DSCC Advanced TV Cost Report Highlights New OLED Sizes, Cost Component Increases

Published October 18, 2021

DSCC has released its latest update of our Advanced TV Display Cost Report, with updates to OLED and LCD cost profiles. This quarter’s edition includes updates to all sizes of WOLED panels and 55”+ LCD sizes, including LCD with MiniLED backlights, and some cost profiles for new OLED sizes, including 97” UHD.

The surge in demand for flat panel display panels and other electronic devices has resulted in shortages for several critical components, including glass substrates, driver ICs and PCBAs. These shortages have had a bigger impact on LCD costs than on OLED panel costs, which are still declining compared to 2020 as yields improve.

The cost report provides detailed cost profiles of 96 distinct LCD products, including combinations of screen size, refresh frequency (60Hz/120Hz), backlight (conventional /QDEF/MiniLED), gen size and manufacturing location (Korea / China) and including open cell models. The report covers 62 distinct OLED products, ranging in size from 27” to 97”, with resolutions from FHD to 8K and manufactured on Gen 8.5 and Gen 10.5 in China and Korea.

LGD is continuing to improve production at its Gen 8.5 White OLED (WOLED) fab in Guangzhou, China. While our cost report shows that total panel costs from China production in 2020 were higher than the costs for comparable panels made in Korea, by this year, the advantages for China production allow for lower total costs. China has lower costs for depreciation, personnel, indirect and SG&A, leading to lower total costs as LGD has closed the yield gap between Korea and China. We estimate that 48” total costs in 2021 in China, will be 13-14% lower than Korea production, with a similar advantage for 65”.

WOLED TV Panel Cost for China in 2021

Source: DSCC Advanced TV Cost Report
Source: DSCC Advanced TV Cost Report

LGD plans to sell 7M to 8M OLED TV panels in 2021, compared to 4.4M in 2020, and to help this effort; it has introduced new screen sizes that can allow for lower price points. Whereas, prior to 2020, LGD’s lowest cost OLED TV panel was a 55”, the cost of 48” UHD panels is 20% lower than 55” UHD. This has allowed LGD’s customers to introduce OLED TVs at lower price points, which will broaden the market. At the other end of the screen size spectrum, LGD’s introduction of 83” in 2021 and 97” in 2022 allows WOLED to better compete with LCD TV products at the 80”+ screen size.

The latest report updates the cost models for LCD panels with MiniLED backlights. The report allows for comparison across the wide range of performance (and cost) within LCD, from conventional LCD with 60Hz refresh to 120Hz to QDEF panels and finally MiniLED + QDEF. Combined with the OLED cost models, the report allows a complete comparison of the cost of all large-screen TV types.

The next two charts here show the cost profiles for 65” panels, comparing MiniLED LCD with WOLED, in the most cost-effective fabs (China Gen 10.5 for LCD, China Gen 8.5 MMG for WOLED). We estimate that the WOLED product in 2021 costs slightly more than the MiniLED, and we expect the cost of MiniLED to decrease faster than WOLED, so the cost advantage for MiniLED increases from 2% in 2021 to 15% in 2025.

65” UHD 60Hz LCD Module Cost on Gen 10.5 in China with MiniLED and QD

Source: DSCC Advanced TV Cost Report
Source: DSCC Advanced TV Cost Report

Bottom Emission 65” UHD WOLED Panel Total Cost on Gen 8.5 in China with MMG

Source: DSCC Advanced TV Cost Report
Source: DSCC Advanced TV Cost Report

MiniLED and OLED will compete in the marketplace, and the cost profile of the two technologies shows they are both much more expensive than conventional LCD. MiniLED TV products such as Samsung’s QD Neo MiniLED TVs compete at retail price points similar to WOLED TVs.

MiniLED will have many variations across brands and product lines, with different levels of cost/performance depending on the number of LEDs. Our cost report lists the number of LEDs modeled for each cost profile, and the profiles in this report have LEDs ranging from 7K to 17K. The 65” UHD model shown in the chart is based on 9.5K LEDs. The highest-performance MiniLED TV panels will have an even higher cost than our estimates, but there will also be some less expensive MiniLED designs on the market. For a more comprehensive overview of MiniLED panel costs that highlights these variations, see DSCC’s MiniLED Backlight Technology, Cost and Shipment Report.

The component shortages in the industry have led to increased component costs for all flat panels. The biggest impact of these increases, is seen on panels that were already commoditized before the pandemic. An example shown in the next chart here is the 55” Open Cell LCD panel made on Gen 8.5 fabs in China. These panels have seen costs increase by 7% from 2020 to 2021, with the main cost increase coming from module components which includes driver ICs.

55” UHD 60Hz LCD Open Cell Cash Cost on Gen 8.5 in China

Source: DSCC Advanced TV Cost Report
Source: DSCC Advanced TV Cost Report

As noted above, subscribers to the Advanced TV Cost Report receive cost profiles of all major product configurations competing in the premium TV space in both LCD and OLED. The report includes Excel files with the detailed cost models in tables and in graphical form, and a PowerPoint which outlines the main findings of this quarter’s update. The PowerPoint includes comparisons of competing technologies (such as WOLED vs. Inkjet Printing, or LCD vs. QDEF) and differing manufacturing platforms (Korea vs. China, Gen 8.5 vs. Gen 10.5). If interested in subscribing to the Advanced TV Cost Report, contact gerry@displaysupplychain.com.

Image Description
Written by

Bob O'Brien