“Apple has reportedly downsized its R&D team for development of Micro LED display products in Longtan, northern Taiwan, due to issues related to mass transfer of Micro LED chips onto receiver substrates, according to sources from Taiwan’s upstream LED supplier,” Rebecca Kuo, Siu Han, and Adam Hwang report for Digitimes. “The slow progress in the development of the mass transfer technology is believed to impede related panel makers from realizing volume production of Micro LED panels in the short term, and therefore persuading Apple to realign the personnel of the Micro LED team, said the sources.”
“Apple formed the Micro LED team after it acquired US-based LuxVue Technology in 2014. LuxVue is engaged in development of low-power Micro LED-based displays,” Kuo, Han, and Hwang report. “However, the downsizing was not meant that Apple has delayed or gave up the development of related Micro LED technology, said the sources, adding that it could mean that Apple has shifted the R&D focus back the US as the initial phase of the research project being carried out at LuxVue has been completed.”
“Since Micro LED offers greater brightness, higher contrast ratio, and much faster response time, and there is a possibility for Micro LED displays to replace OLED ones,” Kuo, Han, and Hwang report, “Apple will continue to develop related Micro LED display technology for smart wearable devices and AR/VR applications, the sources added.”
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MacDailyNews Take: The benefits of Micro LED read like a description of the Holy Grail of Displays. Hopefully, the development gets past this impediment as quickly as possible! Regardless, the appearance of Micro LEDs in Apple products are likely several years away.
Apple plans micro-LED displays for wearable devices; could come as soon as 2018 – June 8, 2017
Apple’s research in micro-LED displays highlights a fundamental strategic shift – June 29, 2016
Apple acquires 21 LuxVue patents with some using synthetic sapphire – May 6, 2014
Apple acquires LuxVue, maker of power efficient micro-LED technology – May 2, 2014