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Apple downsizes micro-LED R&D team in Taiwan?

Apple's Micro LED research center in Taiwan
Apple's Micro LED research center in Taiwan

By BizLED Bureau

Nov 21, 2017: It is reported that Apple has downsized its R&D team that was working on development of micro-LED display products in Taiwan, due to issues related to mass transfer of micro-LED chips onto receiver substrates.

After Apple acquired US-based LuxVue Technology in 2014, it secretely formed the micro-LED team in Taiwan. LuxVue is engaged in development of low-power micro-LED-based displays.

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The dificult process of development of micro-LED and its mass transfer is pushing back panel makers from realizing volume production of micro-LED panels. The same problem has compelled Apple to restructure its micro-LED team.

Industry insiders believe that by downsizing the team, Apple has not given up on the development of micro-LED technology, but it may have planned to shift the R&D focus to the US as the initial phase of the research has been completed. According to sources, Apple will continue to develop related micro-LED display technology for smart wearable devices and AR/VR applications. In fact, Apple is collaborating with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) Apple is collaborating with its Taiwanese supplier TSMC to solve manufacturing issues that are preventing volume production of micro-LED display panels. Apple and TSMC will develop applications based on silicon-based backplanes (silicon wafers) aiming to sidestep the bottleneck that entails with the mass transfer of LED chips.

Micro-LED offers greater brightness, higher contrast ratio, and much faster response time. As a result, it can replace OLED displays.

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