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Apple Reportedly Working Towards Mass Production of Thinner and Brighter Micro-LED Displays

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Apr 12, 2001
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Apple is collaborating with its Taiwanese supplier TSMC to solve manufacturing issues preventing volume production of micro-LED display panels, according to DigiTimes.
Apple is reportedly collaborating with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to develop applications based on silicon-based backplanes (silicon wafers) aiming to sidestep the bottleneck that entails with the mass transfer of LED chips, indicated the sources.
Once micro-LED displays can be mass produced both reliably and affordably, the panels could be used in future Apple devices. Apple's use of micro-LED would likely begin in 2019 at the earliest, possibly starting with the Apple Watch, should it choose to proceed with the technology after trial production.

In the meantime, the report claims Apple has downsized its micro-LED research and development team at its laboratory in northern Taiwan.

The downsizing doesn't necessarily mean that Apple has delayed or given up development of the next-generation display technology. In addition to its work with TSMC, it's possible that Apple has shifted the bulk of its micro-LED research back to its headquarters in the United States.

Apple's interest in micro-LED was first reported in late 2015, when it was discovered that the iPhone maker opened a secretive laboratory in Taoyuan, Taiwan to research display technologies like OLED and micro-LED for future devices. OLED is currently used in the Apple Watch and iPhone X.

Apple acquired micro-LED display maker LuxVue Technology in 2014, and some of its employees may be part of Apple's micro-LED research team, in addition to former employees of AU Optronics and Qualcomm subsidiary SolLink.

Micro-LED displays have many of the same advantages as OLED displays have over LCDs, including improved color accuracy, improved contrast ratio, faster response times, and true blacks given both have self-lit pixels, but they can be even thinner, much brighter, and more energy efficient than OLED.

Micro-LED displays also have inorganic gallium nitride-based LEDs, which have a longer lifespan than the organic compound used in OLED displays.

Article Link: Apple Reportedly Working Towards Mass Production of Thinner and Brighter Micro-LED Displays
 

Tech198

macrumors P6
Mar 21, 2011
15,195
1,990
Australia, Perth
True blacks huh ? Isn't that what say also said about OLED?

One day we will get this right ... Hopefully the shift to U.S will mean no delays..

I say "hopefully" because it doesn't really matter where Apple makes their stuff, they can't escape.
 

Strelok

macrumors 65816
Jun 6, 2017
1,397
1,595
United States
True blacks huh ? Isn't that what say also said about OLED?

One day we will get this right ... Hopefully the shift to U.S will mean no delays..

I say "hopefully" because it doesn't really matter where Apple makes their stuff, they can't escape.

What do you mean said? OLED has true blacks considering the pixels turn off completely.
 

roeiz

macrumors 65816
Sep 13, 2010
1,027
578
so when do you expect these new screens to be ready?
i hope not next year already! let me hope the X can hold up 2 years at least.
 

redheeler

macrumors 604
Oct 17, 2014
7,663
7,509
Would be nice to see Apple gain a competitive edge with the iPhone display tech again, as the iPhone X seems to be merely catching up to what the competition offers. Regardless, I'll be looking forward to this when I upgrade in 2020...
 

sziehr

macrumors 6502a
Jun 11, 2009
667
485
This tech will swoop in on the Watch first if it at all. The smaller display is easier to make and it is a lower bulk item. So if we see it in the Watch expect to see a phone in say 3 years with the display.

Apple Watch the garage project of Apple. Where all new display tech goes to be vetted.
 

djcerla

macrumors 68000
Apr 23, 2015
1,843
7,737
Italy
Micro-LED displays have many of the same advantages as OLED displays have over LCDs, including improved color accuracy, improved contrast ratio, faster response times, and true blacks given both have self-lit pixels, but they can be even thinner, much brighter, and more energy efficient than OLED.

And, most importantly, you are no longer in Samsung's hands.
 

grjj

macrumors regular
Apr 5, 2014
104
117
What do you mean said? OLED has true blacks considering the pixels turn off completely.
The "blackness" of the off pixel depends on the reflectivity of the substrate and emitter. If micro-LED can use smaller or less reflective emitters and/or a less reflective substrate then it will produce darker black when off.
The "holy grail" would be a substrate of Vantablack.
 

tkukoc

Cancelled
Sep 16, 2014
1,533
1,914
This will be great for the Apple Watch, still feel it is not bright enough. iPhone 8+ and X both have extreme brightness already when you turn off certain features. Still need to fix True Tone though, it still isn't working correctly.
 

Moonjumper

macrumors 68020
Jun 20, 2009
2,332
2,035
Lincoln, UK
Some reports suggest it is easier to make microLED in larger sizes (perhaps why the only microLED screen available is Sony's CLEDIS 36'x9' (yes feet, not inches)), so hopefully we will also see this technology in monitors soon.
 

Keness

macrumors member
Mar 14, 2003
80
286
Would be nice to see Apple gain a competitive edge with the iPhone display tech again, as the iPhone X seems to be merely catching up to what the competition offers. Regardless, I'll be looking forward to this when I upgrade in 2020...

By most reviews, the iPhone X display surpasses the competition.

On another note, it is hard for Apple to be on the bleeding edge of technological advances, for certain types of advances, because of the volume they need to be able to produce. It's easier to put the latest tech into a product when you will only be making 500k or 1mil of something. (Even those aren't "small" numbers...) But when you look at the iPhone, which can sell 50 million in a single quarter (iPhone 7 is my example here) you can quickly run up against a wall.

So to some degree, the constant complaints about Apple not having the latest tech in the iPhone is not really fair, when NOBODY can produce enough of that whatever it is part at the quantities iPhones require. The technology and the manufacturing issues have to be worked out and more refined before you can go and buy 50-100 million of something. :)
 

szw-mapple fan

macrumors 68000
Jul 28, 2012
1,939
1,670
This tech will swoop in on the Watch first if it at all. The smaller display is easier to make and it is a lower bulk item. So if we see it in the Watch expect to see a phone in say 3 years with the display.

Apple Watch the garage project of Apple. Where all new display tech goes to be vetted.

Agreed. People don’t seem to realize that most of the modern new features of iPhones has tech that is already in use in the watch, namely OLED, 3D Touch, water proofing, and the Taptic Engine.
 
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78Bandit

macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2009
683
1,234
It will be nice if they can get the screen cost back down to around $75 per device. With Apple's profit margins the additional $75 - $100 the AMOLED screen costs is driving the price of the X up by $200 - $300.
 
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