TCL shows off prototype 65-inch inkjet-printed 8K OLED display

Mike Wheatley

China’s TCL Electronics has reportedly demonstrated its first ever 65-inch 8K OLED TV display panel, manufactured using the inkjet printing process. The display was co-developed by TCL subsidiary China Star Optoelectronics Technology and Japan OLED, a joint venture owned by Japan Display, Panasonic and Sony.


The inkjet printed OLED panel was shown off at a press event held by TCL in China earlier this week, alongside four other smaller OLED panels, two of which were also made using the same process, according to a Chinese language report by YiCai.

TCL has been pursuing the inkjet printing process to manufacture OLED televisions for some time. Last year it announced a £144.6 million investment in JOLED after signing an agreement with that company to jointly develop OLED TV printing technologies.

YiCai said TCL produced the prototype inkjet printed OLED panels at CSOT’s factory in Guangzhou, China. The company is said to be building a new, $6.8 billion 8.5-Gen inkjet printing fab at the Guanhzhou facility and is planning to bring it online and start mass producing displays by the end of 2022 or early 2023, the report added.

TCL Chief Technology Office Yan Xiaolin told reporters that the company’s inkjet printing process will enable greater material utilization and higher production yields than rival processes such as LG Display’s WOLED evaporation process. He added that the cost of production would also be lower, and the displays have a simpler structure. As a result, TCL hopes it will be able to sell its OLED TV displays at much lower prices than LG Display does.

LG Display has long been the world’s sole manufacturer of large-size OLED panels for the TV market but the company could soon face stiff competition. OLED TV sales have risen sharply due to the factors such as the coronavirus pandemic and the technology becoming more affordable. The research Omdia recently upped its forecast for OLED TV sales this year to 6.5 million, almost double the 3.65 million total OLED TV shipments seen in 2020. LG meanwhile, says it’s on track to ship more than 8 million OLED TV displays this year.

With such strong demand for OLED TVs, other display makers are keen to get in on the action. LG’s rival Samsung Electronics, which for years had spurned OLED technology, made an abrupt U-turn earlier this year when it revealed it will launch its first QD-OLED televisions in 2022. QD-OLED displays merge the Quantum Dots used in Samsung’s QLED technology with OLED, and some believe that could result in them being superior to LG’s panels.

Whether that’s true or not remains to be seen, but we’re expecting to get our first glimpse of Samsung’s QD-OLED tech in the next couple of months. In the meantime, check the video below for a sneak preview of what to expect: