Rumor: Next-gen iPads to feature IGZO displays

Boy, is LG Display on a roll today. Not only has the company’s website inadvertently pre-announced a supposedly upcoming iMac refresh featuring an 8K resolution Retina screen, but a well-informed LG Display related official ostensibly said Apple is also “creating iPads with a 12-inch display,” based on a very power-efficient oxide LCD screen technology, Taiwanese publication ETNews reported Monday.

Oxide TFT displays or IGZO displays are known for being more power efficient and slimmer, which makes them a perfect component for Apple products. LG currently produces 9,000 oxide TFT sheets per month, and is investing in its factories to increase production to 30,000 units per month.

An LG Display official told ETNews that “Apple is creating iPads with 12.9 display,” and since the company wants to remain a key component supplier to Apple, it is planning on increasing its production capacity as well.

Sharp is currently the leader in producing IGZO displays and produces around 30,000 units of them every 4 weeks or so. LG aims to overtake Sharp and plans on expanding its production capacity by an additional 20,000 units by Q2, 2016 as well.

The report also claims that Apple will be sourcing its IGZO displays for the next-generation iPads from LG Display, Sharp as well as Samsung Display.

Key advantages of IGZO, according to Sharp:
  • Super high-resolution and clarity: IGZO’s transistors are much smaller than traditional LCDs and have significantly higher electron mobility. Therefore, more data can be shown in a single display, creating a stunningly detailed image – up to four times that of conventional full-HD or 1080p LCDs.
  • Ultra-low power consumption: IGZO can maintain the onscreen data for a certain period of time without refreshing the data, even when the current is off. This helps cut back the power consumption to achieve longer battery life for displays.
  • High performance touch response: Compared to conventional LCDs, IGZO displays have drastically minimized the noise caused during touch input. This allows for quick, easy, more natural-feeling writing and smooth lines.
According to Wikipedia, IGZO-based panels have 20-50x higher electron mobility than amorphous silicon, used in traditional LCDs and e-papers. As a result, IGZO technology can improve the speed, resolution and size of flat-panel displays.

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