OLED is having a big year this year, with sales of the panels expected to break records. Now, a report says production is expected to be huge as well.
According to a report this week by research firm Omdia, as cited by OLED Info, LG Display is expected to produce 8.3 million OLED TVs in the year 2021, a jump of 86 percent from the 2020 total of 4.5 million units. Omdia had earlier predicted that LG Display would produce 8.1 million panels, although both numbers are up from LG Display’s own forecast of 8 million units.
OLED TVs, while growing, remain a relatively small portion of the overall TV market. But of RTINGS’ rankings of the best available TVs, the entire top ten is taken up by OLED models, from Sony, LG, and Vizio.
LG Display is the world’s main manufacturer of OLED panels and sells them to the top manufacturers. These include LG Electronics, which is a separate company and makes LG’s TVs. LG Display has of late increased production capacity, including at its Guangzhou facility in China. The company has also been producing smaller panels than before, including the 48- and 42-inch sizes.
Samsung, which makes most of its higher-end TVs with QLED panels, recently denied a report that it would be purchasing OLED panels from LG Display.
“There is no change in the idea that our QLED TVs have better picture quality than OLED TVs. I’m trying to make it clear that the rumors are groundless,” a Samsung executive told Korean tech publication IT Chosun. “It is true that LCD prices are rising, and we are facing a difficult situation, but we have enough capacity to overcome as a No. 1 company.”
Earlier this week, the University of Michigan announced the results of a study that points to a potential breakthrough in OLED technology. The study appeared in the journal Science Advances, under the title “Tackling Light Trapping in Organic Light-Emitting Diodes by Complete Elimination of Waveguide Modes.”
The approach described in the study “prevents light from being trapped in the light-emitting part of an OLED, enabling OLEDs to maintain brightness while using less power. In addition, the electrode is easy to fit into existing processes for making OLED displays and light fixtures.” This could have applications on everything from phones to TVs, although how soon the proposed tech will make its way to commercial products remains unclear.
“With our approach, you can do it all in the same vacuum chamber,” L. Jay Guo, U-M professor of electrical and computer engineering, said of the study. “Untreated, it is the strongest waveguiding layer in the OLED. We want to address the root cause of the problem.”
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist, and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, 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.