Apple moves to certify LED-backlit panels for 13-inch MacBooks

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Apple Inc.'s consumer line of 13-inch MacBook notebooks may join its 15-inch MacBook Pro line in receiving the LED-backlit display treatment this year, according to reports.



Citing "sources in the industry," DigiTimes reports that the Mac maker has agreed to purchase components from AU Optronics (AUO), Chi Mei Optoelectronics (CMO), Coretronic and Kenmos Technology.



Both AUO and CMO are said to be having their samples of 13.3- and 15.4-inch panels certified by Apple, with shipments to officially commence in the second or third quarter of 2007.



AppleInsider had previously reported that the 15-inch MacBook Pro was the first notebook elected by the Cupertino-based Apple to transition to the new type of display, with the 13-inch and 17-inch MacBook and MacBook Pro models under consideration for the same move.



Meanwhile, backlight unit (BLU) makers Coretronic and Kenmos are also sending samples to be incorporated in the panels, with official shipments to also kick off around a similar period.



According to DigiTimes, component makers indicated Apple plans to use the LED V-cut light-guide panel technology from Japan's Stanley Electric, which is a technology authorizer and major shareholder of Taiwan's Kenmos.



"Therefore, CMO has decided to adopt Kenmos' LED BLUs for the panels it will ship to Apple," the report states.



In an open letter to customers and investors last week on Apple's environmental strategy, chief executive Steve Jobs openly confirmed that the first Macs with LED-backlit displays would begin shipping this year as part of a broader move to eliminate the use of mercury from the company's products.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    maxmannmaxmann Posts: 85member
    I wonder how much energy savings and what extended battery life might be expected? will the life of the LED backlight be much longer then existing technolgy? will the color of the light be as good or better than existing 'true white' screen color. will contrast be as good or better? Finally, i assume there will be less heat associated with LED lighting - but my screen isn't at all warm so it seems that may not be any sort of advantage. where can i read up on this new use of LED technology?
  • Reply 2 of 21
    amac4meamac4me Posts: 282member
    I wonder when we'll see this new models released. I hope it's sooner rather than later. Perhaps some details or even a model or two will emerge at WWDC.
  • Reply 3 of 21
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,508member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by maxmann View Post


    I wonder how much energy savings and what extended battery life might be expected? will the life of the LED backlight be much longer then existing technolgy? will the color of the light be as good or better than existing 'true white' screen color. will contrast be as good or better? Finally, i assume there will be less heat associated with LED lighting - but my screen isn't at all warm so it seems that may not be any sort of advantage. where can i read up on this new use of LED technology?





    Maybe 50,000 hours of life.



    A bit more battery life, nothing radical though.



    The color and contrast can be as good or better depending on the product used.



    Heat isn't a problem.



    http://www.macworld.com/2007/05/firs...ight/index.php
  • Reply 4 of 21
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,508member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by amac4me View Post


    I wonder when we'll see this new models released. I hope it's sooner rather than later. Perhaps some details or even a model or two will emerge at WWDC.



    As they are just now certifying product, WWDC is too soon to see a released product. A sample? Maybe.
  • Reply 5 of 21
    bacillusbacillus Posts: 313member
    Good - I just hope they don't rush this in the name of PC bull. If they can give a better option w/o the Hg; then great. However, if the best option takes some "bad" element or compound, then so be it - and only remove it when a better option is found.
  • Reply 6 of 21
    maxmannmaxmann Posts: 85member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    Maybe 50,000 hours of life.



    A bit more battery life, nothing radical though.



    The color and contrast can be as good or better depending on the product used.



    Heat isn't a problem.



    http://www.macworld.com/2007/05/firs...ight/index.php



    so the advantage is..? cost? life? quality of light? Greener? what is the advantage here?
  • Reply 7 of 21
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by maxmann View Post


    so the advantage is..? cost? life? quality of light? Greener? what is the advantage here?



    The advantage is all of these. Old style backlights are flourescent lights which contain mercury. LED's are cooler, more efficient and don't use hazardous substances. Also, there is no 'flicker' as some are sensitive to florescent backlight displays.



    I currently have a 12 inch Lenovo x60s which uses LED. It's has a pretty good image.
  • Reply 8 of 21
    Next time your out driving at night look at the tail lamps of the tractor trailers. The ones that look like a dozen or more bulbs are. Due to both breakage and safety concerns they are migrating to LED's big time. Far brighter and they never die out.



    Cost is not an advantage up front. Currently there is a huge price differential not in LED's favor. But when you consider the other factors, brightness, color (pure white), enviormental hazards, energy savings (factor of 3 or better), broader range of dim ability, longevity, zero flicker and don't forget the coolness factor of being 1st to where Apple knows things are headed you can see how Apple can justify a price premium for the component.



