5th Generation Ends
Samsung Display halted the operation of the L5 line, which had previously produced the fifth-generation liquid crystal display (LCD) panels, in Cheonan, South Chungcheong Province, and entered the procedure sell equipment. The L5 line started the operation in 2002 and manufactured LCD panels for small and medium IT devices such as notebooks and monitors due to the outdated equipment.
An official from Samsun Display said on Nov. 12, “The company shut down the L5 line last month and is seeking companies that are willing to acquire idle equipment.” The exact sale value is not decided yet but industry sources believe that it will be some tens of billions of won. Samsung Display closed down the fourth-generation LCD production line in Cheonan last year and sold it to China’s Truly, eliminating the outdated production line.
With the sale of equipment this time, all eyes are on what kinds of changes Samsung Display will take on its business strategy. Some industry watchers say that the company will build the organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panel production line at the L5 line and supply them to Apple. The company currently operates L6 to L8 production facilities, which produce LCD panels, and A1 to A3 production facilities which produce OLED panels.
An official from the industry said, “Our main concern is whether Samsung will invest a large amount of money in the LCD lines or give up LCD and focus on the OLED lines at the time when Chinese LCD makers are recently increasing the production.”