Apple acquires LuxVue, a power-efficient micro-LED display maker - report [update: confirm...

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2017
Apple is said to have bought low-power micro-LED maker LuxVue Technology, a deal that could lead to better and more power efficient displays in future devices from the company.




Apple's apparent purchase of LuxVue was revealed on Friday by TechCrunch. The price allegedly paid is unknown, but itw as noted that LuxVue had raised $43 million in venture capital funding.

The company was recently rumored to be responsible for the display technology in an anticipated update to Google's head-worn Glass accessory. Patents owned by the company hint at LED displays with brighter pictures and lower battery consumption.

The acquisition could be an early sign that Apple is interested in bringing at least part of the development of displays for its devices in-house. Currently, Apple relies on third-party vendors for its screens, including major rivals like Samsung.

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said last week that his company is "on the prowl" for new acquisitions. He revealed that Apple has bought 24 companies in the last 18 months, but declined to name any specifically.

"We are not in a race to spend the most or acquire the most," Cook said. "We're in a race to make the best products that enrich people's lives."

13-inch MacBook Pro


The LuxVue purchase may have been completed before Cook made those comments, suggesting that it could be one of the two-dozen acquisitions. Other purchases from the last year and a half include: Update: Apple confirmed the purchase of LuxVue in a statement provided to Re/code.

"Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans," Apple said.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 54
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Apple's future is looking brighter. This is one area I have been hoping they would involved with.
  • Reply 2 of 54
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,495member
    Wearable displays, emphasis on the plural. Google committed an anti-biological, anti-stereo atrocity with their monocular display.

    As for the list of acquisitions, what about the fingerprint technology from AuthenTech? Could turn out to be the most important of all. July, 2012.
  • Reply 3 of 54
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    Apple's future is looking brighter. This is one area I have been hoping they would involved with.
    I'm guessing this means no wearable device until 2015 at least.
  • Reply 4 of 54
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    rogifan wrote: »
    I'm guessing this means no wearable device until 2015 at least.

    Perhaps Apple will do what it did with the iPhone (albeit for different reasons) and announce and demo the product later this year so developers can build apps for it in the months leading up to it's release in the first quarter of 2015.
  • Reply 5 of 54
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,634member
    Another strategic purchase. Kudos for Apple for not spending/wasting billions on a headline purchase.
  • Reply 6 of 54
    curtis hannahcurtis hannah Posts: 1,710member
    So brighter and less power consumed displays, sounds great, for making something like Iwatch possible and other devices better.
  • Reply 7 of 54
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,505member
    I did a little surfing and found this:

    http://www.faqs.org/patents/assignee/luxvue-technology-corporation/


    and this:


    [QUOTE][B][SIZE=4]Abstract:[/SIZE][/B]

    A compliant bipolar micro device transfer head array and method of forming a compliant bipolar micro device transfer array from an [B][I][COLOR=blue]SOI substrate[/COLOR][/I][/B] are described. In an embodiment, a compliant bipolar micro device transfer head array includes a base substrate and a patterned silicon layer over the base substrate. The patterned silicon layer may include first and second silicon interconnects, and first and second arrays of silicon electrodes electrically connected with the first and second silicon interconnects and deflectable into one or more cavities between the base substrate and the silicon electrodes.

    [/QUOTE]

    http://www.faqs.org/patents/app/20140048909


    then this:


    [QUOTE][B][SIZE=4]Silicon on insulator[/SIZE][/B]

    SIMOX process
    [B][I]Silicon on insulator (SOI)[/I][/B] technology refers to the use of a layered silicon-insulator-silicon substrate in place of conventional silicon substrates in semiconductor manufacturing, especially microelectronics,[B][I] to reduce parasitic device capacitance, thereby improving performance.[1] SOI-based devices differ from conventional silicon-built devices in that the silicon junction is above an electrical insulator, [COLOR=blue]typically silicon dioxide or sapphire (these types of devices are called silicon on sapphire, or SOS[/COLOR]).[/I][/B] The choice of insulator depends largely on intended application, with sapphire being used for high-performance radio frequency (RF) and radiation-sensitive applications, and silicon dioxide for diminished short channel effects in microelectronics devices.[2] The insulating layer and topmost silicon layer also vary widely with application.[3] The first industrial implementation of SOI was announced by IBM in August 1998.[4][/QUOTE]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silicon_on_insulator


    [B][I]If I understand this correctly, the sapphire that Apple is manufacturing could be used to produce[COLOR=blue] large, * inexpensive, bright, dense, high-quality, light-weight, power-efficient, heat-dissipating displays -- all the good things, NOW![/COLOR]
    [/I][/B]
    * It remains to be seen how large these displays can be made.


    This could be a [B][I][COLOR=blue]major tech breakthrough![/COLOR][/I][/B]


    It is interesting to consider the above in juxtaposition to this image:

    [IMG ALT=""]http://forums.appleinsider.com/content/type/61/id/42591/width/500/height/1000[/IMG]
  • Reply 8 of 54
    chandra69chandra69 Posts: 638member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post



    Apple's future is looking brighter. This is one area I have been hoping they would involved with.

    I wish... a good LED maker would bankrupt because of their stupid operations and Tim would acquire it for Apple.

  • Reply 9 of 54
    chandra69chandra69 Posts: 638member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Curtis Hannah View Post



    So brighter and less power consumed displays, sounds great, for making something like Iwatch possible and other devices better.

