Future iPad Pro and MacBook Pro models may feature new 13-inch 8K OLED panels

Image: Michal Kubalczyk

Japanese technology firm, Semiconductor Energy Laboratory, has claimed to have developed two 8K (7,680 by 4,320) 8-inch and 13.3-inch panels. This may be what Apple needs to be able to continually push the boundaries for future iPad, iPad Pro, and MacBook Pro models.

According to a report by AnandtechJapan’s Semiconductor Energy Laboratory have been able to successfully develop the industry’s first 8K OLED 8-inch and 13.3-inch panels.

The displays use crystalline oxide semiconductor technology and a color filter using CAAC-IGZO material, according to the report. Furthermore, both displays are rumored to be 7,680 by 4,320 pixels, while the smaller 8.3-inch version has a refresh rate at 60Hz and the larger at 120 Hz. The smaller also having 1,062 pixels-per-inch, and the larger having 663 pixels-per-inch.

Image: Anandtech, SEL’s 8K-resolution 8.3-inch OLED display panel.

For reference, in the current Apple line-up, the iPhone Xs and Xs Max OLED Retina display have PPI’s of 458, and the current MacBook Pro LCD panels have a PPI of 227.

While 8K seems like a logical next step from 4K or even Apple’s own 5K displays, SEL says that the technology in these displays will need significant research and development to ensure they will be ready for development in the future. Furthermore, according to the report, “SEL does not have its own production capacities so it will need a partner to make CAAC-IGZO-based 8K OLEDs a reality.”

A major concern of such a high-end display is the need for devices to have more processing and energy resources to run it. This alone has proven to be an issue for many manufacturers wanting to implement higher resolution displays.

“CAAC-IGZO is recognized as one of the next-generation materials that enable high-resolution low-power displays, so SEL is working on its practical implementations,” the report says. “[The displays] require more work with a manufacturing partner to fully commercialize them.”

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