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.
While AUO plans to expand its microLED project, in general the company does not plan to make large investments in the near future. Which means that microLEDs will, likely, enter real mass production soon, as its current capacity is very limited. In April 2023, 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. AUO did not update on this project. There are some reports that AUO may close down its OLED fab as it transitions to microLED production.
In April 2023, AUO announced that it has finalized the development of its wearable microLED display, and the company launched the 1.39" round smartwatch display commercially. Earlier in February 2023, AUO already laid out the plan for mass production by the end of the year.
AUO demonstrated the wearable microLED display back in 2021 - a 1.39-inch 472x472 full-circle panel, that was developed together with PlayNitride. It's not clear when AUO actually plans to start selling this display to its customers, and what will be its production capacity.
In May 2023, AUO demonstrated its latest microLED displays, including a 13.5" 1920x1080 (163 PPI) transparent microLEDs, a 17.3" laptop panel with a switchable black LCD background , a foldable 14.5" microLED display, and a large blended automotive transparent microLED. You can read and view more about these displays here.