LG Display has been evaluating the deposition process for Gen 8.5 (2200x2500mm) OLED panels since December, Korean media TheElec reported on Friday.
LG is evaluating equipment from supplier Sunic System at its Paju plant, the sources said. The line is equipped with Sunic System's Gen 8.5 half-cut and vertical deposition equipment.
Other suppliers of LG Display are also supplying the Paju plant with equipment and materials needed for the evaluation. YAS refers to its evaporation source; Hansong Neotech refers to the tensioner used to hold the mask in place; while Avaco refers to the logistics equipment and LG Innotek provides the mask needed during the deposition process.
In addition to the etched fine metal mask FMM used to deposit red, green and blue organic materials for 6th generation (1500x1850mm) OLED panels, LG Display is looking for various deposition process methods. LG Innotek will provide fine metal masks and related solutions.
LG Display is aiming to supply Gen 8.5 OLED panels for IT applications for its first OLED MacBook, which is expected to launch around 2025. The South Korean display panel maker plans to use its 6th-generation OLED lineup for two OLED IT iPads (12.9-inch and 11-inch), which are expected to launch earlier than the OLED MacBook. Since Apple's MacBook and iPad will use larger OLED panels after the launch of the two OLED tablets, LG Display needs to use larger substrates (such as Gen 8.5) to guarantee the economical cutting advantage, as it will cost less time to cut more panel substrates each time.
LG Display's evaluation is expected to take about a year to complete. While Samsung Display started its own 8.5-gen OLED deposition evaluation earlier. And this competitor is working with Japan's Ulvac to test a 8.5-gen full-cut/vertical deposition facility.
Vertical deposition makes the substrate perpendicular to the floor, and the deposit will be evaporated to deposit onto the substrate. Vertical substrate prevents the mask from sagging. Samsung Display also opted for full-cut deposition, in which the substrate that completes the thin-film transistor process is not cut in half. Half cut is widely used in 6th generation OLED panels. Full cut deposition reduces production time due to the elimination of one process.
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