Apple is said to be partnering with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) to develop micro OLED displays, which it plans to use in its upcoming augmented reality (AR) devices like ‘Apple Glasses’.
According to a report in Nikkei Asia, the in-house display initiative is in the trial production phase at a secretive facility in Taiwan.
The report also suggested that mass manufacturing of this OLED displays for consumer products will take some time.
The displays under development are claimed to be less than 1 inch in size.
Apple Glasses are likely to be the next big step in the tech giant’s AR innovations. It’s an ambitious concept, but the glasses could end up being the first in what may be a long line of wearable AR devices.
Apple’s project steeped in typical secrecy
TSMC, the sole supplier of iPhone processors, is working on this micro OLED displays as they are far thinner, smaller and use less power, making them suitable for use in wearable AR devices.
Thin and smaller displays are possible because micro OLED displays are built directly on to chip wafers rather than a glass substrate. This is unlike conventional LCD screens in smartphones and TVs. The new technology lends itself well to wearable augmented reality devices.
As ever, keeping in line with its penchant for secrecy, Apple has not spoken anything about this project. But the word out is Apple apparently has brought in specialised engineers in display technology from Japan and other countries to work on the project.
Apple accounts for one-fifth of TSMC’s revenue
TSMC, the world’s largest contract chipmaker, is well known for fabricating Apple chips like the A-series that powers iPhone and iPad, and Mac’s new M1 silicon.
Apple is the top customer for TSMC’s 5nm chipset. The Cupertino-based tech company accounts for 53% of the overall 5nm chips production at TSMC.
Almost one-fifth of the TSMC’s total revenue comes from Apple.
TSMC is is also getting into the development of 3nm process and it looks like that Apple will be the first to contract the initial production capacity.