Factory completion to allow BOE to match Samsung Display in production capacity
BOE has started operations of its third flexible OLED line, TheElec has learned.
The Chinese display giant’s B12 line at Chongqing, China has started production, people familiar with the matter said.
B12 line consists of three stages: the first stage has started production. The second stage will start operations during the first half of 2022. The third stage is expected to start operations during the second half of 2022 or early-2023.
The first stage of B12 was initially expected to start operation in October.
The second and third stages were also expected to start around March and October, respectively, next year.
But the slight delay in starting the first stage is not unusual and it seems BOE’s schedule for B12 is mostly on course, the people said.
B12’s first customer will be Oppo. Mother glasses are already being put in B12, which means panels will likely start delivery to the Chinese smartphone maker before the year’s end.
When all three stages of B12 are complete, the factory will have a capacity of 48,000 Gen 6 (1500x1850mm) substrates per month. Each stage adds 16,000 substrates per month in production capacity.
BOE has recently placed orders to global and South Korean equipment makers for kits it plans to use for the third stage, the people also said.
These kits will go into B12 in April next year, they said.
BOE’s other two OLED lines at Sichuan Province, B7 and B11, also have capacities of 48,000 substrates per month.
B7 started operations in 2017 and B11 in 2019. Once B12 completes all three stages, the Chinese company will have an OLED production capacity of 144,000 substrates per month.
This is equal to Samsung Display’s OLED production capacity (for Gen 6) of around 140,000 substrates per month. In 2019, this was 165,000 substrates per month but the capacity was reduced as the South Korean company began applying new technologies on its panels such as low-temperature polycrystalline oxide thin-film transistors.
Samsung Display’s capacity will recover to 165,000 substrates per month around 2023 once its new factory A4E starts production, along with its existing A3 and A4 lines.
Morale at BOE was currently high thanks to the company being able to supply its OLED panels for iPhone 13, the people also said.
It received conditional approval from Apple for the supply in September. BOE will manufacture OLED panels used in iPhone 13 at B11.
Meanwhile, LG Display currently has a capacity of 30,000 Gen 6 substrates per month for flexible OLED panels. It is aiming to increase this to 45,000 substrates per month by 2024. It is also planning to add 15,000 substrates per month for rigid OLED panels by that year.