Lee Jae-yong, vice-chairman of Samsung Electronics visited the Samsung Display workplace and received a report on business and investment direction. His schedule confirms that he’s deeply involved in the next-generation display business.
According to the industry on the 25th, Lee visited Samsung Display last month and received in-depth reports from CEO Lee Dong-hun and other executives on the subject of "Next-generation product development and investment strategy." The major topic of the briefing session was a large-sized organic light emitting diode (OLED) panel for TVs. This project is led by Han Kap-su and Vice President Lee Jong-hyeok. This visit may be mostly characterized as a “interim check.” Lee Jae-yong suggested that they should “Determine the direction for investment after deciding the proper course (development) on April 1, next year."
Lee was overheard saying it was necessary to make robust preparations to keep the next generation TV market away from competitors. The company’s on-site operation group, however, took this comment as a rebuke, interpreting it as “they have not adequately performed their duty so far.”
Lee visited the Samsung Display workplace and received a report on pending issues immediately after he arrived in the beginning of this year. It was said that he gave an introduction to “reexamine the large-sized OLED business” at that time. The video Display Business division, which is responsible for the TV business with Samsung Display at Samsung Electronics, only released OLED TV panels and prototype products to the outside several years ago, but wasn’t involved in mass-production. It is a different move from LG Display and LG Electronics.
Since Lee’s outline to reexamine the business, Samsung Display has reviewed technology that can secure mass production while being differentiated from LG. The result is an OLED that utilizes a QD (Quantum dot) color filter. QD OLED is known as a technology that lays a blue light emitting material down on a Thin Film Transistor (TFT) substrate and utilizes a QD color filter to increase color reproducibility and reduce production cost. They will apply the QD characteristics that emits when the light comes in contact (PL: Photo Luminescence) to the OLED color filter.
Since the light emitting material uses only one blue color, there is no substrate deflection problem that has occurred during the metalizing of the conventional RGB organic material. Samsung Display plans a main scheme; they will utilize inkjet method to produce the QD color filter, oxide to produce the Thin Film Transistor (TFT) substrate, and the Thin Film Encapsulation (TFE) process for encapsulation to protect organic materials from oxygen and moisture. However, as all of these are the first attempts, the challenges of each process have been built up. In particular, QD color-filter inkjet production for large-sized OLEDs is the world's first attempt.
Samsung Display plans to verify development and mass-production, and determine the direction for investment by April, next year. Currently, the company has ordered some of its core production equipment for pilot line operation in L8-1, the 8th generation LCD production line located in Tangjeong, Asan City, Chungnam Province. The key is to be able to operate extra-large lines over the 10th generation. In order to secure cost competitiveness in the premium TV market of more than 65 inches, the 8th generation is not inadequate. Lee Jae-yong's task is to figure out whether it’s possible to operate “the non-stop 10th generation line” by April next year. If it’s considered to be difficult, the entire L8 line may be switched into the 8th generation QD OLED.
An industry insider said, "Lee rarely had a chance to visit the workplace in past years, but he has now visited twice and done the homework,” and “for the time being, Samsung Display's backside ecosystem seems to be keeping busy."
“Samsung Display recently sent us the verbal notice to finish up to the last order and be prepared” said an official from Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., dealing with Samsung Display. He described the atmosphere in Samsung Display that “After Lee Jae-yong's visit, the Samsung Display Project is moving very urgently."