Micro-LED


'Micro-LED' Articles

Foxconn Reportedly Investing in MicroLED Display Tech for Future iPhones

Foxconn is broadening investment in MicroLED display technology in a bid to win orders from Apple for future iPhones, according to a report from the Chinese-language Economic Daily News (via DigiTimes). MicroLED is widely considered to be Apple's next step after OLED, which it currently uses for the Apple Watch and iPhone XS. MicroLED displays have many of the same advantages that OLED displays have over LCDs, including improved color accuracy, improved contrast ratio, faster response times, and true blacks – given both have self-lit pixels. However MicroLED displays are thinner, brighter, and more energy efficient than OLED panels. MicroLED displays also have inorganic gallium nitride-based LEDs, which have a longer lifespan than the organic compound used in OLED displays and should make them more resistant to burn-in issues. Apple's interest in MicroLED was first reported in 2014, when it acquired MicroLED display maker LuxVue. The following year it was discovered that the iPhone maker had also opened a secretive laboratory in Taoyuan, Taiwan to research display technologies like OLED and MicroLED for future devices. In 2017, the company reportedly scaled back its efforts at that center, possibly switching to a facility closer to home: Apple is believed to have a secretive manufacturing plant in Santa Clara, California, where it is designing and producing display test samples using MicroLED technology. Image Credit: TrendForce Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is understood to be providing support for producing smaller form factor

Apple Recently Visited With Taiwanese Makers of Thinner and Brighter MicroLED and MiniLED Displays

Apple representatives attended the Touch Taiwan display industry convention in Taipei this week, holding private meetings with Taiwanese display makers AU Optronics and Epistar, according to the Economic Daily News. The report claims Apple held the meetings to learn more about each company's development of next-generation display technologies MicroLED and MiniLED, suitable for future generations of iPhones and Apple Watches. As those names suggest, both technologies utilize arrays of very tiny LEDs. In May, AU Optronics received a Best in Show award at the Display Week 2018 convention in Los Angeles for its multiple advanced display technologies, including the "world's highest resolution and full color TFT driven 8-inch micro LED display technology," according to the company's press release. Apple is said to be most interested in MicroLED, as MiniLED is described as more of a transitionary technology that it may skip. Apple has been exploring MicroLED displays since at least 2014, when it acquired MicroLED display maker LuxVue. In 2015, Apple reportedly opened a secretive laboratory in Taoyuan, Taiwan to research the technology, but has since shifted the efforts to Santa Clara, California, near its headquarters. In addition to AU Optronics and Epistar, Apple has reportedly collaborated with its contract manufacturer TSMC to develop methods of mass producing MicroLED panels. Apple also reportedly held talks with another Taiwanese company PlayNitrite, which has developed its own MicroLED solution PixeLED. MicroLED displays have many of the same advantages

Apple Reportedly in Talks With PlayNitride Over Thinner and Brighter MicroLED Displays

Apple is in preliminary talks with Taiwan-based company PlayNitride over cooperation in the MicroLED market, according to DigiTimes via Micro-LED-Info. While the report doesn't provide any further details about the potential partnership, PlayNitride has developed its own MicroLED displays called PixeLED that may be of interest to Apple for its future products. Samsung was also reportedly interested in the company back in early 2017, but no deal transpired. PlayNitride is said to have received approval from the Taiwanese government to establish a multimillion-dollar facility at Hsinchu Science Park in northern Taiwan, where it will produce its MicroLED technologies. Apple's interest in MicroLED displays was first reported in 2015, when it was discovered that the company opened a secretive laboratory in Taoyuan, Taiwan to research the display technology. Since then, Apple has reportedly downsized its team in Taiwan and shifted the efforts closer to its headquarters. Last month, Bloomberg News reported that Apple has a secret facility in Santa Clara, California, near Cupertino, where it is allegedly designing and producing test samples of its own MicroLED displays. The displays are reportedly being manufactured by TSMC, which already produces A-series chips for iPhones. MicroLED is widely considered to be Apple's next step after OLED, which it currently uses for the Apple Watch and iPhone X. Image Credit: TrendForce MicroLED displays have many of the same advantages as OLED displays have over LCDs, including improved color accuracy, improved contrast

