UPDATED. 2024-07-17 07:31 (수)
Samsung Display looking for new OLED etching firm 
Samsung Display looking for new OLED etching firm 
  • Gijong Lee
  • 승인 2024.06.12 20:02
  • 댓글 0
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In preparation of contractor Soulbrain’s exit
Galaxy A15 Image: Samsung
Galaxy A15 Image: Samsung

Samsung Display was looking for a new contractor to handle the back-end etching work for its rigid and hybrid OLED panels, TheElec has learned.

This was because one of its contractors for this work, Soulbrain, is planning to exit the business, sources said.

Samsung Display currently manufactures rigid OLED panels, which are used in low- and mid-end smartphones, at its A2 factory, and hybrid OLED panels which it supplies for iPads to Apple, at its A3 factory.

Rigid OLED panels refer to OLED panels that use a glass substrate, and this is cheaper than flexible OLED panels that use a plastic one which are instead aimed at high-end smartphones.

Hybrid OLED panels refer to those that also use a glass substrate but go through a thin-film encapsulation process, which is reserved for flexible OLED panels. Rigid OLED panels go through a thicker glass encapsulation.

Rigid and hybrid OLED panels go through an etching process after the encapsulation process, where the bottom of the substrate is etched off. Samsung Display sends its rigid OLED panels out of its factory to factories of its contractors to handle this work.

Chemtronics and Soulbrain had handled the etching for rigid OLED panels. The former is also the sole contractor for hybrid OLED panels.

Soulbrain didn’t develop the etching process for hybrid OLED panels as it is planning to exit the business.

However, due to the sudden increase in demand for rigid OLED panels this year, Samsung Display requested that Soulbrain continue its operations for the time being. Demand for rigid OLED panels dipped in 2023 due to the drop in demand for smartphones in general.

Rigid OLED panels are in high demand by smartphone makers as flexible OLED panels’ prices are rising due to expanded sales from Chinese display makers. Samsung is also expanding the use of OLED panels in its low-end smartphones to the Galaxy A1 series this year. Last year it was offered up to the Galaxy A2 series.


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