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Apple partners with TSMC to develop micro OLED display for its AR devices: Report

By Nadeem Sarwar February 10, 2021, 12:31 pm
Apple EU antitrust

Apple has reportedly joined hands with TSMC to develop micro LED display for its AR devices. Details about Apple’s rumored VR headset and AR glasses have been swirling around for a while now, and earlier this week, details about a Mixed Reality headset packing an 8K display and advanced eye-tracking technology surfaced online earlier this month. As per a Nikkei Asia report, Apple has tasked TSMC with developing micro OLED displays that will be used in its augmented reality devices.

“Apple is collaborating with its longtime chip supplier TSMC because micro OLED displays are not built on glass substrates like the conventional LCD screens in smartphones and TVs, or OLED displays used in high-end smartphones. Instead, these new displays are built directly onto wafers — the substrates that semiconductors are fabricated on — allowing for displays that are far thinner and smaller and use less power, making them more suitable for use in wearable AR devices, according to sources familiar with the projects.”
READ MORE: Apple AR headset coming in 2022, AR glasses in 2023: Report

TSMC is currently in the trial production phase of micro OLED panels

The report adds that the production of micro OLED panels is currently in the trial phase, but it is being speculated that mass production will take several years to commence. Apple has reportedly roped in people from AU Optoelectronics – a Taiwan-based display maker – to work on its micro OLED display project. As per a previous report, Apple is rumored to make the switch to microLED panels for its iPad portfolio in the foreseeable future. 


In addition to micro OLED panels, Apple is also tapping into TSMC’s manufacturing prowess for the development of micro LED panels as well, which are also lined up for trial production. In addition to iPads, these advanced panels will be used for Apple Watch and MacBooks as well. Micro LED panels mimic the property of OLED panels and are said to offer deeper contrast and better color reproduction than LCD display being used on the current portfolio of MacBooks and older iPhones.

READ MORE: Apple’s AR glasses have entered the second phase of prototype development: Report

However, all the new display tech that Apple is developing might not necessarily make it to commercially available products. “The company could strategically apply patents for its own patent portfolio and technology advancements to gain more control in the next-generation technologies,” a source familiar with the latest developments was quoted as saying.

Furthermore, Apple is also rumored to use mini LED panels on its upcoming line-up of iPads and MacBooks that are said to debut later this year. As per analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple will launch two MacBook Pro models this year, with both of them rocking a mini LED display, a fresh design, and in-house silicon.


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