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AUO to start microLED production: Smartwatch displays first, TVs to follow

01 Nov 2023 | Rasmus Larsen |

Taiwan's AU Optronics has this week announced plans to commercialize microLED displays by the end of 2023, starting with displays for smartwatches and later for TVs and vehicles.

While reporting its quarterly earnings, AUO confirmed that it will invest NT$700 million to build a 6-inch micro-LED chip-on-carrier production line in Taoyuan's Longtan District in partnership with microLED company PlayNitride, also based in Taiwan.

MicroLED is a nascent display technology, with promises of delivering higher brightness and more saturated colors for HDR, as well as reducing the risk of burn-in. AUO supplies various TV makers with TV panels including Samsung Electronics.

The duo plans to commercialize microLED display technology by the end of the year. The first shipments will be displays for smartwatches, according to a report by Taipei Times.

MicroLED watch

AUO partner PlayNitride in 2022 showcased this circular microLED for smartwatches

MicroLED TVs later

AU Optronics confirmed that it will produce microLED displays for TVs and vehicles, but no specific timeline was announced. AUO stated that it does not have plans to expand production capacity for existing display technologies such as LCD; its investments will be solely directed towards next-generation display technology.

MicroLED watch

It also showcased this modular microLED TV with Full HD resolution

Let's see

In 2022, AUO's partner, PlayNitride, announced and exhibited microLED prototypes, including a 37-inch TV panel with 1080p resolution assembled from modules and a 1.39-inch circular display with 338 PPI. Some of these prototypes can be seen in the video below. Based on the video, they appear to leave something to be desired in terms of picture quality. PlayNitride has also collaborated with companies like TCL and Samsung. MicroLED technology remains elusive, and despite AUO's best intentions, we are skeptical. As you may recall, Samsung has announced microLED TVs at CES for six consecutive years, yet the company's living room-sized models are still not available for purchase. We believe it when we see it.
- Source: Taipei Times, PlayNitride

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