Taiwan's AUO (AU Optronics) was formed in 2001, by the merger of Acer Display and Unipac Optoelectronics. Later in 2006 AUO merged with Quanta Display. AUO is the world's number 3 manufacturer of TFT-LCDs, and also produces OLED display in low volume.
AUO has an active micro-LED R&D project, and in 2018 it demonstrated what it claims to be the world's largest TFT-driven full color Micro-LED display prototype at 12.1".
The latest AUO MicroLED news:
AU Optronics released this nice video that shows its latest microLED display prototypes. First up is the company's 12.1" automotive display. This one features a 1920x720 (169 PPI) resolution, and is made on an LTPS backplane. This display was shown first in 2018.
The second display in the video is the flexible microLED developed in collaboration with PlayNitride. This is a 9.4" 228 PPI display, again driven by an LTPS backplane.
According to a report from Taiwan's Economic Daily news, a new mini-LED and micro-LED display factory is under planning in Taiwan's Hsinchu Science Park. The new fab is built by Apple (who will invest $334 million) in collaboration with AU Optronics and Epistar.
According to the report, the Science Park Administartion approved Apple, Auo and Epistar's plan on February 18. The new fab will act as an expansion of Apple's existing display center in Taiwan.
AU Optronics and PlayNitride announced that the two companies have developed a 9.4" 228 PPI flexible microLED display. The new display is driven by an LTPS backplane and the two companies say it delivers a large color gamut, is weather resistance and it is suitable for automotive applications.
AUO and PlayNitride has been collaborating on microLED display technologies for many years. In early 2019, AUO announce it plans to accelerate its development of Micro-LED products. The company previous prototype was a 12.1" 1920x720 (169 PPI) panel. In September 2019 AUO's president said that he expects Micro-LED displays to enter the market within 1-2 years, starting with large-area signage and small-sized VR displays.
AU Optronics president, Paul Peng, says that he expects Micro-LED displays to enter the market within 1-2 years. The first displays will be large-area signage and small-sized VR displays. Micro-LEDs for the automotive market will take longer to commercialize - around 5 years.
AUO recently demonstrated a 12.1" LTPS micro-LED display prototype that features a resolution of 1920x720 (169 PPI). AUO discloses that this display was produced using the company's self-developed transfer process that can move 50,000 - 60,000 LEDs per transfer (AUO did not detail the time it takes to perform a single transfer, though). AUO is now developing repair technology to take care of damaged LEDs.
AU Optronics announced that it will demonstrate a 12.1" LTPS micro-LED display prototype next week that features a resolution of 1920x720 (169 PPI). It seems that this is the same display shown at IFA 2018.
The 2018 display used blue LEDs with color conversion, which achieved "marvelous color performance", according to AUO.
AU Optronics announced that it will accelerate its development of Micro-LED products. AUO started to ship mini-LED based LCD gaming monitor panels in Q4 2018, and will continue to develop mini-LED LCDs for other niche markets in 2019.
In July 2018 AUO said that micro-LEDs are still too expensive and not ready for mass production yet - even after years of R&D. Hopefully the company's views have now changed. AUO did say in 2018 that it plans to introduce micro-LEDs in "niche products" in the future.
At IFA 2018, AU Optronics demonstrated a 12.1" full-color TFT-driven micro-LED display prototype. The display features a resolution of 1920x720 (169 PPI). The micro-LED chips are less than 30 um in size.
The new AUO display uses blue LEDs with color conversion, which achieves "marvelous color performance", according to AUO. This is similar to the 8" 169 PPI display AUO demonstrated only three months ago at SID 2018.
AUO did not publish any roadmaps to commercialize micro-LEDs. At the company's recent earning report, AUO disclosed that it does plan to use micro-LEDs in niche products in the future - but following years of R&D, micro-LEDs are still too expensive and are not ready for mass production yet.