TOKYO Following its plasma display business selloff to Pioneer Corp., NEC Corp. has decided to withdraw from the organic light emitting display (OLED) business by dissolving its partnership with Samsung SDI Co., Ltd.
The two companies have reached an accord that NEC will dispose of its entire stake in the joint venture company Samsung NEC Mobile Display Co., Ltd. (SNMD). It will also transfer OLED related patents to the Korean company. NEC and Samsung SDI will sign the alienate contract on March 1 and will complete the transfer by the end of the month.
NEC Corp. and Samsung SDI established SMND in January 2001 with Samsung SDI owning 51 percent and NEC 49 percent in the joint venture.
SMND started production of passive OLEDs for mobile phones in 2002 and currently is producing about 1.2 million units a month, which is almost at full swing, according to a spokesman of Samsung SDI.
The total investment thus far is about 10 billion yen (about $93 million). Products produced at SMND are small panels mainly for use as sub-displays.
To grow in the OLED business, it is essential to shift to active matrix OLEDs, which will require a large investment, said an NEC spokesman. NEC decided to focus on its IT and semiconductor solution businesses. Flat panels no longer a core business for the company.
With the selloff of its OLED business, NEC will have withdrawn from all its display business except for industrial type LCD panels and licensing LCD technology.