A report this week from Business Korea stated that prototypes of Samsung Display’s new QD-OLED are being reviewed by several major TV manufacturers, including Samsung’s TV division, as well as Sony and Panasonic.
The report stated that if one of the manufacturers adopts the panels, mass production will begin as early as the fall quarter in 2021. Samsung, however, may go with mini-LED TVs as their “major new product” in 2021. There have also been reports of tension between Samsung’s Display and Visual divisions over which technology is favored.
So what, exactly is QD-OLED?
It’s a display technology, seen by some as the next generation in what’s used for TVs and other displays. Samsung announced in October of 2019 that it was working on the technology, and that it was spending 13.1 trillion won (about $11.1 billion) by 2025 in an effort to do just that.
“Samsung Display (CEO Lee Dong-hoon) is investing in’QD (Quantum Dot, Quantum Dot Material) Display’ for the first time in the world to strengthen technological leadership in the next-generation premium TV market,” the company said in the English-language version of its press release.
“Quantum dots are semiconductor particles which luminate close to natural colors,” Lee Dong-hoon, the CEO of Samsung Display, said a the time. “It is the future growth vision of the large display industry. With the investment we will lead the premium display market.”
“Through this investment, Samsung Display plans to change the direction of large display technology from conventional LCD to ‘QD display’ and open a new heyday of the large display industry based on ‘QD’.” This also meant a stop to the production of LCD technology.
The idea is that the new technology will merge principles associated with the existing manufacturing of both QLED and OLED technologies, which features the best of them both.
Meanwhile, per Flat Panels HD, at International CES back in January, while Samsung was showing both its latest QLED models and its concepts for its microLED technologies, it demonstrated the QD-OLED TV prototypes, behind closed doors. The prototypes, both 4K and 8K, were shown in a private suite at the Encore hotel in Las Vegas. The 65-inch displays, per that report, offered “better color reproduction than LG Display’s white OLED, although the prototypes did not offer the same “deep blacks” as LG’s models.
Samsung had a worldwide market share lead in the second quarter in “advanced” TVs, thanks to the popularity of its current QLED models.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.