OLED Touch Bar, controlling circuit in new MacBook Pro from Samsung - report

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited November 2016
Recent reports peg Samsung as the supplier of the new MacBook Pro's OLED Touch Bar, while Apple is said to be examining the same display technology for future screens across both Mac notebooks and the iPhone.




According to the South Korean ETnews, the Touch Bar is an OLED panel from the Samsung Display A2 line, specifically selected due to being thinner than a conventional LED counterpart. The control integrated circuit is reportedly supplied from Samsung Electronics' System LSI Business Department.

Confirmation of the supplier of the component will have to wait on a tear-down, but given that Samsung is the primary supplier of the world's OLED displays, the report seems likely.

OLED technology is best suited for mobile devices, given that black pixels draw no power from the system.

The latest in a long chain of rumors

Apple currently only uses OLED screens on the Apple Watch, but rumors have speculated that the company has been examining the technology for the iPhone for some time -- but Samsung may not end up being the supplier.

As early as March, rumors started circulating that Apple was looking at the OLED technology for future iPhones, with it possibly limited to the high-end only because of possible supply constraints.

In late September, a report claimed that Sharp was investing more than half a billlion dollars in OLED technology, and was in active talks with Apple to supply OLED displays for a future iPhone.

Most recently, newly appointed CEO Tai Jeng-wu of Japanese display maker Sharp seemingly confirmed widespread rumors claiming Apple plans to incorporate OLED panels in a next-generation iPhone. The executive spoke on Apple's future plans in an address at his alma mater Tatung University, calling the migration an "opportunity" for Apple and Sharp.

For the latest prices and savings on 2016 MacBook Pros with and without a Touch Bar, please visit our Mac Price Guide.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,678member
    Not surprising. Samsung has been making OLED displays for a long time and they've continually increased the quality and longevity of OLED displays.


    PS: What I did find surprising is the teardown of the new MBP using a sideways-attached SSD that uses a controller designed by Apple, not Samsung or Toshiba. Step 11 on iFixit's teardown.

    afrodricali
  • Reply 2 of 9
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,556member
    Soli said:
    Not surprising. Samsung has been making OLED displays for a long time and they've continually increased the quality and longevity of OLED displays.


    PS: What I did find surprising is the teardown of the new MBP using a sideways-attached SSD that uses a controller designed by Apple, not Samsung or Toshiba. Step 11 on iFixit's teardown.

    I have two guesses:

    The SSD controller has been custom designed to help alleviate the RAM constraints by using part of the SSD as slow RAM. 

    Apple bought a company a few years ago (can't remember the name but I think it was based in Israel) that specialised in hardware and software for increasing the lifetime of SSDs. Might have something to do with that. 
    calibiglolliverjbdragonjony0
  • Reply 3 of 9
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 1,831member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Soli said:
    Not surprising. Samsung has been making OLED displays for a long time and they've continually increased the quality and longevity of OLED displays.


    PS: What I did find surprising is the teardown of the new MBP using a sideways-attached SSD that uses a controller designed by Apple, not Samsung or Toshiba. Step 11 on iFixit's teardown.

    I have two guesses:

    The SSD controller has been custom designed to help alleviate the RAM constraints by using part of the SSD as slow RAM. 

    Apple bought a company a few years ago (can't remember the name but I think it was based in Israel) that specialised in hardware and software for increasing the lifetime of SSDs. Might have something to do with that. 
    The name of that company was Anobit
    Rayz2016Solibiglolliverjbdragon
  • Reply 4 of 9
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,678member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Soli said:
    Not surprising. Samsung has been making OLED displays for a long time and they've continually increased the quality and longevity of OLED displays.


    PS: What I did find surprising is the teardown of the new MBP using a sideways-attached SSD that uses a controller designed by Apple, not Samsung or Toshiba. Step 11 on iFixit's teardown.

    I have two guesses:

    The SSD controller has been custom designed to help alleviate the RAM constraints by using part of the SSD as slow RAM. 

    Apple bought a company a few years ago (can't remember the name but I think it was based in Israel) that specialised in hardware and software for increasing the lifetime of SSDs. Might have something to do with that. 
    Anobit, in 2011, an Israeli company specializing in flash memory.

    Always a good resource:
    caliRayz2016jbdragon
  • Reply 5 of 9
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 893member
    I do find it surprising that Apple keeps Samsung as a supplier for anything. I wouldn't continue to buy things from someone that keeps ripping me off.
  • Reply 6 of 9
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,678member
    linkman said:
    I do find it surprising that Apple keeps Samsung as a supplier for anything. I wouldn't continue to buy things from someone that keeps ripping me off.
    They've certainly reduced their dependency on Samsung over the years as Samsung moved more aggressively into the smartphone market and became the dominate Android vendor, but that's a division of Samsung. Still, I can understand how the ethics (or lack thereof) would permeate through the parent company down, but the fact remains that Samsung does create some of the best components on the market.

    Unlike their Note 7 issues, which may or may not have been from a Samsung supplier as they say they aren't sure why those phones had issues, Apple buying a chip or display from Samsung can go through an extensive testing suite that will allow Apple to make a determination long before there is every a finalized product.

    Personally, I'm more wary of the GPUs Apple sources from Nvidia and AMD as they too frequently seem to have issues after several years of use.
  • Reply 7 of 9
    damonfdamonf Posts: 217member
    linkman said:
    I do find it surprising that Apple keeps Samsung as a supplier for anything. I wouldn't continue to buy things from someone that keeps ripping me off.

    Does Samsung make laptops?  If so, we should expect them to have a Touch Bar running Tizen in 3... 2... 1.....
    sockrolidjbdragon
  • Reply 8 of 9
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,678member
    damonf said:
    linkman said:
    I do find it surprising that Apple keeps Samsung as a supplier for anything. I wouldn't continue to buy things from someone that keeps ripping me off.
    Does Samsung make laptops?  If so, we should expect them to have a Touch Bar running Tizen in 3... 2... 1.....
    They do—or at least did. They had some nice ones, too, with metal casings and glass displays.

    edit: They still do. They even have models with the trackpad that is off center with the case but centered for the space bar. Is there anyone that prefers that setup?

    edited November 2016
  • Reply 9 of 9
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,142member
    Thank heavens for that Chinese wall that stops Scammy ever stealing Apple's IP! Cough  cough ....
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