    And while none of us want to be kicking around or dropping our toys, excuse me tools, it happens and these things never break. So Apple may make up any increase in manufacturing costs with reduced warrenty costs.



    Excuse the spelling, I'm a poster not the journalist.
  • Reply 9 of 21
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 128pluspb100siduo230 View Post


    don't forget the coolness factor of being 1st to where Apple knows things are headed you can see how Apple can justify a price premium for the component.



    Not to quibble, but Apple is not out ahead of the curve on this one. Sony and Lenovo (and I believe a few other higher end laptop manufacturers) have had these for six months or more. I only wish Apple was first to market, then I would have been able (maybe) to convince my IT department to get me a Mac. The flicker thing is huge for me. It can trigger migraines for some. My old laptop used the older technology and if I worked on it for more than a few hours it would trigger a migraine. I've been using this new LED back light Lenovo and have had no symptoms.



    So if there are any other migraine suffers out there that are triggered by flourescent lights, this will be welcome news.
  • Reply 10 of 21
    watterswatters Posts: 6member
    Personaly i was hoping for a May 9th update of macbook pros with santa rosa, which is when the chip release was tracked for back in the day. With this new information it looks like it wont be updating till WWDC
  • Reply 11 of 21
    tbagginstbaggins Posts: 2,306member
    Hmm... reading between the lines here, it seems like LEDs are not a mature technology, and that they have the potential to be a lot more efficient than fluorescent backlighting eventually, even though the early LED displays (like the ones Apple is likely to use this year) have not been quoted as being a lot more efficient than fluorescent:



    His emphasis on the difficulties of backlighting larger displays gives credence to rumours earlier this year that Apple would first use LEDs in a revision of its 15-inch MacBook Pro. Only the 13-inch LCD on the lower-priced MacBook is smaller.



    According to Cree, a manufacturer of LED backlighting, the technology reduces power consumption by 12% from a traditional fluorescent tube.




    http://www.computerworlduk.com/techn...fm?newsid=2896



    AND:



    Cree Inc. just raised the bar, producing a white LED that can crank out 131 lumens per watt. This is not just idle talk, either—the achievement was confirmed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.



    This feat leapfrogs Japan-based Nichia Corp., which in March of this year announced a white LED capable of 100 lumens per watt. All this remarkable efficiency is a far cry from everyday incandescent bulbs which suck up gobs of energy and create lots of heat, all the while only giving up 10 to 20 lumens per watt. Heck, even compact fluorescents can only do 50 to 60 lumens per watt.




    http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/gadgets/u...ted-182241.php (6/06)



    --



    So, at some point, LED backlights really do help out notebook battery life a lot, it seems.



    How long we have to wait for the 'ultra-efficient' variety of LED displays is the question now?



    .
  • Reply 12 of 21
    Looks like i won't be buying another laptop until mid 2008. My 2004 ibook seems to be gettting older by the day, but i don't feel like spending another $2000+ cdn for a laptop unless Apple updates its products as fast as other vendors. Wasn't this the reason behind the Intel switch? Faster updates, easier upgrades on the fly?
  • Reply 13 of 21
    badtuxbadtux Posts: 40member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post


    According to Cree, a manufacturer of LED backlighting, the technology reduces power consumption by 12% from a traditional fluorescent tube. [/I]



    A typical flourescent backlight uses approximately 3 watts of power. A typical laptop consumes approximately 30 watts of power. So if going to LED saves 12%, that means that you'll save approximately, uhm, .4 watts. So if you have 30x2=60 watt-hours of power in your battery, that means your 60/29.6=2.02 hours with the new LED backlighting.



    Summary: No big difference, power consumption wise.



    Cree has some new LED's that are even more efficient. Figure that 2 watts for the backlight in some future product isn't unheard of. That would make our 60 watt-hours of power go for a whole 2.06 hours. Wow, less than 5 minutes additional battery life. While every bit counts, this isn't going to be earth-shattering by any means.
  • Reply 14 of 21
    tbagginstbaggins Posts: 2,306member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by badtux View Post


    A typical flourescent backlight uses approximately 3 watts of power. A typical laptop consumes approximately 30 watts of power. So if going to LED saves 12%, that means that you'll save approximately, uhm, .4 watts. So if you have 30x2=60 watt-hours of power in your battery, that means your 60/29.6=2.02 hours with the new LED backlighting.



    Summary: No big difference, power consumption wise.



    Cree has some new LED's that are even more efficient. Figure that 2 watts for the backlight in some future product isn't unheard of. That would make our 60 watt-hours of power go for a whole 2.06 hours. Wow, less than 5 minutes additional battery life. While every bit counts, this isn't going to be earth-shattering by any means.



    30 watts notebook power-draw seems a little high for typical use.



