DNP Agrees to Supply Shadow Masks to a Chinese Panel Manufacturer for Production of OLED with QHD Resolution

Jun 20, 2017

Chinese panel manufacturer is set to produce OLEDs with QHD resolution. It is expected that there will be many Chinese QHD Smartphones produced as South Korea’s monopolistic production system has collapsed.
According to industries on the 19th, monopolistic supply contract made by Samsung Display and Japan’s DNP (Dai Nippon Printing) on shadow masks for small and medium OLED Smartphones was terminated early this year. DNP’s shadow mask makes production of OLEDs with QHD resolution possible.
It is heard that DNP signed off on a supply contract with a Chinese panel manufacture regarding shadow masks as soon as its contract with Samsung Display was terminated. It is heard that this Chinese panel manufacturer is BOE.
Until now, DNP only supplied its shadow masks for OLED Smartphones to Samsung Display. With its own technical skill that can manufacture thin shadow masks with tiny holes, it has been monopolizing global markets for small and medium OLED Smartphones with Samsung Display.
Shadow mask deposits RGB (Red, Green, Blue) organic matter during FMM (Fine Metal Mask) process and forms pixels. Resolution and yield can be increased by accurately and finely depositing organic matter on a wanted spot. Due to this reason, shadow mask is seen as a major component that has high degree of technical difficulty.
Major technology when it comes to shadow mask is to manufacture thin shadow masks with tiny holes. Occurrence of shadow distance, which is a section where patterns of organic matters are overlapped and resulting organic matters are deposited due to thickness of shadow mask and direction of deposition when organic matters in powder form are deposited as they are vaporized with high heat, needs to be minimized as resolution drops as shadow section becomes bigger.
DNP has a technology that can manufacture thin shadow masks with low CTE (Coefficient of Expansion) that can minimize a phenomenon where shadow masks expand or sag even at a high temperature and had been only supplying shadow masks with thickness between 10 and 20 micrometers to Samsung Display.
Even when its contract was terminated with Samsung Display, it cannot sell identical product that it had supplied to Samsung Display to other businesses. However because DNP has an unrivaled technical skill in this field, it is expected that difference in level of technology will quickly shorten when it supplies other products to a different panel manufacturer.
This is part of the reason why a Chinese panel manufacturer quickly joined hands with DNP. Because Chinese panel manufacturers lack technical skills in small and medium OLEDs, they are only able to develop OLEDs with resolution of full HD level (1920x1080). However when they apply DNP’s shadow masks, they will quickly be able to develop panels with resolution of QHD (2560x1440).
According to industries, DNP is planning to supply shadow masks with thickness of about 30 micrometers to a Chinese panel manufacturer. Although they are thicker than shadow masks that were supplied to Samsung Display, it is heard that there will not be much problem to materialize OLED with QHD resolution.
Samsung Display is working with South Korean companies such as Wave Electronics and TGO Tech in order to manufacture its own shadow masks. However it is heard that it is having a difficult time due to high degree of technical difficulty.
Staff Reporter Bae, Okjin | withok@etnews.com

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