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THE INVESTOR
December 18, 2018
Big Reunion

Samsung

Samsung joins hands with China’s Sanan for micro LED TV

  • PUBLISHED :February 12, 2018 - 11:15
  • UPDATED :February 12, 2018 - 13:43
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[ET NEWS] Samsung Electronics has teamed up with China’s largest LED maker Sanan Optoelectronics to produce the next-generation micro LED TV, according to industry sources on Feb. 12.

Samsung, the world’s largest TV maker, has developed its own micro LED technology but the rare partnership with a Chinese display maker comes largely due to cost benefits.

Micro LED, a panel with light-emitting diodes measuring less than 100 micrometers, boasts high contrast ratios and deep blacks to compete with OLED or high-end LCD displays. But display makers are still reluctant to adopt the technology, citing technological difficulties and high costs.

“This is a win-win deal for both. Samsung will secure a large-scale supply of micro LED, while Sanan will become the sole supplier,” an industry source said on condition of anonymity. Samsung has also decided to make US$16.83 million advance payment for the three-year strategic partnership.


Samsung unveiled "The Wall," the world`s first modular 146-inch micro LED TV at CES in January.

 

A Samsung spokesperson confirmed the deal, adding the firm will continue to seek partnerships with other display makers if necessary.

Samsung has poured resources into its own LED development since 2010. But the business has seen no breakthrough due to cheaper Chinese products and continuing oversupply. Over the years, Samsung lost momentum to make a push for the nascent but lucrative micro LED market, while its Chinese rivals like Sanan, equipped with strong government support, are preoccupying the market.

“For the Samsung partnership, Sanan ordered 150 units of MOCVD (the key production system for LED) late last year. There is no Korean firm that can make such a huge investment,” said another source who also wished to be unnamed.

According to market tracker MarketsandMarkets, the market for micro LED is expected to see a surge from last year’s US$250 million to US$19.92 billion by 2025, a whopping 54.7 percent annual growth.

By Yoon Kun-il (benyun@etnews.com) (jylee@heraldcorp.com)
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