According to a report from Reuters, Samsung Display will cease production of traditional LCD displays by the end of the year. The move comes as the company is apparently turning its full efforts away from traditional liquid crystal displays and towards the company's portfolio of quantum dot technology. Building off of the Reuters report, ZDNet is reporting that Samsung is dropping LCD production entirely – including its quantum dot-enhanced "QLED" LCDs – and that their retooled efforts will focus on QD-enhanced OLED displays. A decision with big ramifications for the traditional LCD market, this means that by the end of the year, the LCD market will be losing one of its bigger (and best-known) manufacturers.

As recently as last year, Samsung Display had two LCD production facilities in South Korea and another two LCD plants in China. Back in October, 2019, the company halted production one of the South Korean factories, and now plans to suspend production of LCDs at the remaining three facilities due to the low profitability and oversupply of traditional LCDs.

Instead, the company will be turning its attention towards the quantum dot-enhanced OLED displays. A new technology for Samsung, this would be distinct from the company's current QLED displays, which use quantum dots to enhance LCD displays. Samsung previously announced their plans to invest a whopping $11 billion in QD-OLED production, and now those plans are moving one step closer to completion as the company gets ready to wind-down traditional LCD production.

To that end, one of the two South Korean LCD lines will be converted to produce displays and TVs featuring quantum dot-enhanced OLED panels. Samsung Display hopes that their sizable investment will pay off as the new technology promises unprecedented image quality and lower cost compared to regular OLED panels. Meanwhile, Samsung’s longer-term plans include building of two QD-OLED lines, though it's unclear for now whether this will include any of the company's Chinese facilities, or what may happen to those lines once they shut down at the end of the year.

Overall, Samsung is not the first nor the only LCD panel manufacturer to reduce their production. LG Display has converted as least one of its LCD factories to an OLED facility, whereas Panasonic last year decided to cease LCD manufacturing by 2021.

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Source: Reuters, ZDNet

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  • bansheexyz - Wednesday, April 1, 2020 - link

    I've seen plenty of photos and videos showing uneven wear. It depends on usage, obviously. Any non-16:9 content that gets letterboxed or pillarboxed is uneven usage of pixels. Persistently playing games with static hud displays, watching too many channels that have static logos in the corner, hooking up a PC with a static taskbar too much. You have to be careful.

    OLED degradation will get better, but what OLED really needs to make LCD obsolete is to become cheap enough to where replacement every few years doesn't matter. These burn-in problems don't matter if they're cheaper than LCDs. They say they can print these panels like inkjet paper, let's see it then.
  • wr3zzz - Wednesday, April 1, 2020 - link

    There is image retention and image burn-in. I have two 10+ years Panasonic plasma and I can show you some scary pics of image "retention" but image rentention can easily be cleared with some video clean sessions. True image burn-in depends on content. The only real burn-in I have are from Civ4, back when plasma was new and OLED was in the lab. Software, especially games, developed since then have been far more aware of what causes burn-in and I have never had an issue after. This includes Civ5 and Civ6. This doesn't mean I am not worry about burn-in when I upgrade to OLED. It takes just one bad content design to leave a permanent scar...
  • FreckledTrout - Wednesday, April 1, 2020 - link

    See my comment above. This used to be an issue but isn't ever since LG moved to all white sub pixels with filters to make WRGB.
  • Dragonstongue - Wednesday, April 1, 2020 - link

    "is to become cheap enough to where replacement every few years doesn't matter."

    let us add even more to tech waste sites around the globe then already exists as it stands.

    that sounds like a fantastic idea?

    IMO all makers need to figure out/worry about EOL e-cycling to minimize waste to global efforts as well as end users .. massive companies such as Samsung, LG etc I am certain can help to promote "bring to us" programs, then large shipments of such products can be handled PROPERLY so they can then be "stripped" and preferably a good chunk of materials can be reused for new production / reduced waste gobbling up landfills and yards world wide

    my .02c
  • s.yu - Wednesday, April 1, 2020 - link

    That's the thing, blue OLED has a bad reputation both in terms of efficiency and degradation, e.g. blue pixels in all the variants of Pentile have larger blue subpixels to counteract the low brightness and faster degradation, so making the whole panel blue sounds questionable.
  • Reflex - Wednesday, April 1, 2020 - link

    That's not an issue with LG, they don't use RGBOLED, they use only white OLED with color filters. Colors wear evenly as a result.
  • s.yu - Wednesday, April 1, 2020 - link

    I'm only referring to Samsung's decision to use blue OLED as the light source behind a red/green QD CFA. I know that OLED TVs use WOLED.
  • d0x360 - Wednesday, April 1, 2020 - link

    That's absolutely nonsense. I have a 2016 LG OLED with 21,334 HOURS of screen on time. The TV actually has more than 8 hours a day average on it and it looks every bit as good today as it did the day I bought it.

    You might run into issues with cheaper TV's made by smaller companies but on the higher end... There's no worry about burn in or longevity, especially with the 2017 models and later.
  • Samus - Wednesday, April 1, 2020 - link

    Personally I've witnessed some scary calibration issues on my parents 2 year old Sharp where there is clear brightness difference at the top and bottom of the screen where letterbox borders left uneven wear.

    But they leave the thing on practically 24/7 like "old people" do. But when you consider they've only owned 3 TV's since the 80's and each one has lasted over 10 years, it's remarkable this $2000 TV from Sharp is failing when it was purchased in 2018.
  • BenSkywalker - Thursday, April 2, 2020 - link

    Sharp only made LCD TVs in 2018, they are planning on releasing OLED later this year. You are taking about a LCD with problems, not an OLED.

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