    For example, my iBook G4, while admittedly a little old, doesn't seem to draw nearly that much power. Under 'Power' in my System Profiler, my battery appears to have a full-charge capacity of 4.3 amp-hours (4300 mAh), and runs 12.6 volts (12600 mV), for a total of around 54 watt-hours. Yet my typical run time is around 4- 4.5 hours, unless I'm playing a DVD.



    So, my average power draw seems to be somewhere around 12 watts, not 30, unless I'm missing something. A CNET article from '05 (around the time of my iBook's birthdate) appears to concur:



    Today, a high-performance thin and light notebook (typically one that weighs less than 5 pounds) might come with batteries that can provide 58 watt hours of energy. The average power consumption of those notebooks, however, comes to 12 watts or more. Hence, battery life totals about four hours, at best.



    http://news.com.com/Get+ready+for+th...3-5731373.html



    Assuming power consumption has not absolutely skyrocketed in the last 2 years, reducing power usage in that 3 watt screen would actually seem to be significant.



    Another stat from the CNET article that doesn't seem to jibe with your figures:



    LCD panels typically account for about 30 percent of overall notebook power consumption.



    If it really were 30 watts for the notebook and 3 for the screen as you stated, then the screen would consume only 10% of the power, which seems off. Perhaps your stats reflect maximum power draw, and not typical?



    Also, notebooks use quite a lot more power when plugged into AC power than when running off battery, depending on settings.



    .
  • Reply 15 of 21
    bwikbwik Posts: 565member
    A bigger bonus will come when we get solid state hard drives. That plus LED means you only need battery power for the processor + graphics card. Depending on what you have there, you could have 6-7 hours of life.
  • Reply 16 of 21
    I didn't mean to imply that they would be 1st to market with any form but if they in fact move the entire laptop line over to LED backlighting you know as well as I that somebody somewhere is going information that credits Apple with the 1st label. And the press and Apple are going to do as little as possible to disabuse others of the myth.
  • Reply 17 of 21
    dvd_junkiedvd_junkie Posts: 113member
    13 inch laptops are so yesterday. It's about time Apple started offering value for the dollar by releasing a 15 inch Mac Book. With component prices so low, Apple seems more interested in charging 2 year old prices for today's lower cost parts.



    Btw, LED backlighting is more gimmick than anything else as the power savings is minimal. Apple should get back to being a leader by being first to offer OLED displays.
  • Reply 18 of 21
    badtuxbadtux Posts: 40member
    Err, 13" laptops are not so "yesterday". They are the leading edge in most of the world, which is why you cannot get a Sony or Hitachi 13" laptop for under $1800. Apple's 13" line is very competitively priced compared to the competition, and I"m planning on getting one because my 15.4" laptop is just too bloody big for the cramped seating in todays airliners and trains, I can't even get the lid all the way open. People who think a 13" laptop is "so yesterday" apparently never travel, or use it as a desktop replacement. You already have a laptop for you. It's called the Macbook Pro. Or get an HP or Dell 15.4" laptop for half the price with the same specs as the Macbook Pro, but you most *definitely* will not find a competing HP or Dell at half the price of the Macbook.
  • Reply 19 of 21
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post


    Cree Inc. just raised the bar, producing a white LED that can crank out 131 lumens per watt. This is not just idle talk, either?the achievement was confirmed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.



    This feat leapfrogs Japan-based Nichia Corp., which in March of this year announced a white LED capable of 100 lumens per watt. All this remarkable efficiency is a far cry from everyday [B]incandescent bulbs which suck up gobs of energy and create lots of heat, all the while only giving up 10 to 20 lumens per watt. Heck, even compact fluorescents can only do 50 to 60 lumens per watt.




    Does this increase in brightness come as a tradeoff for LED lifespan? I wonder.
  • Reply 20 of 21
    dvd_junkiedvd_junkie Posts: 113member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by badtux View Post


    Err, 13" laptops are not so "yesterday". They are the leading edge in most of the world, which is why you cannot get a Sony or Hitachi 13" laptop for under $1800. Apple's 13" line is very competitively priced compared to the competition, and I"m planning on getting one because my 15.4" laptop is just too bloody big for the cramped seating in todays airliners and trains, I can't even get the lid all the way open. People who think a 13" laptop is "so yesterday" apparently never travel, or use it as a desktop replacement. You already have a laptop for you. It's called the Macbook Pro. Or get an HP or Dell 15.4" laptop for half the price with the same specs as the Macbook Pro, but you most *definitely* will not find a competing HP or Dell at half the price of the Macbook.



    I see, you'd rather pay more for a 13" than for a 15". With OSX, every additional inch makes a big difference. 13" is too small and Apple sells them because they don't want to encroche on the MBP. the minute Apple finds a way to add more value to the MBP, the MB with 13" will be history.
Sign In or Register to comment.