Samsung Display will convert its OLED line dedicated to its largest customer Apple into one that makes low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) thin-film transistor (TFT) within the first half of 2021, according to market research firm UBI Research.
The South Korean display panel manufacturer’s A3 factory line has been manufacturing low-temperature polycrystalline silicon (LTPS) TFT OLED panels.
LTPO TFT consumes less power compared to LTPS, allowing the screen the support 120Hz refresh rate.
Samsung Display calls it LTPO TFT technology Adaptive Frequency. It has applied the technology first on Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Note20 Ultra. Most recently, it was applied to OLED panels for Asus ROG5 smartphone.
Apple is planning to use LTPO TFT OLED panels for the higher-tier models in its iPhone series launching later this year. Samsung Display will be exclusive vendor for LTPO TFT OLED panels. LG Display, which also supplies OLED panels to Cupertino, will be providing LTPS TFT OLED panels.
UBI Research said Samsung Display has secured 30,000 Gen 6 substrates per month capacity for LTPO TFT OLED panels on its Apple-dedicated production line last year. Production capacity drops when LTPS is converted to LTPO from the added oxide process step.
Samsung Display finished converting A3 into Y-Octa last year. Once the whole conversion to LTPO TFT is finished within the first half of 2021, the production capacity of line will be dropped to 70,000 substrates per month from the previous 105,000.
BOE has also begun putting in equipment to build an Apple dedicated line at its B12 plant at Chongqing since December, UBI Research also said. The line is aiming to begin production in November. BOE got the go-ahead from Apple to supply OLED panels in December last year, the research firm added.