Apple has acquired LuxVue Technology, a startup company that focuses on making low power micro-LED based displays in the consumer market, according to a TechCrunch report.
TechCrunch sources close to the transaction revealed LuxVue has raised US$ 43 million in funding from Kleiner Perkins, iD Ventures America and others.
Apple has declined to confirm the acquisition, but its actions have generated speculation that LuxVue’s technology might be applied in future iWatches, according to a Mashable report.
Quoting John Doerr, a LuxVue partner at venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers presentation at Techcrunch Disrupt on Sept. 11, 2013, the Mashable report highlighted the micro-LEDs is different from conventional LEDs.
"Instead of having a bright white light and then filtering away the colors you don't want, at every pixel, it puts down two red, two green, two blue directly emissive LEDs," said Doerr. "This will deliver nine times better brightness … with lower battery requirements."
The claim that the micro-LEDs will be brighter, while consuming less energy is supported by another report by Apple Patently that notes several patents filed by LuxVue involve sapphire on GaN technology. The incorporation of sapphire in display backlight could improve brightness significantly, while lowering energy consumption.
Doerr also commented the micro-LED display could be applied on curved substrates, and would be ideal for a smartwatch maker. The patent for the technology was filed in December 2012 for a special method of "forming an array of micro LEDs for transfer to a receiving substrate.”
LuxVue Technology relation with Apple appears to be long established, with its current Vice President of Technology Kapil Sakariya being a former Apple engineer. Sakariya joined LuxVue in 2011.