Apple for its next iPhone is reportedly hiring Synaptics to make LCD drivers. It is believed that in-house delays related to work on merging touch and display components forced Apple to look for an outside supplier.
Apple facing issued with TDDI
On Thursday, a report from DigiTimes citing industry sources said the development of single-chip touch and display driver integration (TDDI) is lagging behind schedule. The exact cause for the setback was not revealed. This news is consistent with a report from Apple Insider in June that said Apple is working on getting rid of the home button oniPhones, but the technology is not expected to be ready until 2017 at least.
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TDDI is one of the basic requirements for the technology, and there have been reports that the company is also working on building Touch ID sensors into iPhone displays. With its help, it will be possible for users to unlock a phone simply by touching it. At the same time, Apple will get the option of further trimming down bezels and weight. For getting back to the home screen, the users will need to make use of a multi-touch gesture unless they use an onscreen button instead.
Renesas a vital player in the field
DigiTimes added that for working on TDDI, Apple hired senior engineers from Renesas SP Drivers some time ago. Renesas SP is a part of Synaptics now. In 2014, Apple made an attempt of buying a controlling interest in Renesas, but the latter eventually turned to Synaptics. Renesas also supplies components to many other smartphone makers, including Microsoft, Samsung, Google, HTC, and Sony.
In the past few years, Apple has filed multiple patents for displays with Touch ID and track pad capabilities. The iPhone 7 line-up is expected to go through a significant redesign. Whether Apple will do away with its iconic home button on future iPhones cannot be predicted now.
In March, Synaptics made the announcement regarding its first TDDI single-chip solutions for tablets and smartphones that allowed thinner and brighter displays and have the best-in-class capacitive touch performance. The production cost also is reduced owing to fewer components, reduced lamination steps and an increased manufacturing yield of TDDI chips.