There is no smoke without fire

In February 2020, several media reported that Apple started a new project about Augmented Reality device with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). According to the reports, people working this project have an obligation to sign non-disclosure agreement. It prohibits them meeting with friends and acquaintances working in tech companies. The technology that is developing in the project may be “micro OLED displays”. In fact, they are totally different from OLED displays used in TVs and high-end smartphones. The report also states that this new technology may suit for wearable Augmented Reality (AR) device.

Who is TSMC?

Based on its homepage, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) was founded in 1987. its head office is in Hsinchu Science Park, Taiwan. TSMC is a pioneer of the foundry business model by focusing on only manufacturing customers’ products. The company does not choose design, manufacture or market any semiconductor products under its own name. Instead, the Taiwan technology giant promises that it never competes with its customers directly. As a result, TSMC becomes the largest semiconductor foundry in the world. What’s more, it manufactures more than 10 thousands different products in 2019.

Thanks to a large and diverse global customer base, TSMC manufactured semiconductors that are installed in a variety of applications. For example, they include computer, communications, consumer, industrial and standard segments. Furthermore, other applications include a wide range of end products such as mobile devices, high performance computing, automotive electronics and the Internet of Things (IoT). These variety range of products means that the company succeed in diversification so that it can react fluctuations in demand smoothly. As a result, the Taiwan giant keeps higher level of capacity utilization and profitability.

What is OLED?

An organic light-emitting diode (OLED or organic LED) is a light-emitting diode (LED). The emissive electroluminescent layer is a film of organic compound that emits light in response to an electric current. OLEDs are main parts of digital displays in devices such as television screens, computer monitors and smartphones.

The mechanism of light emission is here: When electric current is run through a certain organic compound, the molecules of the compound situated between positive and negative electrodes are excited by the electric energy. As a result, a certain organic compound emits light due to the energy difference. At the same time, they return to their original state. OLED makes use of this light-emitting phenomenon, called “electroluminescence”.

Apple’s ambition for a new technology never ends

As we see the other article, Apple wants to find suitable partners to proceed with the secrete project called “Apple Car Project” or “Project Titan”. Of course, there is no public announcement (as of February 12th 2021) yet. However, Apple’s ambition for a new technology makes sense. This is because the company relies too much on the sales of iPhone. To be specific, it accounted for almost half of Apple’s total sales. Thus, it tries to find a next iPhone. Thus, it might be “Apple Car” or wearable AR device using a micro OLED display.

Since the development of a new technology needs time and tremendous investment, reports also mentioned that a new wearable product is not available soon. In addition to this, the agreement between Apple and TSMC might be halted as well, like Hyundai and Kia do. Even though we do not make sure what a truth is, the thing we can make sure is that Apple can invest in huge money to develop micro OLED displays because there is no smoke without fire.