Display equipment maker Avaco has begun talks with LG Display over the specifications of the sputters that will be used to manufacture low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) thin-film transistor (TFT) OLED production, TheElec has learned.
LG Display will likely give the order from the equipment once its customer Apple approves its OLED production line.
Sputtering is a form of vacuum deposition method. Ionized argon gas is accelerated and clashed with the target. The target falls to the glass to form a thin film. The target is coated on the panel thinly, which makes it transparent and conductive.
Apple has so far only used low-temperature polycrystalline silicon (LTPS) TFT OLED panels for its iPhones.
But is is planning to apply LTPO OLED to the Pro lineup of the upcoming iPhone series launching later this year. LTPO can support 120Hz screen refresh rate. The LTPO OLED will be supplied by Samsung Display exclusively for this new iPhone series.
However, LG Display is planning to convert its line to LTPO TFT OLED in the hopes that it will supply them to Apple next year.
Last year in August, Avaco announced that it developed a plasma monitoring and process controlling system that can be attached to sputters that are used in the manufacture of display oxide semiconductors. At the time, it said it also developed an inspection equipment for oxide semiconductor indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO) sputter called OSTECA-LIPD.
Despite the company finishing development of the equipment, it will need to adjust them according to Apple’s demands. Once Cupertino approves Avaco’s equipment and LG Display gives the go-ahead on its spending plan for LTPO TFT, Avaco can expect to supply the equipment to LG Display’s E6-1, E6-2 and E6-3 lines. Avaco previously supplied LG Display with the LTPO TFT sputters for the E5 line, which manufactures OLED panels for Apple Watch.
Avaco is expecting around 300 billion won in orders this year. This includes the sputters for Apple’s iPhones, multi layer ceramic capacitor inspection equipment and others. Last year, the company had 130 billion won worth of remaining orders. Avaco competes with Japan’s Ulvac.