Samsung Display is most likely to be supplied by either ICD or Wonik IPS from South Korea, or Japan’s Tokyo Electron with Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) dry etching equipment for its Q1 lines that are to produce QD displays beginning in 2021, according to industry sources.
ICD has previously supplied most of the ICP etching equipment to the A2 and A3 lines. For the A4 plant, Wonik IPS has supplied 45%, while another 10% was from Tokyo Electron.
Samsung Display has been manufacturing LTPS TFT for small and mid-sized OLED panels with the ICP dry etching equipment to its mass production lines for the Gen-5.5 and Gen-6 displays at its A2, A3 and A4 plants in its Asan 2 Campus.
But this is the first time it plans to make oxide TFT for the Gen-8 displays using ICP dry etching equipment. “We understand this may be a difficult process, and we saw when LG Display first began mass producing OLED for TVs in 2013, it was the oxide TFT that was harder to solve, rather than the deposition,” said a Samsung Display official.
“It looks like LG succeeded by continuing to work on oxide TFT, which is must more unstable to work with than LTPS TFT,” said one industry watcher who had previously worked at Samsung Display.
“The developing team may be pushing for Tokyo Electron, but the purchasing team at Samsung Display is said to be showing a preference for ICD, and in the end, it’s the purchasing team that makes the final decision,” said another market expert.
Tokyo Electron is said to have installed a sample of its dry etching equipment chamber to cater to Samsung Display’s demands on a real-time basis.
Meanwhile, ICD also supplied five out of the nine ICP etching equipment that LG Display ordered for its Gen-8 OLED lines at its plant in Guangzhou of China that was completed this year. Another two were from Tokyo Electron, and the rest from Korea-based Invenia.
The Elec is South Korea’s No.1 tech news platform.