented about a new OLED technology for automotive displays.

Kim said that RGB OLEDs applied to mobile devices and WRGB OLEDs applied to TVs do not satisfy customers’ needs in terms of life span. To solve this issue, he introduced 2 stack RGB OLED in which RGB OLED has the same tandem structure as WRGB.

Because 2 stack RGB OLED can be thick due to adding a layer of CCL (charge generation layer) to the multi-layer structure, HTL is made thinner than before and the charge balance of the emitting layer is optimized.

As a result, the 2-stack RGB OLED shows 1.5 ~ 2 times higher emitting efficiency than the 1-stack RGB OLED. Its lifetime is increased by 4 times on T80 basis.

However, the 2-stack structure has a disadvantage in that it has higher power consumption than the general structure. Thus, it is necessary to make efforts to solve this disadvantage.

[IMID 2018] LG Display and Samsung Display exhibited a large number of large, and small & medium sized OLED applications.

LG Display and Samsung Display introduced a number of applications using OLED at IMID 2018 held in BEXCO, Busan, drawing attention from many visitors. In particular, LG Display displayed its strategies mostly for large OLED applications such as 77-inch transparent OLED and 55-inch video wall OLED, while Samsung Display introduced the small and medium sized OLED applications mainly for automotive and virtual reality devices.

First, the panel thickness of the 77 inch transparent flexible OLED introduced by LG Display is 400 μm, the bending radius is 80 mm, and the luminance is 200 nit based on full white.

LG Display explained that it would improve the required transmittance and durability. Also, it commented that the goal is to reduce bezel to 0.5 mm at its display of 4 FHD OLEDs with 3.8 mm bezel.

In addition, LG Display presented a 1200ppi 4.3-inch WRGB OLED for virtual reality devices. One official explained that WRGB OLED, which represents the resolution by etching the color filter, would be advantageous for higher resolution than RGB using the deposition method.

Meanwhile, Samsung Display exhibited a number of automotive OLEDs, including unbreakable OLED for 6.22 inch steering wheel, 1000R curved OLED for passenger monitor, transparent OLED for HUD, S-curved OLED for CIO and rollable OLED. The concerned official expects the OLED to be widely applied to inside automobiles because it has excellent design autonomy, compared to LCD.

He added “Although there are many things to be improved, such as brightness and reliability, it is continuously improving the required performance through the feedback from European customers”.

Furthermore, Samsung Display showcased light field display and 2,000ppi resolution RGB OLED for virtual reality devices.

Fingerprint full-screen smart phones begin to compete

<Vivo’s full screen smart phone with in-display fingerprint scanner, Android authority>

The competition for front fingerprint recognition of smart phones is expected to become hot.

In the smart phone with the existing home button, the front fingerprint sensor was installed on the home button. Fingerprint security enhances security, but recently, full screen Smartphone without home button has been released and fingerprint sensor has been moved to the back of Smartphone. This has caused disadvantages such as an uncomfortable hand shape when touching a finger to the fingerprint sensor and fingerprints on the camera lens.

In order to improve these points and to implement a complete full-screen Smartphone, the development of integrating full-screen fingerprint recognition with display is continuing.

The method of full-screen fingerprint recognition is largely examined by both optical and ultrasonic methods. The optics are inexpensive and easy to mass-produce, but the OLED substrate must be transparent because the sensor is to be located below the OLED panel. Therefore, it is applicable to rigid OLED using glass as a substrate, but it is difficult to apply to flexible OLED using colored PI as a substrate. The ultrasonic method is most stable in accuracy and durability, but it has a disadvantage of high manufacturing cost.

Currently, Chinese set makers have begun to launch smart phones with optical front fingerprint recognition. The Galaxy S10, which will be released next year by Samsung Electronics, is being watched for the adoption of ultrasonic full-screen fingerprint recognition. LG Display is also developing a display with front fingerprint recognition.

As such, the sales for full-screen smart phones with front fingerprint recognition are expected to be started in earnest. Competition in the smartphone market is expected to become more intense in the second half.

Samsung Electronics, Display Business division’s operating profit in the second quarter of 2018 was KRW 140 billion.

