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 will update our panel parts database with all the new information we have as well as best we can.
If you missed it, our last update for LG.Display was July 2021 and worth a read back. Here are the highlights from this new update. We also have updates coming soon for AU Optronics and BOE so stay tuned for those.
Some more information on “IPS Black” panels
One of the most exciting developments in the IPS space is the now active development of LG.Display’s so-called “IPS Black” technology. LG.Display talk about how this is designed to improve contrast ratio and black depth, as well as black rendering on IPS panels when viewed from a variety of angles, including from the side where current IPS panels show pale “IPS glow” and appear more washed out. This technology is supposed to help improve contrast ratio to a spec of 2000:1 compared with traditional IPS panels which can manage around 1000:1 typically. They talk about super clear, detailed expression in darker grey content.
Two panels are now in production since Q1 2022 based on this IPS Black technology. They come in 27″ (LM270WR9-SSA1) and 31.5″ (LM315WR6-SSA1) sizes both with a 3840 x 2160 “4K” resolution, 98% DCI-P3 wide colour gamut, 2000:1 contrast ratio and LBL (low blue light) technology. We have actually already seen one monitor released so far with an IPS Black panel in the form of the Dell UltraSharp U3223QZ. LG also have their own monitor announced but not yet released using IPS black, the LG UltraFine 32UQ85R, we expect to see further options emerge in the near future. For now this technology is limited to 60Hz-only panels you might note but perhaps at some point we will see high refresh rate options for the gaming space as well.
240Hz OLED panels expected at some point
We don’t have a massive amount of information about this at the moment unfortunately but early indications are that LG.Display are working on a smaller sized WRGB pixel structure OLED panel for desktop monitor use, smaller than those featured in their popular OLED TV range (e.g. LG 42C2), and indeed used by most of the OLED TV market.
We understand that LG.Display are planning a 27″ sized OLED panel for monitor use which would offer a 2560 x 1440 resolution combined with a 240Hz refresh rate! It would be flat format and support HDR400 True Black certification too thanks to its OLED technology. This technology allows for excellent black depths, infinite contrast ratio, near instant pixel response times and excellent HDR performance with per-pixel dimming.
We’ve seen recently the first high refresh rate OLED monitor released in the form of the Dell Alienware AW3423DW (which we reviewed), which is 34″ in size, had a curved format and an ultrawide 3440 x 1440 resolution. That was a panel from Samsung based on their new competing QD-OLED (Quantum Dot OLED) technology and it had a 175Hz refresh rate. Check out our review for more information on that monitor. It looks like OLED will continue to evolve in the monitor market which will be very welcome by many people.
LG.Display are looking to offer a more “traditional” and common panel option it seems with a 27″ size, a flat format instead of curved, and with a 1440p resolution that is likely to be a popular and sensible option on a screen that size. They’re pushing the refresh rate up even higher than the Samsung 34″ 175Hz QD-OLED panel to 240Hz which should bring about improvements in motion clarity and frame rate support to improve gaming experience further. Let’s hope any display manufacturer who makes use of this new OLED panel also adds nice features like BFI (Black Frame Insertion – the equivalent to a blur reduction backlight) which work exceptionally on OLED panels normally. it will also be interesting to see how LG handle image retention concerns and technologies like ABL and ABSL that we talked about in our recent article.
No word on timescales yet on this one but we will keep you updated when we hear anything else.
An update on expected availability and specs of their 31.5″ IPS Panel with 4K, 144Hz Refresh Rate and HDR 1000 (edge lit)
A new panel planned planned is the LM315WR4-SSA1 which will offer a 3840 x 2160 “4K” resolution combined with support for 144Hz refresh rate. It also has HDR 1000 support although edge lit as opposed to any FALD or Mini LED backlight which would result in a lower retail price for any monitor that might use this panel. It also offers a 3-side borderless design and wide gamut covering 98% DCI-P3. As per our last update in July 2021 this new panel is still listed as Q2 2022 which means production should now be under way.
A couple of new 240Hz 1440p panels planned
A couple of new panels are listed in the roadmap for 2022 which combine a 2560 x 1440 QHD resolution with a high 240Hz refresh rate. Nothing particularly amazing but there are the following:
- 31.5″ with DCI-P3 colour gamut and HDR 600 (edge lit) – this is the LM315WQ3 and is expected production now from Q2 2022
- 27″ with DCI-P3 colour gamut and HDR 600 (edge lit) – this is the LM270WQB-SSA1 and should not be in mass production since Q4 2021
Mini LED Backlights for improved local dimming and HDR performance
LG.Display are also focusing on improving the HDR options they offer. There are a wide range of HDR 600 panels planned or in production, but of particular interest are plans to produce more Mini LED backlight panels. These are a step beyond FALD backlights, and will offer smaller dimming zones and far more of them. LG.Display are now pushing the number of zones up higher with smaller zones and thinner design. Their roadmap talks about increasing from current 1,152 zones you see in the market today to 2,016 zones, although which panels might support this number of zones and in what sizes is unclear at the moment.
Mini LED backlights help provide more finite control over the content on the screen, reduce blooming and halos, and creating an improved HDR experience. LG.Display will aim to offer peak brightness of up to 1250 cd/m2 as well from these new panels we know from a previous update dating back to Oct 2020 although given that was a while ago now, and there’s no mention of specific peak brightness capabilities in the latest update this could change (for the better we expect). LG.Display also talk about how the move to Mini LED will allow them to improve colour gamut even further, pushing from the ~90% BT.2020 coverage from last year, towards 95% BT.2020 coverage for 2022.
27″ with Mini LED and 144Hz
Of note in the forthcoming Mini LED panel line-up is a 27″ panel. The LM270WR8-SSE1 will offer a 4 side borderless design, 3840 x 2160 “4K” resolution, 144Hz refresh rate, 99.5% DCI-P3 colour gamut (92% Adobe RGB, 99% sRGB also) and a Mini LED backlight with (we believe) 1560 zones capable of supporting the HDR 1000 standard. There are no other Mini LED panels listed as coming soon, so it looks like the 2,016 zones is an aspirational future number, perhaps associated with larger or ultrawide format panels.
This panel has a typical SDR brightness of 500 cd/m2 but a peak brightness for HDR of 1250 cd/m2. Other expected specs include a 4ms G2G response time (listed as “without overdrive” interestingly), 1000:1 contrast ratio, 178/178 viewing angles, 8-bit+FRC colour depth.
This panel has been delayed a bit it seems and is now expected to go in to production in Q1 2023 instead of Q4 2022 as we had in our last update. This still seems like an awful long way off.
49″ ultrawide panel with 5120 x 1440 resolution and 144Hz back on the roadmap!
This is a panel we had previously in our panel parts database from a previous LG.Display update, but which looked like it might have been scrapped when we last had a roadmap. It’s a 49″ ultrawide panel with a 5120 x 1440 resolution, 3800R curvature, wide colour gamut with 98% DCI-P3 coverage and low blue light technology (LBL). It combines this high resolution and large screen size with a 144Hz refresh rate, putting it beyond their existing panel (the LM490DQ1-SSA1) which only has 60Hz refresh rate.
The new panel part number with 144Hz is not listed but it was apparently due to go in to production in Q2 2022 so hopefully is now being produced.
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