Before his visit to meet JOLED
TCL Chairman and CEO Li Dongsheng will visit South Korea later this month to meet with local manufacturers of billboard production equipment, TheElec has learned.
His visit to South Korea is scheduled before his trip to Japan where he plans to visit Japanese billboard manufacturer JOLED.
Li should check the trend of OLED Gen 8 technologies and ask for collaboration with equipment manufacturers in South Korea.
TCL is a challenger to LG Electronics for the world’s second-place TV spot. Its subsidiary CSOT is just behind its compatriot BOE when it comes to liquid crystal displays (LCDs). But TCL has yet to make its mark in the OLED sector.
Although BOE saw its shipment of OLED panels to Apple for iPhones drop because it was caught modifying the design of thin-film transistors for OLED panels intended for the iPhone 13 without permission, CSOT did not. yet supplied a single OLED panel to Cupertino.
BOE also beats CSOT in delivering OLED to Samsung for their smartphones. BOE had gained OLED expertise by becoming Huawei’s main flexible OLED panel supplier.
Sources said Li is expected to show keen interest in Gen 8 OLED panel technologies, which Samsung Display and LG Display are actively developing.
Existing OLED Gen 6 lineups are saturating the market and OLED Gen 8 technologies are expected to provide the next spurt of growth for the display panel industry.
South Korean display panel equipment makers have expertise in Gen 8 OLED technologies through their collaboration with Samsung Display and LG Display.
These companies attempt to secure the right surface to make Gen 8 substrates optimal for display panels 10 inches or larger.
They also develop various deposition machines, masks and frames for it.
Meanwhile, TCL’s chairman is also expected to ask South Korean billboard equipment makers to deliver their kits in a timely manner.
The pandemic has caused supply chain issues for equipment, components, and materials, which negatively affected end-product manufacturers like TCL. CSOT is also expected to place equipment orders for its OLED Gen 6 T5 line soon.
CSOT is also collaborating with JOLED on OLED inkjet printing. The Chinese display panel maker is preparing a Gen 8.5 OLED print line called T8 in Guanzhou, which the company says will start production in 2024, but sources said the timeline was too bullish and it would be unlikely to be respected.
In OLED inkjet printing, nozzles are used to spray the organic material to form the red, green, and blue sub-pixels. This is a simpler process compared to vacuum deposition which is widely used now and also results in less material loss.
But in the process of changing the characteristics of organic materials so that they can be printed uniformly, the brightness of OLEDs may drop.
In contrast, OLED vacuum deposition deposits organic matter in a vacuum state at high temperatures. OLED TV panels have between three and four layers and use color filters to express colors. For smartphone OLED panels, the RGB sub-pixels are all deposited on the same layer to express light and colors. The production process uses thin metal masks. When organic material is vaporized there is a high loss of material, but this method of production has been commercially verified.
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