Samsung Display’s LCD factory A4-2 line (L7-2), which was closed early last year, is being converted to a 6th-generation OLED production line. The company introduced display processing equipment in the first quarter. According to reports, Samsung will commence operations in the third quarter.
According to ETNews, Samsung Display has invested about 1 trillion won in the plant and plans to increase the annual production capacity of 6th-generation OLED panels by 180,000 pieces through a new OLED production line.
The A4-2 plant is more of a supplemental investment than a new plant. Samsung Display’s investment is to eliminate quality differences between 6th-generation OLED factories such as A3, A4, etc. with new technology. Samsung Display is developing technologies such as A3・A4 and LTPO with touch all-in-one. As a result, the existing 6th generation OLED manufacturing capacity has to reduce.
The equipment industry welcomes Samsung Display’s expanding OLED investment. After the large-scale investment of display panel companies has been silent for a period of time, it is expected that from A4-2, equipment investment will officially start. The A4-2 plant ensures an additional output of 180,000 panels per year. If there are additional orders, it is expected that there will be large-scale equipment orders similar to this additional investment.
Samsung Display flexibly decides to make additional investments considering demand and market conditions for OLEDs. Some display equipment manufacturers are also preparing for Samsung Display to invest in the A5 (tentative name) factory. There are reports that the A5 factory will install the 6th generation OLED or the new 8th generation production line. However, Samsung Display is yet to determine its factory standards.
Samsung withdraws from the LCD market
Several Chinese panel manufacturers have surpassed Samsung and LG to become the main LCD panel manufacturers in recent years. Korean companies are no longer able to compete. Samsung will stop the production of LCD panels half a year ahead of schedule. Samsung originally planned to stop the production of LCD panels by the end of 2020. However, the LCD panel market started to increase prices in the past year or so. This made Samsung’s LCD factory continue to operate for another two years. However, the company originally plans to exit the market at the end of 2022. Nevertheless, the LCD panel market has changed since the end of last year. The price has been falling significantly and it is now on a free fall. By January this year, the average price of a 32 -inch panel was only $ 38, a 64% drop relative to January last year.