Samsung Electronics announced its sales of KRW 58.48 trillion and operating profit of KRW 14.87 trillion through the earnings conference call of the second quarter, 2018 on July 31. Its sales decreased by 4% YoY and the operating profit increased by KRW 800 billion. Sales decreased 3% QoQ and operating profit fell by KRW 800 billion QoQ.

According to Samsung Electronics, the display panel business recorded sales of KRW 5.67 trillion and operating profit of KRW 140 billion, due to slowing demand for flexible OLED panels and declining sales of LCD TV panels. Despite improved utilization of rigid OLED, OLED division’s earnings declined QoQ due to continued weak demand for flexible products.

Competition with LTPS LCD is expected to intensify at rigid OLED in the second half of 2019, but earnings are to improve on increased sales following the recovery of flexible product demand. Sales and operating profit are projected to improve in the second half on the back of production of flexible OLED for Apple’s new iPhone models from 2Q.

Samsung Electronics plans to expand its share of OLEDs for mobile devices by strengthening its differentiated technology and cost competitiveness, and to strengthen its capacity for new products such as foldable OLEDs. Samsung official said that foldable OLED will contribute to growth from next year rather than immediate performance in the second half of the year.

IT • Mobile (IM) division posted sales of KRW 24 trillion and operating profit of KRW 2.67 trillion. Operating profit fell 34.2 percent from KRW 4.06 trillion in the same period a year ago, and also fell sharply from the previous quarter (KRW 3.77 trillion). In 2Q, handset sales reached 78 million units, of which 90% are smart phones. 5 million units of tablet were sold. The average selling price (ASP) of the handsets is in the second half of US$ 220. The Consumer Electronics (CE) division posted sales of KRW 10.4 trillion and operating profit of KRW 510 billion in the second quarter of the year. Overall sales and operating profit of the first half of the year were KR W 20.14 trillion and KRW 0.79 trillion, respectively. TV profits improved thanks to robust sales of high value-added products such as QLED TVs amid the global sports events. On the other hand, SEC’s facility investment in the second quarter was KRW 8 trillion. By business, semiconductor area accounted for KRW 6.1 trillion and KRW 1.1 trillion was invested for display area. In the first half, a total of KRW 16.6 trillion was invested; including KRW 13.3 trillion in semiconductors and KRW 1.9 trillion in display.

LG Display “Strategic direction is OLED. Uncompetitive LCD lines are planned to be switched.”

In the 2Q earnings release conference call hosted on the 25th July, Kim Sang-don, LG Display CFO, said, “Looking back at the first half of 2018, the market was in a difficult situation due to the slump in prices, the traditional off-peak season and increased display supply from China. We expected the market conditions to be stabilized in the first half of this year from the bad market condition of the second half of last year, but it has continued to decline more rapidly and steeply. However, with starting the second half of 2018, it has been observing that the price is rising since July owing to upcoming favorable seasonality and customer restocking.”

“Although the market situation has changed favorably in the second half of the year, it is different from the past supply and demand cycle because of the uncertainty of forecasts. Moreover, the oversupply and asymmetric competition in the display market are unavoidable.” LG Display announced that it will maintain its conservative strategy in the second half of the year as the unpredictability is still high.

LG Display’s sales revenue in the second quarter of 2018 was KRW 5,611 billion, decreased by 15% compared to the second quarter of 2017. Operating loss in the second quarter of 2018 recorded KRW 228 billion. This compares with the operating loss of KRW 98 billion in the first quarter of 2018 and the operating profit of KRW 804 billion in the second quarter of 2017. The company suffered a large deficit due to a continued and steep decline in panel prices and lower demand in panels following the previous quarter. Although the shipment was increased by 2% QoQ, the selling price per area (m2) was decreased by 4%.

As a positive indicator, the TV panel price fell sharply, but the overall panel price decline was only 1% due to the competitive position of OLED panels. The market is anticipated to turn into positive situation in the third quarter, compared to the first half of the year, since panel shipments are expected to increase with the orders to restock the inventory.

LG Display, which is currently conducting both LCD and OLED business with small and medium sized panels and large area panels, mentioned clearly about its future strategic direction including the direction for the second half of the year as “concentrating on OLED business and focusing on high value of LCD business” in this conference call.

