The California tech giant plans to develop micro OLED displays -- a radically different type of display built directly onto chip wafers -- with the ultimate goal of using the new technology in its upcoming augmented reality devices, sources briefed on the matter said. 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.
Sources say the project is at the trial production stage but it will take a few years to achieve mass production.
The micro OLED project is one of two that are purportedly being conducted at the lab located in the Longtan District of Taoyuan. The other project is micro LED technology which is also said to be in trial production.
It's rumored that micro LED technology could eventually make its way to the Apple Watch, iPad, and MacBook. Apple is said to be partnering with Epistar to co-develop the technology.
The components are 100 times smaller than those used in LED lighting products and they do not need backlight modules like traditional LEDs and LCDs, meaning the display can be much thinner. Micro LEDs also provide high color contrast and can be used to make curved or foldable screens, similar to OLED screens.
More details in the full report linked below...