    Please. Its iWatch. Not Iwatch! :)  no offense brother.

  • Reply 10 of 54
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,581member

     

    Good find, DA.

     

    Please, Apple continue to buy up the fundamental building blocks of next-gen technology to completely lock out IP vampires like Samsung.

  • Reply 11 of 54
    yojimbo007yojimbo007 Posts: 947member
    Coooool.
  • Reply 12 of 54
    ingelaingela Posts: 217member

    A month ago Apple was in talks to buy a 55% share of display chip maker Renesas SP Drivers. So they are creating a complete in-house development team for displays.

  • Reply 13 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post



    I did a little surfing and found this:



    http://www.faqs.org/patents/assignee/luxvue-technology-corporation/





    and this:

    http://www.faqs.org/patents/app/20140048909





    then this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silicon_on_insulator





    If I understand this correctly, the sapphire that Apple is manufacturing could be used to produce large, * inexpensive, bright, dense, high-quality, light-weight, power-efficient, heat-dissipating displays -- all the good things, NOW!



    * It remains to be seen how large these displays can be made.





    This could be a major tech breakthrough!





    It is interesting to consider the above in juxtaposition to this image:




     

    Thanks for those links...

    And if I read/understand correctly, the "micro" LED array sounds like it could be a direct-view LED display, somewhat like OLED, but without the expensive back-plane complexity. I wonder where QD technology fits in with this. Perhaps the micro device structure incorporates LED and QD for a better backlight with local dimming capability? I'll definitely be "watching" this one.

  • Reply 14 of 54
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,905member
    Thanks for those links...
    And if I read/understand correctly, the "micro" LED array sounds like it could be a direct-view LED display, somewhat like OLED, but without the expensive back-plane complexity. I wonder where QD technology fits in with this. Perhaps the micro device structure incorporates LED and QD for a better backlight with local dimming capability? I'll definitely be "watching" this one.

    I keep wondering if Apple might be developing a camera or camera technology for inside an Apple device, that is 4K. Sapphire for lenses and now this for view fingers and display screens.
  • Reply 15 of 54
    yojimbo007yojimbo007 Posts: 947member
    I keep wondering if Apple might be developing a camera or camera technology for inside an Apple device, that is 4K. Sapphire for lenses and now this for view fingers and display screens.
    I remember a while ago this survey landed in my hands somehow ( dont remember how ) asking if i would be interested in a standalone camera from apple!
    It was a few years back when Steve was alive.
    Then came rumors of multi focus/ multi perspective camera research at apple.
    Now this and your comment.

    Ever more so , not only im convinced apple is running on all cylinders ... It has gone from 8 to 12 cylinders as well !
  • Reply 16 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post





    I keep wondering if Apple might be developing a camera or camera technology for inside an Apple device, that is 4K. Sapphire for lenses and now this for view fingers and display screens.

    DA links to the use of sapphire in a Silicon on Insulator (SOIapplication, where sapphire is the Insulator, conceivably onto which a micro LED array is placed--a possible display screen application.

     

    Not to say that sapphire couldn't also be used to make better lenses or lens window (owing to its strength, thinner should be possible).

  • Reply 17 of 54
    daveinpublicdaveinpublic Posts: 603member
    I'd love to see what goes on at apples secret labs.
  • Reply 18 of 54
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,505member
    [quote name="RoundaboutNow" url="/t/179027/apple-acquires-luxvue-a-power-efficient-micro-led-display-maker-report-update-confirmed#post_2526463"
    Thanks for those links...
    And if I read/understand correctly, the "micro" LED array sounds like it could be a direct-view LED display, somewhat like OLED, but without the expensive back-plane complexity. I wonder where QD technology fits in with this. Perhaps the micro device structure incorporates LED and QD for a better backlight with local dimming capability? I'll definitely be "watching" this one.
    [/quote]

    Thank s for your link -- somehow I didn't see the QD article.
  • Reply 19 of 54
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,505member
    I keep wondering if Apple might be developing a camera or camera technology for inside an Apple device, that is 4K. Sapphire for lenses and now this for view fingers and display screens.
    DA links to the use of sapphire in a Silicon on Insulator (SOIapplication, where sapphire is the Insulator, conceivably onto which a micro LED array is placed--a possible display screen application.

    Not to say that sapphire couldn't also be used to make better lenses or lens window (owing to its strength, thinner should be possible).

    There are several ways these technologies could be used:
    • large (27" plus?) 4K displays
    • small iWatch-size displays
    • iPad 4K displays
    • enhanced iDevice camera optics
    • interface between iPod/iPad and 4K cameras (Apple or 3rd-party)
  • Reply 20 of 54
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post



    If I understand this correctly, the sapphire that Apple is manufacturing could be used to produce large, * inexpensive, bright, dense, high-quality, light-weight, power-efficient, heat-dissipating displays -- all the good things, NOW!



    * It remains to be seen how large these displays can be made.





    This could be a major tech breakthrough!





    It is interesting to consider the above in juxtaposition to this image:




    Also, WWDC is supposed to be the unveiling of OS X's new GUI. One thing Jony Ive said when iOS had it's GUI redesign was that it was the first GUI designed from the start with a Retina display in mind. So it would make sense to unveil maybe new Cinema Display or Retina iMac at the same time as the new GUI, and if using a new display technology, more the better. 

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