On September 30th, we published that SDC would spend around $11B on its QD-OLED fabs. On October 10th, they made it official at an agreement ceremony held at its Asan 2 campus. It was announced that:
Samsung Display CEO DH Lee indicated, “Quantum dots are our future growth vision of the large display industry.” With this investment, the company hopes to “create more jobs and become a company that can present hope, and not despair, to the younger generation, and to share growth.”
South Korean President Moon Jae-in attended the agreement ceremony and said, “The display industry is Korea’s manufacturing backbone. It is important to maintain the top spot of the global display market with game-changing technologies. Following LG Display’s 3 trillion-won investment in large OLED panel production in July, Samsung Display’s latest investment plan brightens prospects further. This ceremony will be the starting point for us to become the powerhouse in display and manufacturing that will be so far ahead of other countries while maintaining the world’s top competitive edge in display and being self-reliant on key materials, parts, and equipment.”
Samsung Vice Chairman JY Lee said, “Displays are our ‘dream platform’ that connect us from home to office, and are used anywhere for industries, education and medicine. We will invest over 13 trillion won only for next-generation displays and make new jobs for young people despite the difficult economic situation.”
To ensure they are not dependent on overseas equipment and materials suppliers, Samsung is expected to try and internalize core technologies from the onset of this project. It was said that Samsung is going to raise the level of collaboration with South Korean companies and ensure there is a Korean supplier even when there is a dominant overseas supplier. It is also going to strengthen industry-university collaboration by establishing a ‘Display Research Center’ with South Korean universities to train students so that they can specialize in displays in the future.
Costs and lifetime will be the biggest challenges for SDC with 3X as many masks on the backplane, limited oxide and IJP experience and the use of thin film encapsulation. Relative to LGD’s WOLED process, there will initially be around 50% more masks on the backplane, the OLED frontplane process will have one less OLED deposition step but a more complicated encapsulation process and the color converter and color filter process will be more challenging. A color filter will likely be required initially to prevent color mixing, maximize gamut and help unplanned QD emissions from the front of the display which will reduce its brightness advantage. The QD emissions also need to be redirected forward since 62% of the light emits to the side or backwards according to Samsung. Although the top emission structure and use of QDs should result in a brightness advantage and easier implementation higher resolution displays than LGD’s WOLEDs, the use of the lowest lifetime OLED material, blue, will require Samsung to implement compensation schemes to minimize the aging process. Unlike LGD, Samsung won’t have to deal with differential aging of the OLED materials however since only blue is used. Our latest assumptions regarding equipment spending and timing for each phase can be found in our Quarterly Display Capex and Equipment Report.
Samsung’s Asan Campus Where Q1 Will Be Located
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