Apple might have found who will make its Apple Glasses AR headset a reality, and its longtime iPhone chip partner Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. TSMC has reportedly (opens in new tab) been brought in to produce wafer-thin OLED displays that are smaller and require less power than an LCD screen.
These displays do not appear to be the same as the 8K screens being touted for the upcoming Apple VR headset. Instead, they are intended for the AR-focused project which is still in development.
This is according to information reported by Nikkei Asia (opens in new tab), which has had direct contact with sources familiar with Apple’s projects.
- Apple Glass could land in early 2022
- Apple Glasses targetting niche users at first
- Rumored Apple AirPods Studio feature hints at Apple Glasses integration
What’s special about the Apple Glass OLED displays?
You probably won’t notice too much of a difference between these displays and the average LCD screen you’d find on a smartphone or TV. The core difference for the rumored micro OLEDs is not about picture quality, but design and size.
Screens are not one single sheet but a collection of thinner strips containing necessary components like polarizers and color filters (which control the brightness and color of light from the screens). TSMC’s design allows some of these components, such as the glass substrates that displays are normally built onto, to be removed because they are no longer needed.
Not only would this help keep the Apple Glass headset looking sleek, but the reduced number of components means that TSMC’s display uses less power. This, in turn, would allow Apple’s device to last for longer on a single charge. It may also enable Apple’s designers to find further savings to the Glasses’ weight and size by using a smaller battery.
Who is TSMC?
TSMC is predominantly known as a microchip manufacturer. Apple has previously worked with the company before, with TSMC being the supplier of iPhone processors across the globe. You’ll also find its products inside other big-name tech brands like Nvidia’s 1070 GPU.
While OLED displays may seem like a radically different industry for TSMC, its semiconductor expertise could aid it substantially in this new field. If Apple has chosen TSMC’s design for its flagship Apple Glass headpiece, then it might be onto something special.