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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  • Duncan Macdonald - Tuesday, March 31, 2020 - link

    With this design only having one colour of OLED, the problem of colour shift with age should disappear. (Traditional OLED designs have 3 types of emitter RED,GREEN,BLUE which age differently.)
  • BenSkywalker - Wednesday, April 1, 2020 - link

    While what toy say is correct, it's misleading. LG OLED TV panels use white sub pixels with color filters, to the best of my knowledge you can't buy an OLED TV that suffers from the problem you describe.
  • close - Wednesday, April 1, 2020 - link

    But does the OLED emitter stack age faster (even if uniformly) than a traditional LED backlight?
  • saratoga4 - Wednesday, April 1, 2020 - link

    The OLED emitter does age a lot faster than a conventional backlight, which if properly design (and they often are not) will have a lifespan of decades
  • d0x360 - Wednesday, April 1, 2020 - link

    I have a 2016 LG OLED with 21,334 hours of being turned on. There is no burn in, no issues with brightness, no dead pixels. It looks as good as they day I bought it and this is a before LG really had burn in essentially solved and their manufacturing process was still pretty "new" for large displays.

    Component quality, panel quality, software quality etc have all gotten significantly better since. Even the 2017 model had significant changes made to reduce the chance of burn in... Which isn't actually burn in on an OLED it's basically a pixel being unable to properly show a certain color.

    I wouldn't worry about the life of these devices as long as you aren't buying some garbage brand. Personally I'd stick with LG. They are the best when it comes to OLED technology. I'll be buying a new one this year so I can game at 4k 120fps with VRR thanks to HDMI 2.1
  • Reflex - Wednesday, April 1, 2020 - link

    Same here. I love this tv, and I've had no issues with a LOT of gaming and movie hours.
  • close - Monday, April 6, 2020 - link

    So your TV ran 2.5 years out of the 3.5-4 years you've had it? Are you sure there's no funky accounting of hours in standby or "screensaver" mode? Pretty much all models between 2010 and 2016-2017 were famous among users for burn-in issues or varying degrees. 2018-2019 are generally considered mostly OK. I have a 2018 model that still exhibits faint signs of burn-in. Nothing very obvious but there nonetheless. And this after using it with Netflix and Youtube streaming (almost no fixed logos elements displayed). My OLED monitor (same age, LG panel) fared even worse.

    And can you genuinely remember how it looked the day you bought it that now, after 4 years you can accurately say it's (even reasonably) the same? Because I swear my overclocked K6-2 was just as fast as my current 8-core... If not faster.
  • ushandyman - Saturday, July 18, 2020 - link

    Yes, OLEDs age a lot faster but they last more than enough
  • Samus - Wednesday, April 1, 2020 - link

    The problem with the LG OLED tech is the OLED's wear unevenly, causing contrast difference, thus color difference. This wasn't really a problem with traditional LCD technology but OLED's still suffer from progressively faster decay. Though LG advertises 50,000 hours life for their OLED's in HDR, that's guaranteed life, not calibrated life. At 8 hours a day, OLED TV's last 5 years until they are super inconsistant (this is commonly tested in showrooms that have TV's on for 14+ hours a day, even if not running in DEMO mode, having a service life of 2 years at best.
  • BenSkywalker - Wednesday, April 1, 2020 - link

    The OLED tech used in LG TVs use all white OLED sub pixels, they don't have the issues Samsung has with blue degrading significantly faster as they don't use blue.

    Also, have an E6 that's been going for four years here averaging over eight hours a day and it still is utterly jaw dropping, has no issues with uniformity and is still the most accurate display I have access to by a comfortable margin. This display has been subjected to many 16+ hour RPG gaming sessions and none of the issues with IR at all.

    I've seen many crazy stories from people about OLED issues, just none from people who actually own one(or more).

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