Rumor: Apple reduces its Micro LED R&D team in Taiwan

Apple is working with its supplier TSMC to solve manufacturing issues preventing volume production of micro-LED display panels, reducing its own R&D team for developing Micro LED display products in northern Taiwan, according to DigiTimes.

Apple formed the Micro LED team after it acquired LuxVue Technology in 2014. LuxVue is engaged in development of low-power Micro LED-based displays. (Note that the tech giant never officially confirmed the acquisition of LuxVue.)

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As an owner of micro-LED technology, Apple can release new high-end products with a strong differentiation, while cutting the need to acquire screens from an OLED supplier. LuxVue's technology offers a high-performance display for a low energy consumption, maximizing battery life and device usage.

However, per DigiTimes, the downsizing doesn’t mean that Apple has delayed or gave up the development of related Micro LED technology. It may mean that Apple has shifted the R&D focus back the U.S. as the initial phase of the research project being carried out at LuxVue has been completed, the article adds. Either way, Apple and TSCM are collaborating to develop applications based on silicon-based backplanes (silicon wafers) “aiming to sidestep the bottleneck that entails with the mass transfer of LED chips,” says DigiTimes.