Samsung accelerates the conversion of its LCD production line to OLED production line

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The A4-2 line of Samsung Display’s LCD factory (L7-2), which was shut down early last year, is being converted into a 6th generation OLED production line. The company introduced display processing equipment in the first quarter. According to reports, Samsung will start operations in the third quarter.

According to ETNews, Samsung Display has invested about 1 trillion won in the factory and plans to increase the annual production capacity of 6th generation OLED panels by 180,000 pieces with a new OLED production line.

The A4-2 factory is more of an additional investment than a new factory. Samsung Display’s investment is to eliminate quality differences between 6th generation OLED factories such as A3, A4, etc. thanks to new technology. Samsung Display develops technologies such as A3・A4 and LTPO with touch all-in-one. As a result, the existing manufacturing capacity of 6th generation OLEDs must be reduced.

The equipment industry welcomes Samsung Display’s growing OLED investment. After the large-scale investment of billboard companies has been silent for some time, it is expected that from A4-2, equipment investment will officially begin. The A4-2 factory ensures an additional production of 180,000 panels per year. If there are additional orders, it is expected that there will be large scale equipment orders similar to this additional investment.

Samsung Display flexibly decides to make additional investments taking into account demand and market conditions for OLEDs. Some display equipment manufacturers are also preparing for Samsung Display to invest in the A5 factory (tentative name). Reportedly, the A5 factory will install the 6th generation OLED or the new 8th generation production line. However, Samsung Display has yet to determine its factory standards.

Samsung withdraws from the LCD market

Several Chinese panel makers have overtaken Samsung and LG to become leading LCD panel makers in recent years. Korean companies are no longer able to compete. Samsung will stop production of LCD panels six months earlier than planned. Samsung originally planned to stop producing LCD panels by the end of 2020. However, the LCD panel market has started to increase in price over the past year. This allowed Samsung’s LCD factory to continue operating for another two years. However, the company initially plans to exit the market at the end of 2022. Nevertheless, the LCD panel market has changed since late last year. The price has dropped significantly and is now in freefall. In January this year, the average price of a 32-inch panel was just $38, down 64% from January last year.

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