Apple Looking to Eliminate Home Button on iOS Devices, Integrate Touch and Display Driver Chips?

Apple is seeking to develop an in-house single-chip solution for integrating both the touchscreen and display drivers for mobile devices onto one chip, according to a new report today from Taiwanese site DigiTimes. The touch and display driver integration (TDDI) chips would also include "integrated fingerprint sensors", potentially allowing Apple to do away with the iconic home button.

Apple is internally developing touch and display driver integration (TDDI) single-chip solutions for its iPhones, according to sources in Taiwan's IC design industry.

The TDDI single-chip solutions will also come with integrated fingerprint sensors, said the sources. The integrated design would fit into future iPhone designs – models with ultra-thin and ultra-narrow displays, and with a whole plane design eliminating the Home button.

TDDI is a new advance in the industry, with Synaptics introducing the first such solution earlier this year. Synaptics created its new TDDI chips by leveraging its recent acquisition of chipmaker Renesas SP Drivers, combining Synaptics' touch technology chipset with Renasas' display technology. Apple reportedly explored acquiring Renesas SP Drivers last year but the talks failed to lead to a deal.

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Synaptics had hoped its acquisition of Renesas SP Drivers and its TDDI chips would entice Apple to once again become a Synaptics customer, but today's report suggests Apple is pursuing its own solutions.

DigiTimes suggests Apple's solution could eliminate the traditional iOS device home button, presumably by integrating its functionality into the device's screen, something Apple has explored in previous patent applications. This could allow future iPhones to see increased display sizes with edge-to-edge screens or smaller form factors with the same 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch displays seen on today's models.

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Top Rated Comments

AngerDanger Avatar
116 months ago
*waits for Taylor Swift's open letter of approval*
Score: 66 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jsameds Avatar
116 months ago
Urgh. I hate software buttons for these kind of uses. Samsung Galaxies are the worst for it. Can't even hold the phone without it triggering the back button all the time, it's awful.

iPhone's have it pretty much perfect with the balance of software/hardware buttons and switches. Physical home button all the way for me.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lowercaseperson Avatar
116 months ago
Good! About time they try and maximize screen space for the form factor. With their unrelenting desire to make everything thinner and lighter, I never understood why they wouldn't also want to eliminate the "wasted" space on the front of the phone.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
the-oz-man Avatar
116 months ago
The earliest this could be seen would be iPhone 7. Not going to happen for the 6S.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bushido Avatar
116 months ago
yes please or at least make app switcher a gesture. double tapping the home button all the time is annoying. also less bezel!
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
happydude Avatar
116 months ago
well, about once every two, three weeks my screen becomes unresponsive due to an app that's misbehaving or a bug that hasn't been fixed in iOS or for whatever reason. so to do away with a hard-restart option does not seem like a great idea. maybe a on/off button-volume button hard restart option would have to be instituted instead.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)