Taiwan's AUO (previously 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".
Towards the end of 2023, AUO announced its plans to invest further in its microLED technologies, and re-iterated its plans to mass produce microLED smartwatch displays by the end of 2023 - and also to introduce automotive and TV displays. You can read more about AUO's microLED wearable display project here. In November 2023, AUO announced an agreement with PlayNitride, to build a $21.5 million 6-inch microLED production line at AUO's Longtan factory.
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Lenovo is demonstrating a new prototype laptop device that uses a 17.3" transparent microLED display (produced by AUO). This is just a prototype at this stage, Lenovo says it has no plans to actually commercialize its Project Crystal device.
Lenovo suggests several use cases for such a device - for example sharing information (in a doctor's office, or a hotel desk), or AR applications such as identifying objects behind the screen (although this seems more suitable for higher mobility devices such as tablets or smartphones).
Next week AUO will showcase two new transparent microLED display prototypes at SIE 2024. The first display is a large 60-inch display, and the second is a smaller 30-inch one, that includes a touch later.
AUO's new transparent microLED display prototypes feature 60% transparency, and wide viewing angles.
AUO is demonstrating several new displays at CES 2024, including some new automotive microLEDs.
The first display is a new touch-enabled transparent microLED panel that is integrated in vehicle side windows. AUO did not disclose any technical specifications. In the past, AUO demonstrated many transparent microLEDs, including a 13.5" 1920x1080 panel shown in 2023, with a transparency of 55% and a high brightness of 5,000 nits. The microLEDs used in that display were 30 micron in size.
AUO announced that it will demonstrate a 108-inch residential microLED TV during ISE Europe 2024 (January 30, 2024). As far as we know, this is the first time that AUO shows a large-area microLED display. The screen is most likely a tiled microLED display.
Last month AUO announced its plans to invest further in its microLED technologies, and re-iterated its plans to mass produce microLED smartwatch displays by the end of 2023 - and also to introduce automotive and TV displays. You can read more about AUO's microLED wearable display project here.
AU Optronics announced an agreement with PlayNitride, to build a 6-inch microLED production line at AUO's Longtan factory. AUO will pay PlayNitride NT$700 million (around $21.5 million USD) for this new line.
AUO says that the new line will utilize PlayNitride's Chip-on-Carrier (COC) technology, that produces the microLEDs on temporary substrates ready for the transfer process. This will enable AUO to more easily realize the production of display panels based on these microLEDs. AUO says that this new line will also enable it to reduce microLED production costs.
During the company's latest conference call, AU Optronics made some interesting remarks on its microLED project. First of all, the company intends to continue investing in micro-LED technologies going forward. That's not a surprise. Second, the company re-iterated its plans to mass produce microLED smartwatch displays by the end of 2023.
AUO also says it plans to apply microLED displays to an "increasing number of high end TV and automotive display products". AUO will increase its microLED display range and make it commercially available to more products and applications. As far as we know, this is the first time that AUO discusses microLED TVs.
According to reports from Japan, AUO is thinking about closing down its 4.5-Gen AMOLED production line in Singapore, as the company is shifting its focus on microLED display technologies.
AUO's first target it to start producing wearable microLED displays. It has reportedly signed a deal with Tag Heuer to supply it with smartwatch displays. In April 2023 AUO 'launched' its wearable microLED display, and it seems it is ready to begin small scale production. It will take time for AUO to expand production, as the path towards low-cost and mass-production of microLED displays (even for applications such as smartwatches) it not clear yet.
AUO has demonstrated its latest microLED displays at Display Week 2023. Most of these displays have been shown before, but this was an impressive lineup for the Taiwanese display maker, and we'll detail the displays below.
So first up we have the 13.5" 1920x1080 (163 PPI) transparent microLEDs, which AUO says is the highest-resolution transparent microLED display ever demonstrated. The display offers a transparency of 55% and a high brightness of 5,000 nits. The microLEDs used in this display are 30 micron in size.
A few days ago, AUO announced that it has finalized the development of its wearable microLED display, and the company is now launching the 1.39" round smartwatch display commercially, with mass production expected in the second half of 2023.
Yesterday AUO announced that it plans to convert its LCD 5A fab in Taiwan's Longtan District into a microLED production line. The new line will begin microLED production in 2025 or 2026, targeting wearable displays, automotive displays, TVs and signage displays.
AU Optronics is demonstrating several display at Touch Taiwan 2023, including an interesting new laptop microLED display. The display is a 14.6" 2560x1440 (QHD, 202 PPI) foldable panel, that can reach a brightness of over 1,000 and a bending radius of 4 mm.
In addition to this display AUO is showing its 17.3" transparent microLED prototype.