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Samsung Display will cease its production of liquid crystal display (LCD) panels in South Korea and China at the end of 2020 to focus on the new generation of "quantum dot" (QD) screens, reports Engadget. All orders for LCDs made before the end of the year will still be completed.
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Samsung Display pivots to quantum dot technology
Last year, Samsung announced its plans for QD via an $11 billion investment into a new plant that could manufacture true QLED TV screens capable of self-illumination, reports Engadget. In the past, Samsung's quantum dot LCD tech placed LED backlights behind a filter (so the display doesn't match with LG's OLED TVs, for example), but research late in 2019 helped the company overcome some development issues, like burn-in. Instead, Samsung's forthcoming QD tech uses an indium phosphide, rather than toxic cadmium, with a lifetime rated up to one million hours.
Samsung's multi-billion dollar investment will happen through the course of five years and will see the company convert the existing South Korean LCD lines into a facility designed to mass-produce the new screens.
This move is less of a surprise when taking into account the falling demand for LCD products and a manufacturing supply glut — which incentivizes new avenues for the company, like doing away with traditional technology and doubling-down on new tech. This is why QD screens are highly likely to abound our viewing experience in the coming decade.
Coronavirus disrupted LCD screen production in China
Of course, there are world-historical reasons for the move. In February, it was observed that the novel coronavirus disrupted production of display panels in China, which spurred supply shortfalls and rising prices — all before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization.
When the COVID-19 disease broke out in China, the coronavirus crisis also hit the electronics supply chain industry amid local economic turmoil, which was compounded by the way the outbreak hit the then-semi-quarantined city of Wuhan.
As the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak continues to lower the boom on long-term damage of industries and humankind globally, we should expect to see similar pivots in leading industries, going forward. Hopefully, like Samsung, they will also be toward a high-tech future, and not a return to the past.