Seoul Semiconductor has entered Samsung Electronics’ supply chain for MiniLED, TheElec has learned.
The volume is yet small, but could lead to bigger collaboration between the pair in MiniLED and MicroLED in the future.
Seoul Semiconductor has supplied its MiniLED to Samsung for use in Neo QLED TVs, which uses MiniLED technology.
Samsung has previously secured its MiniLED from China’s Sanan, which is still supplies more than Seoul Semiconductor.
Taiwans Epistar and PlayNitride were also potential candidates to enter Samsung’s supply chain. However, they seemed to have decided to focus on other customers such as Apple instead, people familiar with the matter said. Sanan also offered its MiniLED at more competitive prices to the South Korean tech giant, they said.
Samsung, by having both Seoul Semiconductor and Sanan supply MiniLED, can more flexibly react to market situations.
For Seoul Semiconductor, as Neo QLED TV brand is marketed heavily by Samsung, the supply could contribute to high sales growth.
The South Korean LED maker is also hoping to supply MicroLED for Samsung.
The company has touted its Wicop technology as more advanced than traditional chip scale packages. With Wicop technology, LED chips are installed directly at assembly line, which forgoes the need for packaging. Seoul Semiconductor has claimed that the technology can used both for MiniLED and MicroLED production.
Meanwhile, Samsung is planning to apply its newly developed one chip transfer technology in MicroLED TV production within the first half of the year.
The technology realizes red, green and blue into one chip. The chip is transferred onto the substrate this way. Previous methods transferred individual R, G and B chips onto the substrate.
Having a RGB one chip allows for less steps in the production process, which leads to increased yield rate. The number of repairs needed after the chips are transferred also decreases, which allows Samsung to reduce the price of its MicroLED TVs.
Currently, a single MicroLED TV cost over 100 million won. The company is expected to ship less than 1,000 units of them this year. Samsung used LED chips made by PlayNitride and Sanan for its TheWall Micro LED TV.