Samsung Expands Factory Equipment To Produce More LTPO OLED Panels For Future Apple iPhones

Samsung Display has placed orders for equipment to expand its new mobile OLED production line that will use Gen 6 (1500x1850mm) substrates to manufacture small OLED panels that will be used in smartphones.

Samsung’s lines are being upgraded to add processes that can make OLED panels support Y-OCTA touchscreen technology and low-temperature polycrystalline oxide thin-film transistor (TFT) technology ( LTPO). The expansion will cost approximately US $ 857 million.

Apple, the biggest customer of Samsung Display, this year applied LTPO OLED panels for the first time in its iPhone 13 Pro models. It is clear that Samsung’s expansion is gearing up to provide Apple with more LTPO OLED panels in 2022-2023.

Samsung’s A4E line will be relatively expensive to build as it does not have deposition equipment, it has kits for LTPO TFF, which cost more than those for low temperature polycrystalline silicon (LTPS) TFT.

LTPO changes the switching TFT to oxide material to reduce power consumption compared to LTPS. For this reason, LTPO has about three to four additional layers, which requires additional production steps.

Cupertino is expected to ship even more iPhones next year, and Samsung Display is bracing for that increase. Once A4E is completed, Samsung Display will guarantee a production capacity of 165,000 substrates per month by 2023.

Leon E. Hill