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Samsung pulls the plug on TOLED

Samsung has announced it will no longer manufacture Transparent OLED panels, which is the base panel used in all TOLED products on the market.

This ‘End of Life’ (EOL) announcement comes three months after Crystal Display Systems launched its LucidVue display (pictured) and two months after eyevis introduced the EYE-TOLED-5500-TGIF40, which includes InGlass touch technology. Other manufacturers invested in TOLED displays include Planar and Pro Display.

In an official release from CDS, the company revealed there had been discussions regarding a ‘last time buy’ option, but this was rejected as CDS would not be able to offer full support if there were to be future reliability issues with the panels.

The reason given for the EOL notice is that the global quantity is not high enough for Samsung to justify the investment in the technology. Samsung’s decision also puts into doubt proposals from LG to start manufacturing TOLED next year.

CDS director Tony Large commented: “The EOL of TOLED is a really unfortunate situation for all concerned. Such is the nature of large scale manufacture that without large volume take up on products, fabrication becomes impossible.

“Coupled with issues of production yield, and fragility, the outcome is not entirely unexpected. We are working closely with clients to develop alternative technologies based on proven TLCD technology.”

When approached for comment, an eyevis spokesperson revealed: “We can uphold availability of new devices (EYE-TOLED-5500 and the touch version EYE-TOLED-TIGF40) for approximately the next 12-18 months, based on already placed orders which are currently shipped, our existing stock and what we expect to receive from a last call. This is roughly calculated from our sales volumes in the past months. Of course we can guarantee availability of spare parts including spare panels for the units we sell in the scope of our warranty terms.

“We know that Samsung’s EOL note has caused some panic amongst existing and prospective customers of transparent OLED displays, but as mentioned above they will still be available for some time. Products and spares will be available for a reasonable time from now.”

Crystal Display Systems

eyevis displays