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 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.
AUO demonstrated a micro-LED display, which it says is the world's highest resolution full-color TFT micro-LED.
The 8" panel features a resolution of 1280x480 (169 PPI). The micro-LEDs use blue LED chips with color conversion, on an LTPS backplane. AUO did not disclose any roadmap to commercialize this technology.
Digitimes posted an interesting article, stating that AU Optronics is set to adopt mini-LEDs in its LCD display backlighting units in 2018 (mostly for higher-cost applications such as gaming notebooks and professional displays). The company, however, still sees many challenges towards the commercialization of micro-LED displays.
AUO's chairman and CEO, Paul Peng, estimates that Micro-LED will still be in the development stage in 2018-2019, and while we will starting seeing many prototypes and even product samples, real commercial displays will take longer to appear. Peng says that Micro-LEDs, with their higher cost, will initially be adopted for AR and VR devices which will enable to pay a premium for the advantages over OLEDs (resolution and efficiency, probably).