Huawei has been developing OLED display driver ICs through its subsidiary HiSilicon since 2018. Now, they are reportedly entering volume production in the first half of 2022, with a capacity of 200-300 wafers per month.
Currently, South Korean suppliers dominate the OLED driver IC market. According to the market research firm Omdia, South Korean companies accounted for approximately 90% of the market in 2020, with Samsung leading the way with a 50.4% global market share, followed by Magnachip, Silicinworks and Anapass.
Since China’s production capacity for OLED driver chips can’t meet the market demand, Taiwanese suppliers such as Novatek Microelectronics Corp. have been filling the gap. Novatek primarily supplies Full HD (FHD) OLED driver chips, counting Huawei and BOE Technology Group Co. among its Chinese customers. If Huawei itself successfully chips entered the competition, it might change the landscape.
Having already designed the much more sophisticated Kirin 9000 processors at 5nm, developing the display drivers, usually manufactured at mature nodes, poses no technical challenge for Huawei. However, it doesn’t mean that it will encounter no obstacle: