[News] MediaTek Teams Up with Meta to Develop Next-Gen AR Smart Glasses, Edging Out Qualcomm

According to anue’s news, during the recent MediaTek 2023 Summit, major IC design firm MediaTek held an overseas summit in the United States and announced a new collaboration with Meta. MediaTek will take charge of developing the chip for Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses, replacing the competitor Qualcomm’s Snapdragon AR1 Gen 1 chip.

Notably, in October 2023,  Meta launched the new generation of Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses. These feature the Qualcomm Snapdragon AR1 Gen 1 chip, a 12-megapixel camera, and 5 microphones for sending and receiving messages. It is the world’s first smart glasses with Facebook and Instagram live streaming capabilities, enabling the recording of high-quality videos.

MediaTek has long been dedicated to developing low-power, high-performance SoC. This collaboration with Meta focuses on jointly creating a custom chip specifically designed for AR smart glasses, meeting the requirements of lightweight and compact devices. The collaborative product, Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses, is expected to be launched in the future.

(Photo credit: MediaTek)


Apple’s Impact on Micro LED’s Path and the Approaching Era of Game-Changing Applications

When Apple unveiled its inaugural wearable device, the Vision Pro, in June this year, CEO Tim Cook remarked, “Apple Vision Pro introduces us to spatial computing.”

The era of spatial computing entails redefining how users interact with digital content within the context of the real world. Apple’s ambition extends beyond mere immersive entertainment, aiming to seamlessly integrate personal computers and smartphones into everyday life and work scenarios, replicating the success it achieved in personal and mobile computing.

The launch of the Vision Pro has once again thrust new display technologies into the industry spotlight. Although the Vision Pro employs Micro OLED, the potential to achieve a portable, outdoor-capable mixed-reality headset rests on Micro LED, seen as the most promising option.

“Micro LED demonstrates balanced performance beyond average levels in terms of brightness, energy consumption, pixel density (Pixel per Inch, PPI), and optical module size,” noted Eric Chiou, Senior Research Vice President at TrendForce. He further emphasized Micro LED’s potential in the development of AR devices, stating, “This also explains why Meta, Google, and MIT are continuously evaluating and assisting in the development of Micro LED technology.”

The application potential of Micro LED in AR devices is evident from the number of companies investing in its development.

In the first half of 2023 alone, six companies—Raysolve, Porotech, Sitan, Kopin, GoerOptics, JBD—announced progress in the development of Micro LED micro-display products. Additionally, two AR glasses manufacturers, Rayneo Innovation and Nubia, unveiled products featuring Micro LED chips.

Certainly, Micro LED’s implementation is not confined to AR eyewear; it is making inroads into the realm of wearables, particularly in the form of smartwatches. Soon, consumers will find the first commercially available watch featuring a Micro LED screen on the market. Tag Heuer, a luxury watch brand, is leading the way with support from AU Optronics for Micro LED panels.

Anticipation mounts for an Apple Watch featuring a Micro LED screen, with rumors circulating consistently. According to earlier information from TrendForce, the release of the Micro LED version of the Apple Watch, originally projected for the second half of 2025, has been delayed to the first quarter of 2026. Initial reports suggested the supply of Micro LED chips would come from Epistar and Osram and that Apple would handle mass transfer at its Longtan facility. Recent reports, however, suggest that Apple might entrust mass transfer and subsequent work to its long-term collaborator, LG Display (LGD).

It’s rumored that LGD has visited Apple’s Longtan facility, indicating a potential handover of equipment to LGD, facilitating smooth mass transfer and back-end processes. Despite shifts in the supply chain, this alteration underscores Apple’s commitment to advancing the Micro LED version of the watch into mass production, with wearables continuing to play a pivotal role in the practical implementation of Micro LED.

The industry’s technological development and investment in wearables, particularly watches and AR glasses, demonstrate a shift towards small-sized sectors represented by headsets and wearables. This indicates that Micro LED is edging closer to large-scale commercialization and breakthrough applications.

Regarding the commercial development of Micro LED, the launch of large-sized products remains a critical indicator. Korean giants Samsung and LGD are pivotal players in this regard. Following Samsung’s introduction of the high-end 110-inch Micro LED TV, LGD’s plans to release a 136-inch Micro LED TV in 2024 have surfaced. Factoring in Samsung’s and LGD’s entries, a total of five companies, including AUO, BOE, and SmartKem, have announced developments in Micro LED display technology in 2023.

Considering the market trends mentioned above, based on TrendForce’s projections, the production value of Micro LED chips is expected to reach $27 million in 2023, showing a 92% annual growth. Looking ahead, driven by the expansion of current application shipments and the introduction of new use cases, the estimated chip production value is set to hit $580 million by 2027. This anticipates a compound annual growth rate of 136% from 2022 to 2027.

TrendForce is set to host the “Micro LED Forum 2023”on September 5th, from 9:30 to 17:00 at the NTUH International Convention Center. The forum has invited TrendForce’s Senior Research Vice President, Eric Chiou, alongside industry representatives from Mojo Vision, ITRI, Lumus, Unikorn Semiconductor, Porotech, Nitride Semiconductor, Tohoku University, Coherent, InZiv, AUO, and Tianma to share developments in Micro LED technology and its manifold applications.

(Photo credit: Samsung)


The Rapid Development of the Micro LED Industry seeing from innovation to the market


Throughout this year, the Micro LED industry has been receiving a constant stream of positive news in terms of new product launches, latest technological achievements, project progress, and investment and financing. This has once again accelerated the commercial development of Micro LED. TrendForce has collected and compiled various dynamics of Micro LED since the beginning of the year, providing a retrospective view of the latest progress in the Micro LED industry.

As of early June, a diverse array of Micro LED-related products have emerged this year, covering essential aspects of the Micro LED industry. These products include upstream components such as wafers, chips, devices, backplane materials, driver ICs, production equipment, micro displays, and micro display modules, as well as downstream end-user products like displays, automotive lighting, consumer-grade televisions, and AR glasses. In total, there are approximately 29 different products. These latest Micro LED products reflect the development trends within the Micro LED supply chain.

In the upstream segment, wafer manufacturers are focused on developing larger-sized Micro LED wafers, such as 8-inch and 12-inch wafers. Chip manufacturers are continuously improving the light emission efficiency of Micro LED. Equipment manufacturers are introducing devices that enable larger-scale production and testing of Micro LED.

In the midstream segment, an increasing number of manufacturers are paying attention to the applications of Micro LED micro displays. They have released multiple small-sized, high-resolution, and high-brightness monochrome or full-color micro displays and display modules to meet the application requirements of XR, smartwatches, and other head-mounted or wearable devices.

In the downstream and end-user segments, the abundant applications of Micro LED can be observed. These applications range from common large-sized display screen products to small-sized AR glasses, and even to automotive lighting and display applications, as well as flexible touch displays. Micro LED demonstrates its diverse range of applications as the ultimate display technology.

Furthermore, Micro LED applications extend beyond the aforementioned areas. Recent reports reveal that Apple plans to upgrade iPhone screen materials from OLED to Micro LED in the future, aiming to achieve higher brightness, lower power consumption, and superior contrast.

Eric Chiu, Vice President of TrendForce, predicts that looking ahead to 2026, with further maturation of Micro LED technology and costs, AR and automotive displays are expected to enter a fast track of development, driving the demand for Micro LED chips. Based on significant cost reductions, there is bold anticipation that by 2027, smartphones will also provide opportunities for Micro LED applications.

While the Micro LED industry boasts a rich variety of related products, Micro LED technology still faces several challenges. Therefore, continuous research efforts are underway, involving collaboration between academia and industry to gradually improve Micro LED performance. This year alone, approximately 17 Micro LED-related research projects have achieved notable results. These include advancements in red light efficiency, realization of full-color displays, improvement in massive transfer efficiency, and research on new structures and materials for Micro LED. The ultimate goal is to enhance Micro LED performance, production efficiency, and reduce application costs.

For more information on reports and market data from TrendForce’s Department of Display Research, please click here, or email Ms. Vivie Liu from the Sales Department at

(Photo credit: AUO)


Comparison of Meta Quest Pro and Apple Vision Pro

considering factors such as pricing and the absence of certain essential features, TrendForce anticipates a modest shipment volume of approximately 200,000 units for Apple Vision Pro in 2024. The market’s response will heavily depend on the subsequent introduction of consumer-oriented Apple Vision models and the ability of Apple to offer enticing everyday functionalities that will drive the rapid growth of the AR market as a whole.

VR/AR shipments are expected to drop to 7.45 million in 2023

In the meantime, TrendForce forecasts a global downturn in AR and VR device shipments for 2023, predicting a shipment total of roughly 7.45 million units—an 18.2% YoY decrease. VR devices are expected to shoulder the majority of this decline, with projected shipments hovering around 6.67 million units.

Conversely, shipments of AR devices are expected to remain stable, with projected shipments exceeding 780,000 units. While Apple’s latest offerings could stimulate some demand, the high price tags attached to these units continue to pose a significant barrier to broader market growth.

TrendForce posits that the trajectory of the VR and AR device market may encounter certain limitations between 2023 and 2025. While affordable VR devices could pique the interest of mainstream consumers, the prospect of minimal profitability might dissuade manufacturers from substantial investment in the VR market in the immediate future. A shift towards AR devices and their corresponding applications seems more probable.

Nevertheless, the expansion of the AR device market hinges on a broader acceptance of consumer applications. Therefore, TrendForce anticipates that a significant rise in the VR and AR market, potentially nearing a 40% annual increase in shipments, might not be realized until 2025.


Apple Vision Pro Estimated to Ship 200,000 Units in 2024, Concerns around Price and Battery Life Linger, Says TrendForce

TrendForce reports that the recently unveiled Apple Vision Pro at this year’s WWDC is poised to revolutionize the AR/VR market with its sleek design and high-performance capabilities. However, the complexity behind its production and its limited production capacity present significant challenges, leading to a projected initial release in the US during 1H24. Furthermore, considering factors such as pricing and the absence of certain essential features, TrendForce anticipates a modest shipment volume of approximately 200,000 units for Apple Vision Pro in 2024. The market’s response will heavily depend on the subsequent introduction of consumer-oriented Apple Vision models and the ability of Apple to offer enticing everyday functionalities that will drive the rapid growth of the AR market as a whole.

TrendForce also notes that the Apple Vision Pro boasts cutting-edge hardware specifications and innovative design. However, a substantial price tag of US$3,499 and the requirement for an external power source to operate for a mere two hours pose challenges to consumer adoption. Currently, the Apple Vision Pro lacks sufficient applications for mainstream users, making it more attractive to developers and enterprise customers who can capitalize on its innovative features to create diverse applications. Consequently, the higher price point of the product is justified.

Looking ahead, Apple has the opportunity to fine-tune the product specifications based on the usage patterns of various features in Vision Pro. This will pave the way for the launch of a distinct offering, Apple Vision, which will cater to the budgetary constraints of general consumers while optimizing battery life. As such, WWDC 2023 primarily focuses on the concept of spatial computing, setting the stage for the anticipation of more practical AR applications to be showcased at WWDC 2024. These applications will be tailored towards usage in daily life, including seamless integration with other Apple products for information retrieval and effortless command execution.

Will AIGC Bring New Development Boost to MR?

According to TrendForce, it is difficult to see AIGC exerting influence in the MR field in the short term due to the need for corresponding AI models and tools to be established. Currently, the AR/VR market is not large, and coupled with the complexity of content development, it is challenging to attract AIGC’s development in this area in the short term.

Furthermore, the complexity and cost of entry into the MR field, along with limited market size, have caused many brand manufacturers to focus on small-scale commercial products. This is because such products have a high unit price and low quantity, allowing manufacturers to control the total cost within a manageable range while capitalizing on the AR/VR industry trend. However, it does not mean that manufacturers are willing to heavily invest in this market.

Overall, this is the biggest difference in strategy between Apple and these manufacturers. Apple indeed wants to aggressively develop the AR market, but the lack of market understanding and content applications led to the introduction of developer products like Vision Pro. The purpose is twofold: to allow developers to advance in content application development and to gather feedback on hardware design and features used by developers. This feedback helps Apple determine which hardware design and features to retain or discard when launching new consumer products that closely align with content application needs.

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