Apple to Use Sharp’s IGZO Panels for a Thinner, Lower-Power iPad 3?

Posted in Apple News, iPad on 30/12/2011 by Chris Hauk


Apple is expected to use IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) flat panels, instead of the IPS (in-plane switching) panels used currently, for its next-generation mobile display products, reports Yenting Chen of DigiTimes.

Apple is expected to push forward the adoption of IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) flat panels, instead of IPS (in-plane switching) panels used currently, for its next-generation mobile display products, according to sources in Apple’s supply chain.

Starting with the new iPads, Apple will utilize IGZO panels from Sharp in order to upgrade the display resolution of the new tablets to full HD level, the sources indicated.

According to Chen’s sources, in order to enter the iPad supply chain, Sharp has switched some of its capacity for large-size panels to the production of small-size panels for smartphones and tablet PCs. Sharp will continue to roll out it’s Galapagos tablet line using IGZO panels.

Of course, you needn’t take DigiTimes word on its own – Jefferies analyst Peter Misek made a similar claim in November suggesting that Apple would adopt Sharp’s IGZO displays:

Also, we believe that Apple and Sharp together have a modified IGZO (indium, gallium, zinc) technology to achieve 330 dpi, which is sufficient for an HD display while not using IPS nor having to include dual-bar LED backlighting. In our view, this should lead to several design advantages, namely the device can be thinner, battery life should be longer, and the overall experience for users should be meaningfully improved.

According to DisplayBlog, the benefits of using the IGZO displays in an iPad 3, would allow both a higher resolution display and significant energy savings over other alternatives:

The benefits of IGZO are plenty: lower cost of manufacturing, up to 30x higher electron mobility than a-Si (amorphous silicon), increased aperture ratio for improved light transmittance, higher resolution in terms of ppi, etc. IGZO would allow for significant cost reductions compared to LTPS (Low Temperature Poly-Silicon) based high resolution LCDs like the rumored 9.7-inch 2048×1536 IPS LCD for the iPad 3.

While most Taiwan based flat panel makers are able to produce IGZO panels, the yield rates of the panel remain a concern.


Chris Hauk

MacTrast Senior Editor, and self-described "magnificent bastard," Chris Hauk owns Phoenix Rising Services and writes for everyone's favorite "bad movie" website, Big Bad Drive-In.

His first Apple product was an iPod Classic 9 years ago, and he has since added a MacBook Pro, a number of iPads, iPhones, and multiple Apple TVs to his collection.

He lives somewhere in the deep Southern part of America. Yes, he has to pump in both sunshine and the Internet.