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Samsung SDI Makes Big Investment To Increase OLED Output

June 30, 2008

As leading panel makers try to grab a piece of the fast-growing market for active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AM-OLED) displays, South Korean display maker Samsung SDI announced Monday it would spend $529 million to boost production of next-generation organic displays to six times the current level by mid-2009.

Leading panel makers are looking to get ahead in the fast-growing market for AM-OLED displays, which make better quality, slimmer and more energy-efficient screens than liquid crystal displays.

But makers will need to cut production costs and maximize screen size in order to see an adoption in a wider range of applications. Samsung SDI produces small-sized AM-OLED screens used in handheld devices.

Samsung SDI said that it would invest 551.8 billion won ($528.6 million) until mid-2009 to expand its AM-OLED output, according to a filing with the local exchange.

The company said production capacity would reach 9 million units a month in 2-inch screen terms, compared with 1.5 million currently, once the investment is completed.

Other makers like Japan’s Sony Corp and Toshiba Corp are moving fast to launch OLED products and build scale.

Last November, Sony started selling small-sized TVs using OLED technology and Toshiba will ship small-to-medium-size OLED screens for mobile devices in the autumn.

Matsushita Electric Industrial Co is finalizing plans to mass-produce 37-inch OLED TVs in three years.

Global shipments of AM-OLED panels are expected to nearly quadruple in 2008 to 10.2 million units, with revenue reaching $225 million, according to Market researcher iSuppli.

Image Courtesy Samsung SDI

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