Samsung Display is planning to expand its supplier of bezeless Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) equipment used on Galaxy S10 (tentative name) by implementing additional A4 production line from its current A3 in Asan, South Chungcheong Province.
According to some industry insiders on 7 Nov, Samsung Display decided to assign the work to new supplier Philoptics for Bezeless OLED equipment. Philoptic will be in charge of the laser and Wonik IPS on the other hand, looks after the chamber in the new A4 line production. In the existing A3 line, SFA continues to manufacture 5 other equipments.
Often known as full screen display, bezeless OLED increases the screen size as much as possible by reducing the edge. Areas that facilitate holes for earphone plug, camera, light sensor and infrared (IR) sensor will then be further minimized. Between deposition and thin film encapsulation (TFE) processes, a task called ‘Etcher’ or ‘Drilling’ is required and laser is realized using Diode Pumping High-Conditioner (DPSS) method.
Deposition and Thin Film Encapsulation (TFE) are both processed in a vacuum chamber. Connecting special laser equipment between the two is a difficult task. Samsung Display was able to operate such equipment at its A3 line thanks to SFA Engineering’s expertise in the field. Philoptics tackled the issue by working with Wonik IPS. “Wonik IPS did consider quitting the partnership due to great investment in human resources required, that it might not be a profitable business as projected”, said an industry insider.
Bezeless OLED is expected to become a weapon to persuade Apple. ‘Notch’ design (in U and V shapes) applied on iPhone is undergoing a transition due to challenges to implement bezeless OLED. If Samsung Electronics and Apple introduce bezelless OLED smartphones, it will take a while before Chinese suppliers follow the technology.
“If we take into consideration many past cases, there is a high chance that Chinese companies will also start to invest in bezeless OLED production,” according to some industry experts.