According to a recent rumor from Taiwan, Samsung Electronics is interested in acquiring PlayNitride due to its interest in the micro-LED technology developed by the Taiwanese panel manufacturer. The move seems to make sense given Samsung’s interest in display panels as micro-LED is seen by some as the next step forward in this segment. As an industry leader in a number of areas, the South Korean company is always investigating new methods which it could use to improve its future devices, and when compared to contemporary OLED displays, it’s believed that that micro-LED panels will offer improved efficiency and brightness and could also be less expensive to manufacture.
PlayNitride is a relatively recent venture and focuses on Nitride materials and its uses, just like its name suggests. Recent reports state that the firm could begin the production of micro-LED chips later this year and that the involved technology will be branded as "PixelLED." An industry insider put the value of the deal at approximately $150 million, adding that Samsung has plans to use the technology for virtual reality (VR) applications at first. Additionally, there's a chance that PlayNitride's micro-LED technology could also be used for future Samsung-made TVs, the report reveals. However, widespread commercialization for micro-LEDs is at least several years away, with analysts predicting that the technology will not be ready for the market for at least another three years.
In the meantime, Samsung is still heavily investing in OLED technology and related applications. Earlier this year, it was reported that OLED display production was being ramped up by the company and that its panels could soon be used in a larger number of Samsung's devices. Furthermore, at MWC in Barcelona, Samsung Electronics was showcasing some new advancements regarding OLED technology to select partners and members of the industry. These included an OLED panel with no polarizer and a blue-less OLED display aimed at color blind people. Considering this, OLED technology is not likely to be phased out in favor of micro-LED in the near future, so if the rumored acquisition goes ahead, it will likely just be a sign of Samsung gaining some early traction in this emerging field in a bid to compete with other industry leaders.