Numerous tech blogs are reporting that LG will be showing an 8K OLED display this year at CES.
The 88-inch display has a resolution of 7680×4320, which is 33 million+ pixels.
“The successful development of the world’s first 8K OLED display is a milestone for the 8K era and underscores the exciting potential of OLED,” says In-Byung Kang, Executive VP and CTO at LG Display. “OLED is clearly a next-generation technology leader and for this reason, LG Display is accelerating its research and development into OLED so that we can provide differentiated products to customers and markets.”
All those pixels are self-emissive, meaning there’s no backlight (as in LCD tech). That results in true blacks. LG squeezed in more resolution by reducing the size of each pixel, it says. The company is, at the moment, the only big displayco doing OLED in these large formats. Main rival Samsung is making and marketing something called QLED, which sounds OLED-y but is actually a conventional LCD with a quantum dots layer.
Speaking of Samsung, it is rumored (only) to be planning to showcase a Micro LED TV at CES. ZDNet Korea reported a few week ago that will be showing a the top of the line TV will be 150 inches. Micro LED is a advanced variation on fine pitch LED that uses microscopic LEDs to create displays in a range of sizes. Nerds argue over whether the Sony CLEDIS display shown in the past year at ISE and InfoComm is true micro LED, but it’s in the ballpark.
Micro LED displays have LEDs smaller than 100 micrometers, and each LED chip generates a light source. The problem with this tech is that you need millions and millions of teeny LEDs to make a substantial screen. That means a lot of cost in material, but also in time. There are no robotics machines out there that pick and place LEDs on a substrate to “build” one of these screens quickly. It’s likely what Samsung shows (if it shows something) would have taken days or more likely weeks for a machine to build. There is lots of R&D work going on to figure out how to mass transfer LED chips, which would dramatically speed up manufacturing.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.