April 20, 2024
Apple Getting Involved in Mass Production of Micro-LED Displays [Report]

Apple Getting Involved in Mass Production of Micro-LED Displays [Report]

Posted May 18, 2023 at 2:45pm by iClarified
Apple is getting involved in the mass production of micro-LED displays for its future devices, according to a new report from Nikkei Asia. The move could reduce the company's reliance on rival Samsung and increase its control over supply of a key component.

Apple has spent heavily on the development of micro-LED displays over the past decade and once production starts, it intends to perform the critical "mass transfer" step of the manufacturing process itself, according to sources involved in the project.

The mass transfer step involves moving at least tens of thousands of tiny micro-LED chips onto substrates. This process will be carried out at Apple's secretive R&D facilities in the Longtan District in the northern Taiwanese city of Taoyuan, according to multiple people with direct knowledge of the project.

Apple has been largely reliant on Samsung to produce displays for its iPhone and other devices; however, it has been working for a decade to develop new micro-LED technology that is less power hungry and thinner than organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays. Micro-LED technology also offers better outdoor brightness and can be used on curved or foldable surfaces.

"Apple has spent at least $1 billion on the R&D and samples for micro-LED technologies in the past nearly 10 years," said one of the people who has been directly involved in the project for years. "It wants to secure more control over the next-gen display technologies for its future products."

Apple is said to be partnering with ams-Osram for micro-LED components, LG Display for the substrates (also called backplates) and TSMC for 12-inch wafers. It has reportedly designed driver integrated circuits for the screens, as well as, some of the production equipment to control the mass transfer process.

"It doesn't mean that Apple will always do the mass transfer on its own. But it shows how determined Apple is to allocate resources to have more control over [these] next-gen display technologies in its own hands," one of the sources said.

Apple's micro-LED technology is at the sample stage but likely won't reach its devices until 2025 at the earliest. The Apple Watch will reportedly be the first product to get the new display, followed by iPhone at a later date.

More details in the full report linked below...

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Apple Getting Involved in Mass Production of Micro-LED Displays [Report]
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