LG Display, the world’s leading innovator of display technologies, announced today that it will invest KRW1.05 trillion (US$908 million) in a 6th Generation flexible OLED display production line as part of its efforts to lead the flexible OLED display market, which has emerged as an attractive new display market.
The new E5 Line is located at the Gumi Plant in Gyeongbuk Province, Korea, which will produce 7,500 input sheets per month using a 6thGeneration size substrate sheet of 1,500mm x 1,850mm. The new line is scheduled to start mass production in the first half of 2017.
The 6th Generation line is able to produce more than 200 cuts of a 5.5-inch product from a single substrate, which is nearly four times the production efficiency of a conventional 4.5th Generation line, which uses 730mm x 920mm substrate sheets.
LG Display’s investment will help pioneer future display technologies such as foldable displays and large-size auto displays.
The main advantage of a flexible OLED display is the screen’s bending feature that is achieved by the use of a plastic substrate instead of a glass substrate as in a conventional OLED display. The use of the flexible OLED technology is now being expanded to smartphone, automotive and wearable device displays.
LG Display not only is creating differentiated competitiveness in the mobile display market by offering more design formats only possible through the flexible OLED, but is laying the foundation for the growth of flexible OLED displays by establishing a full-scale 6th Generation production plant that produces large sized panels.
LG Display introduced the era of large-sized OLED panels with the world’s first 55-inch OLED TV panel in January 2013, followed by the introduction of the era of flexible OLED displays with the mass production of the world’s first plastic substrate-based 6-inch flexible OLED display for smartphones in October 2013 and the world’s first 1.3-inch circular flexible OLED display in September 2014.
LG Display aims to lead the flexible OLED market by offering customers differentiated value, with the accumulated technology skills from large-size OLED display production applied to flexible OLED displays.
According to IHS DisplaySearch, a global market research firm, the flexible OLED market is expected to soar from 2015, with sales increasing from $3.5 billion in 2015 to $4.8 billion by 2021.
In addition, LG Display signed a MOU on OLED investment and administrative support with the Gyeongbuk Province and Gumi City governments on July 23, with the company having been promised to receive administrative service support from the local authorities.
LG Display has invested approximately KRW 14 trillion in Gumi facilities since the start of mass production at P1 in 1995, including an investment of KRW3.7 trillion for the integration of the IT and mobile display facilities over three years starting from 2008, and KRW2.05 trillion for enhancing technology for small-medium size displays from 2012.
The additional investment of KRW1.05 trillion in the flexible OLED line is expected to create jobs and promote regional economic growth by creating synergies between the production of LCD and OLED displays.
Flexible AMOLED Panel Market Forecast (Revenue / Unit: US$1,000)
Source: Quarterly OLED Shipment and Forecast Report_Q2 ’15, IHS DisplaySearch.