We have some updates from LG.Display about their panel development plans which is always interesting to see. This is LG.Display as a panel manufacturer, as opposed to LG the monitor/display manufacturer, but it gives an indication of where monitors are likely to go in the future by looking ahead at the panel production plans. LG.Display make a large portion of the IPS-type panels in the market which is always of interest. Please keep in mind that the production dates are not set in stone and may change, and there is then also a lag of several months before a panel is produced, then used in a display and launched to market. We have updated our panel parts database with all the new information we have as well as best we can. Here are the highlights.
Overall focus areas for LG.Display are:
- Improved design with new thinner profiles and “real borderless” design
- Use of Mini LED backlights for improved local dimming and HDR performance
- Extending colour spaces for more vivid and lifelike colours
- Faster IPS gaming panels
- More low blue light filter developments
Narrower borders and slimmer design
There is a focus on creating even thinner borders and thinner screen profiles on a range of their panels in the future. This is even more so than current 3-side and 4-side “borderless” options in production already. While there are plenty of screens with very thin plastic bezels of <3mm around the sides and top, there is still a black inner panel border before the image starts on all of those.
LG.Display plan to produce the World’s first “Real borderless” panels with an extremely narrow side profile as well. These so called “Oxide” panels are in an early concept stage at the moment and not expected to go in to mass production until Q3/Q4 2020, so not for some time yet.
There’s already a wide range of the current generation 4-side borderless panels in mass production in sizes of 23.8, 24, 27 and 34″. The first Oxide panels with real borderless design are expected to be 27″ in size, and as far as we can tell these will be IPS technology. Both look very interesting options:
- One looks like it will be the 27″ UltraHD (3840 x 2160 res) panel with 144Hz refresh rate that we’ve talked about before. This will have a 4-side borderless design and offers a 98% DCI-P3 colour gamut and HDR600 support. That is penciled in at this stage for Q3 2020 production.
- The other planned option with this Oxide design is a 27″ module with 2560 x 1440 resolution and a 240Hz refresh rate. This too has a 98% DCI-P3 gamut and HDR600 support, but is penciled in for Q4 2020 production.
Mini LED Backlights for improved local dimming
LG.Display are also focusing on improving the HDR options they offer. There are a wide range of HDR600 panels planned or in production, but of particular interest are plans to produce more Mini LED backlights. These are a step beyond current FALD backlights, offering 53% smaller dimming zones and far more of them. This helps provide more finite control over the content on the screen, reduce blooming and halos, and creating an improved HDR experience. They will aim to offer peak brightness of up to 1250 cd/m2 as well from these new panels.
There is a 31.5″ sized IPS panel planned but not until Q3 2020 at this time. This offers a 3840 x 2160 resolution and has a Mini LED backlight with >2000 dimming zones. It will also offer a >99% DCI-P3 colour gamut and HDR 1000 certification. Other Mini LED panels are not currently listed, but expect to see others emerge later on. These are likely to be reserved for more professional grade screens as opposed to gaming screens at this time we believe.
More 240Hz IPS options
We’ve already seen the first wave of 240Hz IPS-type panels emerge on the market, with the World’s first monitor being the Acer Nitro XV273 X. That display really impressed us with its fast response times and excellent motion clarity. At the moment the 240Hz IPS displays are all based on IPS panels from AU Optronics; LG.Display don’t yet have any 240Hz IPS panels of their own in mass production. AUO have 27″ and 24.5″ sized panels on offer so far.
- LG.Display’s alternative option in the 27″ space is now in production. It will have a 1920 x 1080 resolution and 240Hz refresh rate and will also include a 1000:1 contrast ratio, 400 cd/m2 brightness and sRGB gamut
- From the recent roadmaps we also know that LG.Display are planning a smaller 24.5″ sized option with 1080p and 240Hz, although this is not due to go in to production until Q3 2020 at the moment.
- As we touched on earlier, one of the new Oxide “real borderless” panels they are planning to produce also offers a 240Hz refresh rate, but will also come with a higher 2560 x 1440 resolution. That’s not planned until Q4 2020 though so a long way off.
It remains to be seen how LG.Display’s equivalent 240Hz IPS panels perform and if they are as fast as AUO’s early offerings. Their recent 144Hz IPS panels like that used in the LG 27GL850 impressed us, so we have high hopes for these new options when they appear.
A focus on improving blue light filters
LG.Display are also going to focus further on blue light filters and improvements to the spectral output of their panels. They state that there is a risk of eye damage for blue light wavelengths under 445nm of the blue spectrum and want to do something to help address that concern. By using optimized colour filters (while maintaining a focus on colour accuracy) and LED chip modifications they plan to shift the blue wavelength from the normal 400 – 445nm range to 450 – 455nm. They aim to have these improvements across more of their panels moving forward with a full line-up of their more mainstream sRGB options updated by Q2 2020 in sizes from 21.5 – 27″.