Philoptics was testing its OLED fine metal mask (FMM) with a Chinese panel maker, the company’s CEO said.
During its annual shareholders’ meeting, Philoptics CEO Han Ki-su said the evaluation process, which started late last year, will take approximately a year to complete.
This means Philoptics will likely not see new revenue from the sales of FMM within 2022, he said.
However, Han stressed that its FMM technology was “complete”.
FMMs are used to deposit organic materials during the production of smartphone OLED display panels.
Japan’s Dai Nippon Printing is the world’s largest vendor for FMMs.
While the Japanese company uses etching to make its FMM, Philoptics has opted to use electroplating instead. Electroplating plates the invar, the raw material used to make FMMs, onto a patterned substrate to make the FMMs.
Philoptics has lost a chance to win a national project given by the South Korean government to develop FMMs that use no-etching production methods but had continued to develop its own FMM nonetheless.
Han said the Chinese panel maker, which he didn’t name, currently relies on FMM from a Japanese company and is hoping to get a secondary supplier.
Philoptics, if it succeeds in supplying its FMM to the Chinese panel maker, will likely aim to supply them to Samsung Display as well.
Samsung Display relies heavily on Dai Nippon Printing for the FMMs it uses to manufacture smartphone OLED panels.
Poongwon Precision is also expected to supply its FMMs __ which it manufactures through the etching method like Dai Nippon Printing __ to Samsung Display but the volume is likely very small.
Meanwhile, Philoptics said that it plans to use the electroplating method it has developed to manufacture FMMs in the production of multi-layer ceramic capacitors and MicroLEDs.
CEO Han said the company is expecting overall revenue growth of between 50% to 60% this year. Last year, Philoptics recorded 230 billion won in revenue.
Han said the increase will be from more customers applying OLED panels for foldable and tablet applications.