Dongwoo Fine-Chem, the South Korean subsidiary of Japan’s Sumitomo Chemical, is planning to launch an in-display 5G antenna, TheElec has learned.
The company is hoping to commercialize them within the next one to two years and accrue sales.
In-display antenna are not placed in the smartphone. Instead, a transparent antenna is placed within the display screen. Dozens of them can be placed on liquid crystal display (LCD) and organic light emitting diode (OLED) panels on smartphones.
Dongwoo wants to make in-display antenna that supports mmWave 5G connectivity.
5G in mmWave spectrum over 24GHz is significantly faster than the sub-6GHz spectrum and is considered the “true 5G”.
Dongwoo expanded in research into in-display antenna since 2017. According to South Korea patent site Kipris it has 41 related patents in South Korea.
Last month, a patent was accepted just a week after it was filed __ it was likely a derivative patent from a main patent filed earlier. Half of Dongwoo’s patents are co-owned with Postech.
Dongwoo successfully transferred a 28GHz signal on a LG smartphone with its in-display antenna using SK Telecom’s 5G testing lab.
South Korea is yet to commercialize mmWave 5G networks and this is why Dongwoo is expecting 1 to 2 years to commercialize the technology. In-display antenna can also be used for fingerprint readers and healthcare devices.
Dongwoo’s entry into the in-display antenna business seems affected by the decline of its touch film business.
Display makers are more and more using on-cell OLED panels that encapsulates the touch sensor within the panels instead of using a separate touch screen panel where the films are used.
Dongwoo posted 220 billion won in operating profits and 2.67 trillion won in sales for its 2019 fiscal year (April 2019 to March 2020). It is a rise of 11% and 10.1%, respectively from the prior fiscal year.