LG Display announced that it will focus more on differentiated LCD features and technologies in the IT sector such as narrow bezel, IPS borderless, and oxide technology, as well as high-value-added products such as larger-size TV panels and commercial displays, considering that a structural oversupply in panels and fierce competition among display makers are expected to continue down the road.

In addition, LG Display will achieve a turnaround to profit in the OLED TV sector in the third quarter of 2018. By making its final decision to invest in its Gen 10.5 OLED panel production line in Paju, Korea, and by starting mass production in the latter half of 2019 at its Gen 8.5 OLED production line now under construction in Guangzhou, China, LG Display will accelerate the expansion of the global large-size OLED market. Furthermore, additional production facilities for OLED 8.5 generation are known to be considered with the plan that the rationalization of LCDs during the year is also to be implemented although there was no direct mention of the timing and specific lines. For the plastic small and medium-sized OLED panel business, which is experiencing difficult times, compared to large area OLED, for which LG is expanding the production capacity in response to increasing demand, it said that they are preparing for future markets with the necessary strategic technologies with the emphasis of mobile and automotive markets. The E6-1 line, which has been mentioned as a production plant for Apple, is expected to begin mass production in the fourth quarter of this year, revealing the possibility of a possible supply of display to the iPhone OLED model in 2018. In addition, demand for OLED panels is increasing in the automobile market, and it is expected that full-scale business will start in the second half of next year. At the current order backlog, it is confirmed that OLED panels are in the late stage of about 10%. This means that much of the work has already been done. Finally, LG Display is well aware of the lack of funding and funding shortfalls over its competitors in relation to its future preparations. The company plans to reduce its capex by about 3trillion won by 2020, with a substantial portion of depreciation and amortization It is possible through internal working capital management and it plans to borrow the rest. LG Display confirmed that it has not reviewed the rights issue several times in the market, and LG Display has thoroughly prepared a variety of OLED portfolios, revealing its commitment to success by differentiating it from its competitors in the area of latecomers.

8K OLED TV, Can we see it in the second half of the year?

 

Competition in the premium TV market is expected to be cutthroat.

The market share of OLED TV is on the rise in the premium TV market due to Sony’s entry into the OLED TV market and LG Electronics’ aggressive price cuts. However, LCD camp is responding with 8K high-resolution strategy, and attention is focused on whether it can prevent the rise of OLED in the premium TV market.

Sharp has already started selling 8K LCD TVs for the first time in the world since last year. Samsung Electronics showcased 8K TV at CES earlier this year, and will launch 8 K QLED (QD-LCD) products in the second half of the year. In the OLED camp, LG Display exhibited 88inch 8K OLED TV at CES, but the launch of 8K OLED TV in the second half is still unknown.

OLED TVs, which are currently in mass production, are based on bottom emission type. Thus, the light is emitted from the remaining portion of the pixel except the TFT region since the light is emitted through the TFT. Therefore, in the same size TV, as the resolution increases, the pixel size becomes smaller, but the area where the size of the TFT is reduced is limited, so that the area where the light is emitted becomes narrower. Consequently, in order to realize a high resolution at the same size, it is necessary to broaden the aperture ratio as much as possible or improve the performance of the emitting materials.

 

As a way of increasing the aperture ratio, there is a method of applying a top emission structure. Since the top emission structure emits light in the encapsulation direction, not the TFT direction, it can secure a wider aperture ratio than the bottom emission. However, there are pending problems that the encapsulation using opaque metal sheet should be changed to a transparent material and the color filter should be formed above the encapsulation with the change of the process.

The development of TADF blue and new blue materials is actively underway in the emitting material side.

The 88inch 8K OLED TV released by LG Display is made with a bottom emission structure and its ppi is about 100, which is about 20% higher than 80 ppi of the 55inch 4K currently being sold. When the pixel size is compared with the whole display size, the 55 inch 4K pixel is calculated to be about 40% wider than the 88inch 8k pixel.

In order to achieve the same level of brightness and lifetime as 55inch 4K, it is necessary to optimize the TFT design and improve the performance of the emitting materials to make up for the 40% decrease in pixel size. The industry is paying attention to whether the 8K OLED TV will be launched, with resolving above-mentioned issues, against the 8K LCD TV, which is expected to be released in the second half of the year.