Wonik Group has acquired a display driver IC (DDI) fabless chip firm only a year old, TheElec has learned.
The move is highly unusual as the group has so far focused on mostly material and production equipment for chips and displays.
Wonik Holdings, the holding company of the business group, wholly acquired D2I in August this year for 10.7 billion won.
D2I was formed in late 2021 and specializes in designing mobile OLED DDI.
Sources said Wonik was responding to customer Samsung Display’s request to expand into DDI.
Samsung Display has Magnachip as a supplier of OLED DDI. It also receives OLED DDI from Samsung System LSI.
But Magnachip is looking for another potential buyer after its deal with a Chinese fund failed.
The Samsung businesses want to prepare in case there is a supply disruption from such a sale, the sources said.
Demand for DDI was also very high during the pandemic for the past two years.
However, this demand increase is expected to drop and the DDI sector is a crowded field already with multiple players such as Samsung System LSI, LX Semicon, and DB Hitek.
D2I was led by Hong Soon-won, who founded one of South Korea’s first fabless chip companies, TLI, back in 1998.
TLI had developed DDI for liquid crystal display panels and timing controllers for the DDI.