South Korean manufacturer Wonik IPS has supplied Hole in Active Area (HIAA) equipment to Samsung Display last month in a move aimed at cutting production prices, sources recently told The Elec.
The new equipment will be applied for the mass production of displays from Samsung using the HIAA technology or ‘hole technology’ – Samsung’s trademark design for a nearly all-screen front display involving just a tiny hole for the front camera – following last-minute tests on yield, durability and reliability.
Wonik IPS processed laser systems from another firm, Philoptics, to manufacture the equipment for Samsung. With it, Samsung can produce the screens at one go before the TFE procedure, instead of drilling the hole in a separate, costly phase.
On Sept. 5, Philoptics said it signed a contract for supplying display manufacturing equipment worth 10.7 billion won to last until Jan. 30, 2020, indicating it would most likely be used to mass produce Samsung’s next Galaxy smartphone next year.
The hole display was first used for the Galaxy S10 and the Galaxy Note 10, for which Samsung went without the exclusive HIAA equipment. “There was no such equipment in the past, which made production prices shoot up,” said one source knowledgeable on HIAA display technology.
Yang Byeong-duk, an executive at the display development group within Samsung Electronics’ IM division, said early this year that Samsung is now looking to eliminate the camera hole altogether, a technology known as HIAA2.
“We believe we can pull this off over the next year or two,” said Yang. HIAA2 will involve punching very fine, nearly invisible holes instead of the bigger, single camera hole.
The camera hole diameter of the recently launched Galaxy Note 10 and the Galaxy Note 10+ was 4.4mm and 4.5mm, which is smaller than the 5.2mm of the Galaxy S10 phones.
The Elec is South Korea’s No.1 tech news platform.