Apple Developing Its Own MicroLED Displays for Future Devices

Apple has a secret manufacturing facility in Santa Clara, California, where it is designing and producing test samples of its own displays, reports Bloomberg. The company is reportedly using MicroLED technology in an effort to replace Samsung's OLED displays in future devices. Apple's MicroLED facility in Santa Clara (Bloomberg) The technology giant is making a significant investment in the development of next-generation MicroLED screens, say the people, who requested anonymity to discuss internal planning. MicroLED screens use different light-emitting compounds than the current OLED displays and promise to make future gadgets slimmer, brighter and less power-hungry.Apple's desire to expand its supply chain beyond Samsung has been extensively rumored, with Apple reportedly spending billions of dollars to help LG get its own OLED production up to speed and LG displays rumored to be making their way into this year's "iPhone X Plus" device. Looking beyond OLED, many believe MicroLED will be the next display technology to appear in mobile devices, and Apple's interest in the technology was revealed in its acquisition of MicroLED firm LuxVue back in 2014. Apple has reportedly been working to first bring MicroLED to the Apple Watch, with some rumors pointing to that happening as soon as this year. Bloomberg's report suggests, however, that it will likely be a few years until Apple's MicroLED displays will appear in shipping products, perhaps two years for the Apple Watch and three to five years for the iPhone. Apple will likely also outsource full-scale production of the

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

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

Apple Said to Aim for Trial Production of Micro-LED Displays by End of 2017

A new report posted by DigiTimes today has taken a look into the micro-LED ambitions of multiple companies, including the timeline by which Apple might begin its trial production of micro-LED displays. Although it's yet to be confirmed, Apple is likely to use such display technology on a version of the Apple Watch launched in 2018 or later. The report, citing industry sources, states that Apple's current aim is to manufacture a "small volume" of products with micro-LED displays towards the end of this year. Reports over the past few weeks have referenced similar timelines for Apple's micro-LED plans, and today's news also corroborates the location of Apple's trial production run, expected to be housed in a plant in Taoyuan, Taiwan. A few makers engaged in R&D for micro LED display products, despite many technological bottlenecks, are expected to take the initiative to begin trial production in the second half of 2017 at the earliest, according to industry sources. Apple has been keen in the development of micro LED technology following its acquisition of LuxVue in 2014, and recent market speculations also indicate that Apple is likely to crank out a small volume of micro LED display products from its plant in Taoyuan, northern Taiwan at the end of the year. Rumors of an Apple Watch with a micro-LED display began last summer, when it was suggested that such a device may launch in 2017, but with the current reports of late-in-the-year trial productions on micro-LED displays it's likely that the 2017 "Apple Watch Series 3" will continue to use OLED technology. In

Apple May Use OLED Only Briefly Until Micro-LED Displays Are Ready

While several rumors point towards Apple releasing its first iPhone models with OLED displays next year, the head of LCD manufacturer Innolux Wang Jyh-chau believes that OLED is unlikely to fully replace LCD technology in terms of performance-cost ratio and reliability long term, according to DigiTimes. Instead, a new display technology called Micro-LED could eventually replace LCD to become the mainstream display technology, as noted by Innolux vice president and mobile product general manager Yang Hung-wen.In response to market speculation that Apple will adopt OLED for its new iPhone to be launched in 2017, Innolux vice president and mobile product general manager Yang Hung-wen indicated that in order for product differentiation, Apple is likely to do so but it is uncertain whether it will be on a long-term basis, especially when Apple is developing Micro LED on its own.Apple reportedly opened a secret laboratory in northern Taiwan last year to develop thinner, lighter, brighter, and more energy-efficient displays for future iOS devices, recruiting talent from local display maker AU Optronics and Qualcomm subsidiary SolLink. The report described the new displays as more advanced versions of LCDs currently used in iPhones, iPads, Macs, and other devices. A subsequent report said Apple may be developing Micro-LED technology at the factory following its acquisition of Micro-LED company LuxVue Technology in 2014. In December 2013, LuxVue raised $25.2 million in funding to pursue the display technology, and the company also filed several Micro-LED patents. At the

