Sumitomo’s Colorless Polyimide (CPI) to Samsung
October 08, 2018
Previously, we reported on Sumitomo supplying Samsung with CPI for the cover lens on a new foldable OLED display. The CPI films will be produced on a pilot line by Dong-woo Fine Chem, which is a 100% Sumitomo own subsidiary company in Korea, They will produce the hard coating and supply CPI films to SDC. Sumitomo will be the Samsung’s sole CPI vendor. In addition to Sumitomo, Kolon Industries (Kolon) and SKC Kolon PI (SKC) have been developing their CPI business. Kolon built a production line in Kumi City, Kyoung-buk Prefecture in Korea with a capacity of one million m2, which is equivalent to 30 M units annually of 5.5-inch panels. SKC Kolon PI invested in colorless PI production in Jin-cheon City, Chung-buk Prefecture in Korea. SKC Kolon PI is a joint venture by SKC and Kolon in June of 2008. While Kolon is collaborating with a hard coating process company, SKC plans to utilize SKC Hightech & Marketing, SKC’s subsidiary company, for the hard coating process. The cost of CPI is estimated at $95/m2, which is 500% higher than the yellow PI film used for the substrate and twice as much as the gorilla glass used in most smartphone displays.
Kolon is not only focusing on its domestic foldable phone producers but also much interested in Chinese OEMs, Huawei, Lenovo (Motor and Xiaomi as well. Currently, neither company has been selected as a foldable phone CPI supplier. However, the companies are continuously producing sample products and marketing closely with prospective foldable phone producers. PI film is used in IT devices-mobile devices, heat resistance sheet, display and industrial purpose. The largest applicable market has been the IT industry for FPCB, FCLL, heat resistance sheet for smartphones and, display driver IC chip-on-film and batteries.