Apple is reportedly developing micro OLED displays for its AR glasses

Illustration for the article titled Apple is developing Micro OLED displays for its AR glasses

Photo: Spencer platt (fake images)

Like rumors about Apple’s augmented reality efforts continue to heat up, a new report claims that Apple has partnered with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. to develop and produce sophisticated micro OLED displays for use in a future AR headset.

According to Nikkei AsiaApple is deepening its relationship with TSMC, the manufacturer responsible for making the A and M series chips used in the new iPhones and Macs, to produce micro OLED displays designed for use in AR devices.

A source with information on Apple’s micro OLED efforts told Nikkei Asia that the reason Apple chose TSMC over a traditional display maker like Samsung or LG is because “pAnel players are good at making bigger and bigger screens, but when it comes to thin and light devices like AR glasses, you need a very small screen. Apple has partnered with TSMC to develop the technology because the chipmaker’s expertise is making things ultra small and good, while Apple is also tapping into the knowledge of panel experts in display technologies. “

That It appears that TSMC will use some of its existing chip manufacturing to begin early production of these displays, while working to build additional production lines with Apple, which owns a research lab in Taoyuan, Taiwan (just minutes from TSMC’s advanced chip testing and packaging facility).

The Nikkei Asia source claims that Apple’s micro OLED project has now reached the trial production stage, with full mass production still a few years from now. This would suggest that despite rumors claiming that Apple might release some kind of AR headset in late 2021 or 2202, Apple’s big push in AR / VR won’t happen until closer to 2023 or later.

When it comes to AR devices, micro OLED is considered one of the next great advancements in OLED and LCD technology used in today’s devices. The great advantage of the micro OLED is that the diodes can be built directly on the silicon wafers, instead of requiring an additional substrate of glass or plastic, which allows to reduce the thickness and increase the energy efficiency.

However, it appears that Apple is still trying to decide the final form.s possible AR headphones. Recent reports claims Apple is testing various designs for separate augmented and virtual reality goggles, and the latter could be configured to include dual 8K displays.

Still, before Apple can release a headset to the masses, it must first sort out its technology, which appears to be exactly what Apple is doing by strengthening its partnership with TSMC.


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