UPDATED. 2024-06-14 08:17 (금)
LG Display developing new OLED etching tech for Apple
LG Display developing new OLED etching tech for Apple
  • Gijong Lee
  • 승인 2023.04.17 16:52
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For hybrid OLED panels with thinner substrate
Samsung Display already ahead in tech
Image: Apple
Image: Apple

LG Display has begun developing a new etching technology for OLED panels that will be supplied to Apple, TheElec has learned.

The technology is being prepared by the company to launch a so-called hybrid OLED panel, which uses a glass substrate like a rigid OLED panel but uses thin-film encapsulation (TFE) like that of a flexible OLED panel.

LG Display, together with LG Electronics’ Production engineering Research Institute (PRI), is developing an etching technology that simultaneously etches the glass substrate and cut it into cell units.

Conventional rigid OLED panels used two glass substrates but in a hybrid OLED panel the top glass substrate is replaced with TFE.

This means the panel is thinner and the remaining bottom glass substrate is etched even thinner from 0.5mm to 0.2mm. 

This meant that the glass substrate, now considered ultra-thin glass, was vulnerable to breaking while being moved to the next process in the production line. LG Display is aiming to skip over the moving process and etch and cut the glass in one process.

The South Korean display panel is planning to apply the new technology starting with its first Gen 8 OLED line.

As for its OLED panels that are being developed for launch next year for Apple’s iPads, these will be made at the company’s current Gen 6 OLED line and use the prior process. Avatec will handle the etching process as it did previously.

Meanwhile, Samsung Display, which has begun developing the new etching technology earlier than LG Display, will begin applying it immediately for the iPad OLED panels it will manufacture in its Gen 6 OLED line. The etching is being handled by Chemtronics.

Apple is planning to use OLED panels with two emission layers, also known as two stack tandem, and low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) thin-film transistors (TFT).

LG Display already makes two stack tandem OLED panels though they are for automobiles. Samsung Display is ahead of the pack in LTPO OLED panels, having already made most of them for Apple to use in iPhones.

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