Apple develops a higher-efficiency LTPO backplane by adopting IGZO in the driving TFT

Apple was the first company to develop LTPO backplanes and it adopted this innovative and energy-efficient backplane technology back in 2018 in the Watch Series 4. LTPO combines Oxide-TFT and LTPS, by using the IGZO in some of the switching TFTs and LTPS in the remaining switching TFTs and all the driving TFTs. LTPO can reduce the power consumption by 5-15%, and enables variable refresh rate.

Apple Watch Series 4 photo

According to reports from Korea, Apple developed its 2nd-Gen LTPO backplane technology, that uses the IGZO in all the driving TFTs, and uses LTPS only in the remaining switching TFTs. This leads to higher efficiency compared to the first-generation LTPO backplane.


The reports suggest that Apple is planning to introduce its 2nd-Gen LTPO panel first in the upcoming Watch 10 smartwatch, due to be announced by the end of 2024. Apple may later adopt this new LTPO also in its iPhone lineup.

This move by Apple could have interesting implications - it means that it continues to innovate which gives an advantage to established AMOLED producers, mainly Samsung Display and LG Display. It also gives an advantages to companies with Oxide-TFT expertise. It is expected that LG Display will be the main producer of the LTPO Gen-2 OLEDs for the Watch 10.

Posted: Apr 10,2024 by Ron Mertens