Apple will mass-produce its own microLED displays to reduce its reliance on Samsung and increase its control over the devices, setting the stage for realizing its ultimate goal of bringing the technology to iPhones.
As it reports Nikkei Asia, Apple has spent at least $1 billion on microLED research and development over the past decade, and once production begins, it will perform the critical “mass transfer” phase of the manufacturing process, which involves placing tens of thousands of tiny microLED chips onto substrates.
Apple plans to fabricate the tiny microLED chips directly on wafers and will partner with ams-Osram for microLED components, LG Display for substrates and TSMC for 12-inch wafers. This process will reportedly be carried out at Apple’s secret R&D facilities in the Longtan District of Taoyuan City in northern Taiwan.
Apple has R&D teams working on the displays in the US, Taiwan and Japan, and the company is said to have designed not only driver ICs for microLED screensbut also some of the production equipment itself to better control the mass transfer process, so as to be able to adopt the display technology in products that traditionally use OLED panels supplied by Samsung and other suppliers.
Despite the foundations laid over these years, the production of microLED displays remains challenging and production costs are higher, which is why Apple will begin rolling out the technology with the Apple Watch Ultra before mass-producing microLED displays for iPhones.
This technology would allow for displays with greater brightness, lower energy consumption, a better contrast ratio and other advantages compared to current iPhones with OLED displays.
With the Apple Watch Ultra not expected to use microLED until 2025, the first iPhone to adopt the technology is likely still several years away from launch. All four iPhone 15 models arriving later this year are expected to feature OLED displays.News
Source: iPhone Italia by www.iphoneitalia.com.
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