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Apple May Use New Power-Saving Backplane Technology for Future iPhone and Apple Watch Displays

Apple May Use New Power-Saving Backplane Technology for Future iPhone and Apple Watch Displays

Research firm IHS Markit says Apple could start using a new power-saving backplane technology for its iPhone and Apple Watch displays, which could increase battery life for the devices.

A display’s backplane is responsible for turning individual pixels on and off, playing a prominent role in a device display’s resolution, refresh rate, and power consumption.

At present, mobile AMOLEDs have adopted low-temperature polysilicon thin-film transistor (LTPS TFT) as the standard backplane, whether in rigid OLEDs with a glass substrate or in flexible OLEDs with a polyimide substrate. This is because of good electron mobility, which drives OLED circuitry and materials to achieve high pixel densities. In the AMOLED industry, there is a saying that if display makers wish to make good-quality AMOLED displays, achieving mature manufacturing in LTPS TFT first is a must.

However, IHS believes Apple could switch to LTPO TFT, or low-temperature polycrystalline oxide, for the backplane in its future iPhones and Apple Watches, leading to savings of 5-15% in power consumption versus LTPS.

The IHS post goes into a much deeper technical explanation that we have space to cover here, and technically inclined folks are recommended to check it out at the link above. But, basically, it comes down to LPTO’s Oxide TFT Structure that can reduce the power leakage of LTPS.

In addition to power savings, IHS believes Apple may be interested in developing LTPO technology to control its own fate more when it comes to OLED display components. Other manufacturers, such as LG and Samsung, control the current display process.

The firm also believes Apple may first use LTPO on its Apple Watch displays, gradually readying it for use in the iPhone, much as it did with OLED displays.

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