Apple Partnering With TSMC to Develop Micro OLED Displays for AR Glasses

Apple is reportedly partnering with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) to develop ultra-advanced micro OLED displays. The displays are still in an early stage of development. Apple’s goal is to introduce the displays via its first AR device.

Apple and TSMC have partnered to develop micro OLED displays, which are thinner, smaller, and provide more power efficiency over OLED displays. Micro OLED displays are built directly atop of chip wafers, which makes them more ideal for smaller devices.

As reported by Nikkei, sources have said that the development of the displays is taking place at a secret facility in Taiwan. Development is still in an early testing phase and it could take “several years to achieve mass production”. It’s been said that the displays that are in development are less than one inch in size.

“Panel players are good at making screens bigger and bigger, but when it comes to thin and light devices like AR glasses, you need a very small screen,” said a source who has direct information on the micro OLED R&D project. “Apple is partnering with TSMC to develop the technology because the chipmaker’s expertise is making things ultra-small and good, while Apple is also leveraging panel experts’ know-how on display technologies.”

Additionally, Apple is investing in developing microLED displays in other factories in Taiwan. The company is collaborating with Epistar to develop the technology in hopes to bring the new displays to Apple Watch, iPads, and MacBooks in the future.

With an eventual goal of reducing its dependency on Samsung Electronics, which currently supplies many OLED displays for the iPhone, Apple is investing quite a bit in establishing facilities within Longtan Science Park in Taiwan. Apple has established several unmarked white facilities in the park. As Nikkei has learned, Apple is hiring many veteran display makers to work on micro OLED displays under strict NDAs.