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Apple could switch its MacBook Pro lineup to a new display material this year that could pave the way for higher resolutions and increased power efficiency, according to a new report.
Indium gallium zinc oxide, or IGZO, is a semiconducting material that is carries a handful of benefits over the amorphous silicon used in the active layer of traditional LCD displays. In fact, the material carries electron mobility that’s forty times better than a-Si panels. As a result, IGZO displays are more power efficient, have improved touch sensitivity, are much brighter, and have increased pixel density. All of which could lead to higher resolution and more power efficient displays down the road, according to MacRumors.
Samsung and Sharp will begin supplying IGZO panels to Apple as soon as mid-2017, according to research firm IHS. Cupertino should continue using amorphous silicon-based displays until at least the end of 2017’s first quarter, DigiTimes reported. Apple is expected to order 9.7 million MacBook Pro display panels this year — a jump from 2016’s order of 8.8 million units.
Adoption of IGZO material for displays has been slowed by production and yield issues, and the fact that the material costs much more to manufacture. IGZO is showing up in the consumer market, however, like in LG’s new line of strikingly thin OLED TVs. As seen as those LG TVs, displays using IGZO can be made much thinner — which could lead to thinner MacBook Pro models down the road. In the interim, Apple is likely interested in IGZO’s power-saving capabilities.
The timeline for the switch to IGZO displays does line up with the expected unveiling of the next MacBook Pro models. KGI Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo forecasted that a new MacBook Pro lineup will be launched in the second half of 2017.
[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]