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 have the OLED panels support Y-OCTA touch technology and low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) thin-film transistor (TFT) technology. The expansion will cost approximately US$857 million.
Samsung Display’s largest customer Apple applied LTPO OLED panels in its iPhone 13 Pro models for the first time this year. It is clear that Samsung's expansion is preparing to supply Apple with more LTPO OLED panels in 2022-2023.
Samsung's A4E line will be relatively expensive to built as it doesn’t have deposition equipment, it has kits for LTPO TFF, which costs 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. LTPO has around three to four more layers because of this, which requires additional production steps.
Cupertino is expected to ship even more iPhones next year, and Samsung Display is preparing to meet this surge. Once A4E is complete, Samsung Display will secure a production capacity of 165,000 substrates per month by 2023.