Sharp establishes a wholly-owned new company to focus on Micro LED 28th,Dec,2021

                                                     In the field of next-generation display technology, South Korea and Japan will compete, and Japanese companies that have fallen behind in the OLED market have begun to develop Micro LEDs in an effort to save the situation.

Sharp establishes a wholly-owned new company to focus on Micro LED

On October 1, Sharp established a new legal entity "Sharp Display Technology" (abbreviated as SDTC). SDTC is 100% owned by Sharp and located in Kameyama City, Mie County. In the future, it will focus on the development of Micro LED.

In August of this year, Sharp bought the Hakusan LCD panel factory of Japan's JDI at a cost of 390 million U.S. dollars. The undeveloped land of the plant will be used as a Micro LED R&D and production base, with an area equivalent to that of Apple's iPhone LCD production line.

The iPhone LCD panel business that was originally put into production at the Kameyama factory will also be transferred to the Baishan factory for integration and leased production equipment that has been acquired by Apple.

Sharp's current main income comes from LCD panels. In the smartphone market, in addition to high-end products, relatively inexpensive LCD panels will continue to be used for the time being. According to RUNTO's August mobile phone panel shipment data report, at present, in the supply of LTPS LCD panels, JDI and Sharp account for 14% and 9% respectively. After Sharp acquired JDI, the two merged The data may surpass CSOT and BOE and approach Tianma. August 2020 smartphone LTPS panel shipment ranking

Data source: RUNTO, unit:%

The proportion of LCD panels in high-end mobile phones Apple iPhone screens will continue to decrease. In terms of OLED mobile phone panels, the combined share of South Korean Samsung and LGD exceeds 80%, and Sharp's shipments are almost negligible. August 2020 smartphone AMOLED panel shipment ranking

Data source: RUNTO, unit:%

This time, Sharp's establishment of an independent subsidiary will be more conducive to attracting financing, and intends to accelerate the research and development of a new generation of display technology Micro LED, thereby enhancing its market presence and competitiveness relative to the Korean system.

Samsung takes the lead in Micro LED, and LG said it "can do it too." The Micro LED leader Samsung launched the first Micro LED product "The Wall" in 2018. Later, "The Wall Luxury" and "The Wall Pro" were also published. The former is aimed at home theaters and games with environmental and entertainment modes, and has all the relevant smart TV functions. The latter is aimed at high-end enterprises and retail spaces, aiming to modernize any company lobby, museum or art gallery. Samsung Electronics plans to continue to use Micro LED products in theaters, televisions, automobiles and other fields in the future.

LG Electronics disclosed a 145-inch MicroLED product at the "CES2020" held in early 2020. On September 11, LG launched the 163-inch 4K Micro LED commercial TV "LG MAGNIT".

Unlike Samsung Electronics, which has expanded into the TV field, LG Electronics’ Micro LED launches commercial TVs or digital signage for commercial purposes, rather than household products. In the consumer TV field, it will insist on using OLED.

In Japan, companies such as Sony and Kyocera have also disclosed MicroLED products. Therefore, in major countries such as South Korea, Japan, and China, a new generation of technology is intensively researched and developed. Joyce, a senior analyst at RUNTO, believes that the current cost, yield and other issues of Micro LED have not been resolved, and the competition between companies will be extremely fierce.

Taiwan's Micro LED chip supplier invests in new production capacity to promote "popularization" Samsung's main Micro LED supplier has always been Taiwan's PlayNitride (錼创科技), which will add a Micro LED chip production line and plans to invest 50 million US dollars to build a second one For the factory, the project will be completed in the second quarter of 2021.

In addition, in the first half of 2020, Samsung Electronics has added Epistar from Taiwan as a diversified supplier of Micro LED chips.

The investment route of Taiwanese chip suppliers is worthy of attention. It will provide a huge boost to Samsung's 75, 88, 93, 110 inch and larger Micro LED TV product lines, and it is expected to solve the core problem of commercialization-price in advance. Promote popularization.

One of the reasons why Micro LED products are expensive is the chip price. A 4K TV panel requires 25 million Micro LED chips at a unit price of 1 won, which means that the cost of the panel alone is as high as 25 million won (RMB 140,000). Therefore, the commercialization of Micro LED is facing no small difficulties. Another analyst at RUNTO, David, predicts that Micro LED will be price-competitive in at least 3 years.

Chinese companies are following up. Civil products still need time. In 2019, the Chinese TV brand KONKA launched its first Micro LED series product-APHAEA Future Screen Smart Wall. In June of this year, TCL Huaxing and Sanan Optoelectronics announced in Shenzhen to jointly invest in the establishment of a joint laboratory with independent legal personality to jointly develop Micro-LED technology. Sanan Optoelectronics is also one of Samsung Electronics' suppliers.