Apple has partnered with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. to develop micro OLED displays for use in upcoming augmented reality devices, Japanese financial publication Nikkei Asia reported on Wednesday.
Apple’s collaborating with its longtime chip supplier because, unlike conventional LCD screens in smartphones and TVs, micro OLED displays are built directly onto wafers instead of glass substrates. This allows them to be far thinner, smaller and use less power, making them ideal for use in AR devices, Nikkei Asia reported.
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The partnership aims to develop displays that are less than an inch in size, Nikkei reported.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has indicated the company is preparing for a big future in AR, saying it’s a technology that’s potentially as important as the iPhone. Apple unleashed a number of AR tools at its WWDC developer conference in 2019, including a whole AR-making toolkit called Reality Composer.
Sources told CNET in 2018 that Apple would reveal its plans for an augmented reality and virtual reality headset sometime in 2020, but the coronavirus pandemic created supply chain issues in China and a slowdown in manufacturing and purchasing for a number of high-profile tech giants. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo then predicted last year that Apple could make its long-rumored foray into the augmented headset market as soon as 2022.
Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.