A report by the South Korean publication Business Korea is claiming that Samsung Electronics will use Substrate Like PCB (SLP) in the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S9. The report came several days after industry sources state that the South Korean tech giant will take advantage of a new display design that does away with a separate touch screen panel. Substrates in the handset's PCBs serve to connect several smartphone components like the chipset, internal flash storage, and RAM. Right now, Samsung and other smartphone manufacturers use High Density Interconnect (HDI) PCB substrate technology in their products. The newer SLP technology incorporates the HDI PCB with the chip packaging, resulting in increased layers while at the same time, reducing the area and width needed for the interconnect. This ultimately results in a more efficient use of space within the device.
The switch to SLP technology bestows additional flexibility to the smartphone companies with regards to the internal design of their devices. For example, manufacturers may choose to increase the battery capacities of their devices by reducing the space taken up by the substrate. This results in additional battery life that will surely be appreciated by consumers. Industry-wise, this may also result in massive changes among the firms involved in the production of PCB substrates. The report states that Samsung is currently sourcing substrates from 10 different companies. Once Samsung finalizes the switch to SLP, the number of suppliers will be reduced to four. If the suppliers fail to develop their own SLP-based products, it could result in a substantial drop in revenues and profit.
The publication emphasized that handsets equipped with Exynos chipsets will be the first to take advantage of the new technology. The models that will be equipped with Snapdragon chipsets next year, on the other hand, will still use HDI. Aside from Samsung, it has been rumored that Apple will also switch to SLP substrates starting this fall. Recent reports also claim that the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S9 will be equipped with Y-OCTA display technology, which combines the OLED panel with the touch module. By doing away with separate touch panels, manufacturers will see reduced production costs.