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삼성전자, 대만 마이크로LED 제조사 인수 추진…애플 견제?By 김영원
Published : May 1, 2017 - 15:15
특히 애플이 삼성에 의존하고 있는 OLED를 대체하기 위해 마이크로LED 개발에 나섰다는 관측이 제기 되고 있어 그 배경에 관심이 쏠리고 있다.
한 업계 관계자는 더인베스터에 1일 “삼성이 플레이나이트라이드의 마이크로LED 기술을 이용해 가상현실(VR) 제품을 비롯해 TV 등에 적용하는 방법을 모색 중”이라며 “애플의 마이크로LED 기술개발이 속도를 내자 삼성도 관련 인수를 타진하고 있는 것으로 보인다”고 덧붙였다.
마이크로LED는 현재의 OLED보다 내구성, 전력 효율성 등에서 뛰어나 차세대 디스플레이로 주목 받고 있다. 지난 2014년 애플이 미국의 마이크로LED 제조사인 LuxVue를 인수해 화제가 되기도 했다.
애플 이외에도 페이스북의 오큘러스가 2016년 아일랜드의 InfiniLED를 인수했고 소니 역시 몇 년 전부터 관련 TV기술을 선보이고 있다.
삼성은 해당 인수건에 대해 “아는 바가 없다”고 말했다.
한편 전문가들은 마이크로LED가 많은 장점을 가지고 있지만 상용화해서 OLED를 대체하기 까지는 적어도 5년은 더 걸릴 것으로 전망하고 있다.
Samsung may acquire Taiwan’s PlayNitride
[THE INVESTOR] Samsung Electronics is reportedly seeking to take over PlayNitride, a Taiwanese micro-LED maker, for an estimated US$150 million, according to Israel-based publication OLED-info on April 30.
With the possible acquisition, the report said, the Korean tech giant aims to develop virtual reality devices and TVs based on micro-LED, a new display technology that is considered more energy efficiency and durable while boasting higher picture contrast compared to the current OLED.
The micro-LED display is made of conventional diodes -- 5 to 10 micrometers in size -- forming individual display pixels.
The technology has recently been thrust into the spotlight as Apple is reportedly considering using the display for its new devices, including Apple Watch, and ultimately for the iPhone. The company also acquired a micro-LED tech developer LuxVue in 2014.
“Samsung appears to be trying to catch up with Apple through the possible acquisition,” an industry source told The Investor on condition of anonymity.
Samsung declined to comment on the report.
Industry watchers, however, say the technology’s immediate adoption would not come anytime soon even though top display makers such as LG Display have continued related research work.
“It will take at least five years for the micro-LED technology to be adopted for devices and replace OLED in the long term,” said another source who also declined to be named.
Facebook-owned VR company Oculus acquired Ireland-based InfiniLED last year to use micro-LED for its VR headsets. Japan’s Sony has also unveiled huge display walls using micro-LED.
LED chipmakers, including OSRAM, Epister, Lextar and Cree, are especially pouring considerable resources into the development as the new technology is highly expected to penetrate into a diverse range of tech devices, including smartphones, in the coming years.
By Kim Young-won (email@example.com)
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