Apple Watch May Switch to Micro-LED Display in Mid 2017 or Later

Apple may switch to micro-LED displays for the Apple Watch in the second half of 2017 at the earliest, moving away from the current OLED technology used, according to supply chain sources for Taiwanese website DigiTimes. The timeline suggests that the much-rumored Apple Watch 2 lineup expected to debut in the second half of 2016 will continue to have OLED displays, with the move towards micro-LED panels liking occurring in tandem with the tentatively named Apple Watch 3. Micro-LED displays can be thinner and lighter and allow for improved color gamut, increased brightness, and higher resolutions. The panels do not require backlighting like traditional LCD displays, but they can be difficult and expensive to mass produce. Micro LEDs range in size from 1-micron to 100-micron. Earlier this year, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said the Apple Watch 2 will mainly feature internal improvements, with more significant form factor design changes not occurring until 2017. By then, the switch to micro-LED panels and other technological advances could allow for a thinner Apple Watch. Apple acquired micro-LED display maker LuxVue Technology in 2014, and one of the company's investors at the time said it had "a technical breakthrough in displays." LuxVue holds multiple micro-LED-related patents and, in 2013, it raised $25.2 million in funding to pursue the technology. Apple also opened a facility in northern Taiwan last year, where it is believed to be focusing on micro-LED technology. The current Apple Watch is the only Apple product with an OLED display due to

Apple’s New Taiwanese Lab May Focus on OLED and Micro-LED Display Technology

Taiwanese website DigiTimes has published a new report corroborating rumors that Apple is developing flexible OLED technology for future devices, including iPhones and iPads, at its newly discovered factory in northern Taiwan. The report, citing sources within the Taiwanese supply chain, claims Apple has recruited a team of R&D engineers from local companies including AU Optronics and Qualcomm subsidiary SolLink, echoing a Bloomberg report from earlier this week. Last month, Japanese website Nikkei reported that Apple plans to switch to OLED displays for iPhones starting in 2018. The report said LG Display and Samsung Electronics will likely share a large portion of the OLED panel production, with LG already planning capacity upgrades for high-volume organic light-emitting diode production. Apple's current LCD supplier Japan Display is also reportedly in negotiations with Apple about securing OLED orders for future iPhones, in an effort to compete with LG and Samsung. The joint venture between Hitachi, Sony and Toshiba reportedly plans to begin mass production of OLED panels in early 2018. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes Apple will continue using TFT-LCD display technology for iPhones for at least the next three years, lining up with the 2018 timeframe claimed by other reports. Kuo also said Apple manufacturer Foxconn is preparing to invest in advanced TFT-LCD production lines for mass production in 2018. While multiple reports suggest Apple is moving towards OLED displays for iPhones, including DigiTimes, the Taiwanese website shared a second

Apple Acquires Low-Power Display Company LuxVue Technology

Apple has purchased LuxVue Technology, a company that develops low-power microLED-based displays, reports TechCrunch, citing sources with knowledge of the acquisition. Micro-LEDs have the potential to improve battery life while offering brighter screens than competing technologies. Little is known about LuxVue, which appears to operate largely under the radar. The company appears to create LED displays that use little energy for use in various consumer electronic products. Back in December of 2013, LuxVue raised $25.2 million in funding for to pursue its micro-LED technology. The company has also filed several patents on micro-LEDs, and one of LuxVue's investors said the company had "a technical breakthrough in displays." LuxVue's VP of technology, Kapil Sakariya, has ties to Apple, having previously worked as a Display Architect and iPhone Operations and Procurement Manager at Apple. Sakariya was employed at Apple from July of 2006 until November of 2011, when he joined LuxVue. According to TechCrunch, Apple has made the acquisition to add to its hardware innovations area, which the company has been aiming to bolster in recent years to bring more of its production in-house. Last year, Apple acquired low-power wireless chip provider Passif Semiconductor and is said to be in talks to acquire Renesas SP Drivers, a division of Renesas Electronics that develops chips for smartphone displays. Update: Apple has seemingly confirmed the purchase to TechCrunch, issuing its usual statement for such circumstances: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to