Citing industry sources, Digitimes reports that Apple is busy developing an in-house, single-chip solution to integrate both touch and display drivers, a technology called TDDI solution. What adds a twist to the report is that Apple may replace its iconic Home button, as it would also integrate the fingerprint sensor, say the sources.
Apple is internally developing touch and display driver integration (TDDI) single-chip solutions for its iPhones, according to sources in Taiwan’s IC design industry.
The TDDI single-chip solutions will also come with integrated fingerprint sensors, said the sources. The integrated design would fit into future iPhone designs – models with ultra-thin and ultra-narrow displays, and with a whole plane design eliminating the Home button.
Actually, if we look back at patents won by Apple, we can see that it has previously expressed interest in integrating the Touch ID into the display, but the rumours that predicted this change never materialized. The Digitimes report is careful enough not to make an estimate for such a redesign, so we can consider this something Apple is actively investigating.
By the way, the report comes hot on the heels of the first TDDI single-chip solution becoming available from Synaptics – the manufacturer’s product was premiered on March 2. You may recall that Synaptics was the company that successfully negotiated a deal with Renesas (a joint venture with Sharp and the Taiwanese Powerchip), a company that manufactured display drivers and controllers.
Apple was interested in acquiring 55% of the manufacturer, but ultimately Synaptics closed the deal and finalized that merger in September 2014.