急成長しているノートPC用OLED市場を完全に支配しているSamsung Display (SDC) だが、ただ立ち止まっているわけではない。DSCCの Quarterly Advanced IT Display Shipment and Technology Report (一部実データ付きサンプルをお送りします) によると、SDCは2022年にノートPC用OLED市場でシェア99.8%を獲得、2023年も99.3%のシェアを確保すると予測されている。しかし、これでSDCのイノベーションが止められるわけではない。SDCはそのイノベーションによって高い製品価格を実現し、高い利益を享受し、投資家に報酬をもたらしている。
SDC Starts OLED Notebook Panel Production with Integrated Touch Sensors, Insights from DSCC
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Samsung Display (SDC) is not standing still in OLED notebook display technology even though they already completely dominate this rapidly growing market. According to DSCC’s Quarterly Advanced IT Display Shipment and Technology Report (一部実データ付きサンプルをお送りします), SDC had a 99.8% share in OLED notebook displays in 2022 and is expected to enjoy a 99.3% share in 2023. However, that isn’t stopping SDC from continuing to innovate, which allows them to charge more and enjoy higher margins, rewarding investors, etc.
Last week, SDC announced that they had begun production in January of notebook panels with on-cell touch AMOLED (OCTA) technology. SDC first developed OCTA for smartphones on rigid OLEDs in 2010 and later added it to flexible OLED smartphone panels in 2016 and foldable OLED panels in 2019. In the case of rigid OLED notebooks, SDC is fabricating the touch sensor after the glass encapsulation process. Flexible and foldable OLEDs use thin film encapsulation (TFE) instead of rigid encapsulation. SDC currently has 10K/month capacity for fabricating the OCTA sensors at its A2 fab. Fabricating touch sensors require using backplane equipment such as CVD, PVD, exposure, coater/developers, inspection, etc., after cutting the glass, so there must be some modification to the handling equipment of the backplane tools. SDC reportedly has plans to expand OCTA capacity at A2 from 10K to 30K substrates per month.
The use of integrated touch sensors is bad news for Dongwoo Fine-Chem, which had been producing the sensors. Integrating the touch sensors is expected to lower SDC’s costs as yields improve and also has a weight and thickness benefit. SDC claimed in their press release that the add-on touch sensors accounted for 6%-11% of total panel thickness. It is also better for the environment not requiring the additional plastic touch sensor substrate.
While we did not question that SDC would pursue OCTA in notebook panels, some companies may not go down this path initially despite using them in smartphone panels. The larger panels will make achieving high yields in the OCTA process more challenging due to greater likelihood of shorts and opens over the larger panel area, which has always been an advantage for SDC. It will also require lower resistance electrodes potentially involving a change in metal layers in the touch sensor vs. smartphones.
Samsung Electronics is expected to announce new Galaxy Book notebooks using OCTA OLEDs at its February Galaxy Unpacked event. We hear SDC plans to produce OCTA OLEDs up to at least 17”. Inevitably, other notebook brands such as Asus, Acer, etc. are likely to adopt it as well.
SDC is not stopping with higher refresh rates, 240Hz notebook panels have already been launched and now OCTA panels are in production. SDC has worked with Asus on 3D OLED panels using spatial vision technology likely similar to what we saw at Sony’s booth at CES. We also expect SDC to launch:
- Foldable OLED notebook panels in late 2023;
- Rigid + TFE notebook panels for thinner and lighter notebook panels;
- Tandem stack structures for brighter, lower power and longer lifetime notebook panels;
- Phosphorescent blue OLED structures for brighter, lower power and longer lifetime notebook panels;
- 48Hz – 240Hz for better performance and lower power;
- Eventually LTPO substrates for 1Hz – 240Hz use;
- Notches for under panel Face ID;
- Under panel Face ID and under panel cameras, etc.;
- Color on encapsulation for lower power once TFE is adopted;
For more on the OLED notebook market, please see our Quarterly Advanced IT Display Shipment and Technology Report (一部実データ付きサンプルをお送りします).
Quarterly Advanced IT Display Shipment and Technology Report
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