Samsung Display has rejected Kateeva’s RGB inkjet equipment that it originally planned to use in the production of quantum dot (QD)-OLED panels.
The equipment, which domestic firm HB Solution is the distributor of in South Korea, received a “Fail” grade last month in Samsung Display’s testing, sources said.
The South Korean display panel maker originally planned to use the equipment for the formation of the QD color conversion layer that goes into its QD-OLED panels.
But the equipment that was supplied has now been shipped back due to failing to meet Samsung Display’s performance requirements, the sources said.
Samsung Display uses RGB inkjet equipment from Semes, a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics, for its current QD-OLED panel production.
HB Solution had invested US$13.5 million into Kateeva and secured their patents as a guarantee as well. Another Hong Kong-based company had also invested US$21.66 million into Kateeva and also took their patents as collateral.
In 2021, Samsung Display offered to conditionally buy Kateeva’s kits when that year Semes’ equipment was not up to par.
The condition was that Samsung Display wouldn’t make the payment if the performance of the equipment was subpar.
Samsung Display already warned Kateeva staff working on installation months prior that it would ship back the equipment if they unperformed.
Earlier this month, HB Solution said its conditional purchase order with Samsung Display signed in November last year has been canceled.
The contract was worth 14.5 billion won __ much lower than the usual price of inkjet equipment which is 20 billion won per unit.
Meanwhile, Samsung Display also likely rejected Kateeva’s equipment as it has no plan to spend additional funds on QD-OLED to expand its production capacity due to the global economic downturn.