BOE to construct next-gen 8.6G OLED plant for high-end monitors, laptops and tablets

Mike Wheatley

Chinese display maker BOE has announced plans to build a new, next-generation 8.6G OLED manufacturing facility to cater to a widely anticipated increase in demand for the technology.


Industry analysts believe that OLED display technology has matured rapidly, and is now set to surpass LCD as the main technology for high-end information technology products. Display Supply Chain Consultants has forecast that OLED will command a 75% share of the market for premium monitors, laptops and tablets by 2026.

This transition is being driven by Apple’s recent shift from LCD to OLED in its iPad tablets and Mac laptops. Moreover, many monitor brands have embraced OLED and QD-OLED displays in their flagship products, especially in monitors built for gaming applications. .

The growing dominance of OLED means that display makers will be under pressure to ship out as many units as they can, and that is why BOE is now taking steps to construct a new and advanced 8.6G OLED plant.

BOE previously built the first 6G OLED plant in China and also operates an 8Gen B5 R&D production line for larger displays in the province of Hefei. Now, it wants to build the first-ever 8.6G plant in the country, which would utilize larger glass substrates and facilitate more efficient and lower-cost production of OLED panels.

The new facility will be built in the city of Chengdu, and it will take around 34 months before it is up and running in production. The company said it expects the facility to cost around 63 billion RMB, or around $9 billion. By the time it comes online, the plant should be able to manufacture around 32,000 glass substrates each and every month, which will be used for “high-end OLED displays for laptops and tablets,” the company said.

According to the company, the new plant will enable it to meet “soaring demand for IT OLED displays, accelerating the technology’s growth into mid-sized products”.

The company did not mention any plans for OLED TV panels, which may come as a disappointment as it has previously disclosed its ambitions to muscle into the OLED TV industry.

Last year, Chinese media reported on BOE’s plans to start mass producing large-sized OLED panels for televisions at the end of 2022. The reports came after BOE showcased a jaw-dropping 95-inch 8K OLED display for TVs at the 2022 Display Week event. BOE’s reported plans called for the production of five different OLED panel sizes, ranging from 55-inches to 95-inches. The company was reportedly intent on manufacturing OLED panels for all sizes that are traditionally used in TVs, and was even said to be exploring the production of smaller, 48-inch panels too.

BOE was said to have been test-producing OLED TV panels at its 8Gen B5 factory in Hefei, and was expected to begin mass production by the end of 2022, but for reasons unknown that never happened.

We’ll have to wait and see if BOE does make the step up to rival LG Display and Samsung Display in the OLED TV market, but in any case its plans for an 8.6G production line are an encouraging sign that suggests it may have stolen a march on its rivals, at least for smaller displays. LG Display has still not revealed any plans to invest in 8.6G production, but it does operate two 8.5G OLED plans dedicated to TVs, with one in China and one in South Korea.

Earlier this year, Samsung Display revealed plans to invest $3.1 billion to upgrade one of its existing facilities to 8.6G OLED production, with the products earmarked for tablets, laptops and other IT devices. That line should also come online by 2026.