Samsung delays QD-OLED production plans

Unexpected hiccups but TV fans of the future may still get QD-OLED

by Andy Bassett May 14, 2019 at 12:33 PM

  • Such is the nature of Research and Development - timelines can be fluid and objectives subject to change.
    As well as championing Quantum Dot technology to great commercial success, Samsung also has a finger in a few R&D pies including the development of a Micro LED TV but also bringing a hybrid Quantum Dot Organic Light Emitting Diode TV to market.

    Even as recently as February 2019, it was understood that Samsung planned a trial production run of its first QD-OLED models this year which would be followed by mass production being scaled up in 2020.

    However, several news sources, including OLED-Info, have reported that the plans are being put back so that the evaluation run will occur in 2020, with the large scale production taking place in 2023.

    Keen AV enthusiasts might be a bit disappointed by this news as it means marketable QD-OLEDs are still several years away. The enticing prospect of a best-of-both-worlds TV is possibly one of the reasons why Samsung, who vocally advocate its own Quantum Dot technology over OLED, are still pursuing the amalgamation of the two technologies, even if it is now over an expanded time frame.

    The combination of the prime properties of OLED, with its deeper blacks and startling contrast and QLED, featuring brightness that exceeds that possible with OLED, is clearly something Samsung still wants to pursue. If the technology fully realises quantum dots as their own self emitting light source, it could add the deep blacks currently lacking in QLED and combine them with high brightness levels and vivid colour gamuts plus achieve a far slimmer QLED set, since the backlight array would no longer be required.

    The announced delay could just be because the development pipeline has some technical stumbling blocks to overcome. Indeed, the difficulties of obtaining a satisfactory blue OLED emitter have been previously been documented. Or it could be that Samsung wants to reap some of the financial rewards of their latest QLED models before unveiling new technologies to the marketplace.

    As part of its development process, Samsung is converting an existing 8-Gen production line to QD-OLED. Given the screen size limitations inherent in such a facility, only 55-inch and smaller screens can be produced, meaning initial television sets might be targeted more at the consumer market - attention grabbing prototypes notwithstanding.

    Conjecture aside, the fact that Samsung is still pursuing the plans is good news for TV fans of the future.

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