DB Hitek will for the first time supply its OLED display driver ICs aimed at smartphone panels to Samsung Display, TheElec has learned.
DB Hitek will begin supplying the 40-nanometer (nm) DDIs to Samsung Display during the second half of 2023, for use in OLED panels in Samsung smartphones.
The company now joins Samsung System LSI and LX Semicon as a vendor of the chip for Samsung smartphones.
DB Hitek’s fabless chip business had in the past mainly supplied DDIs for TVs.
While DB Hitek’s main revenue source is its foundry, or contract chip production, business, it announced that it will split off its fabless business as an independent company.
It hired ex-Samsung executive vice president Hwang Gyu-chul, who worked at Samsung System LSI for 30 years, as the CEO of its fabless business.
DB Hitek focused on DDI for liquid crystal displays in years past but since last year began aggressively expanding in OLED DDI.
Last year, it succeeded in winning Samsung Display as a customer for notebooks, tablets and TVs for its 8-inch OLED DDI.
The OLED DDI for smartphones is made with 12-inch wafers so the new deal will Samsung will provide DB Hitek with a much-needed customer to expand that business. DB Hitek will use Taiwan’s UMC as the foundry for the chips.
OLED DDI for smaller panels is more expensive and difficult to manufacture than larger ones.
DB Hitek won Chinese smartphone companies and Japan’s Nitento as a customer for the chips last year.
Samsung has been attempting to diversify its OLED DDI vendors since Magnachip’s failed sales to a Chinese private equity fund in 2021 that raised supply chain concerns. Besides DB Hitek, the tech giant is also in talks with Wonik D2I to procure OLED DDI.