Samsung will stop making LCD panels by the end of this year. And it appears the company has expedited the shutdown process already. According to a new report from Korean publication Yonhap News, Samsung Display, the company's display manufacturing division, has reassigned some employees to its other divisions.
Although Samsung plans to replace its LCD line with Quantum Dot LED panels (QLED), the company isn't moving the workforce to its QLED production lines. Instead, around 200 Samsung Display employees have been transferred to its chip manufacturing division.
Additionally, some Samsung Display personnel have also moved to Samsung Biologics and Samsung SDI, the company's battery manufacturing arm. The report doesn't detail the number of employees that have been reassigned to these units.
Samsung Display shutting down LCD lines
Samsung began to lower its LCD production capacity way back in 2016 when it shut down as many as six LCD plants to make room for OLED production. No wonder it holds more than 90 percent share in the small OLED market.
As for big display panels, Samsung sees QLED panels as the future and is willing to invest big in it. The company has committed to invest $11 billion on this display technology by 2025. It is also exploring other advanced display technologies. A report last month claimed that Samsung Display is working on QNED (Quantum dot Nanorod LED) display technology as well.
In the meantime, demand for LCD panels continues to drop. LCD monitors saw a small surge in demand during the COVID-19 lockdowns but that's about it. Now, with just about four months remaining on the calendar, Samsung Display has begun the shutdown process of its LCD line.
What's interesting is that the company is reassigning the workforce to its chip manufacturing sister company. The move is indicative of Samsung's ambition with the chip business. The company last year announced that it would invest a whopping $115 billion in logic chip development by 2030.
The South Korean giant plans to begin constructing a third semiconductor factory in September this year. It hopes to make the new factory in the Gyeonggi Province of Pyeongtaek city in South Korea operational by the end of 2021. Samsung will manufacture DRAM, NAND chips, processors, and image sensors at this factory.
Samsung also recently joined forces with AMD and ARM for its next-generation Exynos chipsets. The company aims to become the No. 1 Android application processor (AP) maker in the world. Moreover, it is also expanding its neural processing units (NPU) team, with reports suggesting the team would grow 10-fold to 2,000 personnel by 2030.