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New LCD Panel Plans for 2024! (AU Optronics Edition)

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Introduction

All the latest panel roadmap news from one of the leading monitor panel manufacturers, AU Optronics. Including news on improved IPS contrast ratios, a new A.R.T. coating, Mini LED backlights, high resolution panels and high refresh rate gaming panels. We have similar videos coming soon covering other panel manufacturers like LG.Display, so don’t forget to subscribe to stay up to date! (it was too long to fit it all in one video).

Video Walk Through

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Today we’re going to be taking a look at the LCD panel roadmap plans from one of the main panel manufacturers in the market, AU Optronics. We’ve published these roadmap updates over the years as it gives a really interesting indication of what we might expect to see released in the monitor market in the future. A sneak peek at what the panel manufacturers are developing and the advancements they are making.

Please keep in mind that we’re talking here about AU Optronics here who are one of the leading panel manufacturers, not an actual monitor manufacturer. They make the actual panels which display manufacturers then adopt and release in their monitors later on.

The production dates we will talk about in this video are the current expected panel mass production dates, but there is usually around a 3 – 4 month lag from when the panels go in to production, before a monitor is released to market that might use that panel. So keep that in mind if there’s something in here that grabs your attention. Also these dates aren’t set in stone, especially those which are further out, but these are the latest dates we have for these planned new panels.

We’ve also got videos available now which look at other panel manufacturers including LG.Display’s OLED panel plans and Samsung’s QD-OLED panels, so check those out if you want all the latest panel development news for the OLED segment and what’s in store there.

We have other LCD panel updates coming from other manufacturers in the near future too, so make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel stay up to date on those soon!

Focus areas

AUO produce IPS-type panels under their AHVA technology, but these are often marketed as “Rapid IPS” or “Fast IPS” by monitor manufacturers. They also still make some VA and TN Film technology panels but a lot of their development attention is on IPS technology. Their focus is on a few interesting areas including increased contrast ratios for IPS panels, a new coating type called ART, higher refresh rates, new Mini LED backlit panels, and some super high resolution panel options too.

AUO Black

Let’s look at their higher contrast ratio IPS panels first. Like LG.Display, AUO are developing their own version of IPS Black technology although it doesn’t appear to have a name of its own which makes it a bit confusing. Let’s call it “AUO Black” for now. We brought you news last year in our previous update about various panels planned based on this technology, with improved contrast ratios of 2000:1. These panels also have a wide colour gamut covering 98% of the DCI-P3 reference space too and they will initially be available in sizes of 27” and 34”:

  • There is a 27” sized panel with 2560 x 1440 resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate that is already in production as of late 2023 although we haven’t yet seen any screens adopt it yet. It seems to be more aimed at general uses and productivity focused screens than gaming.
  • There’s also a 27” panel with a higher 4K resolution using this AUO black technology, although this panel is 60Hz only. That’s scheduled for mass production in Feb 2024. A 120Hz refresh rate version is also planned for H2 2024 sometime which would be interesting.
  • A 34” ultrawide panel is also planned with a 3440 x 1440 resolution and 21:9 aspect ratio. This one will have 120Hz refresh rate and should be in mass production recently as of Dec 2023 but as again as far as we can tell there’s no monitors announced yet using it.

A.R.T. (Advanced Reflectionless Technology) aimed at general and office panel range

AUO are also promoting their A.R.T. coating technology which combines anti-reflection and anti-glare treatments which are designed to change the direction of reflected light, and reduce scattered light to a level that is apparently barely noticeable. Basically it will help reduce glare and reflections on matte coated panels, even in very bright environments. AUO’s surface design also eliminates ambient light disturbances and helps preserve the true color tones, saturation and ambient contrast. 

This technology was originally designed for panels that might be used in art displays and galleries (also linked to the name A.R.T.) allowing artists to be able to reproduce texture, brushstrokes and original colors of the artworks and paintings in an authentic digital format. It’s now being integrated in to some of their monitor panels, largely aimed at the general, office, productivity and professional type uses, as opposed to gaming panels. Although a few offer mid-tier refresh rates still and so could be interesting options for those wanting a screen for both work and play.

With this new coating, display brightness can be reduced by around 20% AUO say, compared with a traditional panel, helping to save energy by up to 60%.

Planned panels include:

  • In the small panel segments there is a 23.8” sized panel with a 1080p resolution and this new ART coating, which is already in production now as of late 2023. This is a 100Hz refresh rate panel with a standard sRGB colour gamut.
  • In the same 23.8” size there’s also a new panel with a higher 1440p resolution and the new coating, but this time with a lower 75Hz refresh rate only. That should also be in mass production now as of Nov 2023.
  • In a larger 27” size there is a 1080p resolution ART panel with a 100Hz refresh rate and standard sRGB colour gamut already in production since 2023, as well as a new higher refresh rate version with 1080p and 180Hz that should have recently gone in to production too in Q4 last year.
  • Still in that 27” size there’s also a few higher resolution 1440p panels with a with the new ART coating that should be in production already including options with 75Hz, 100Hz and 180Hz refresh rates. We’ve seen one monitor announced to date featuring the 180Hz version of the panel with the Cooler Master GM2711S which we should have in with us soon for review, so we can check out how this coating performs and establish it’s benefits for different use cases.
  • With an even high resolution of 4K, there’s also a 27” panel in production already with this coating, and a 60Hz refresh rate, with a 160Hz refresh rate version tentatively planned for 2024, date to be confirmed
  • In the larger 32” sized panels there are a couple of 4K resolution options now available and in production, one with 60Hz refresh rate and the other with 160Hz, both offering and wide colour gamut as well

Most interesting in this space we think are some new ultra-high resolution panels featuring the new ART coating. These are aimed at professional and productivity use cases, offering a high pixel density for super sharp and clear images

  • There is a 31.5” sized panel with a high 6K resolution of 6016 x 3884. This would be 60Hz only given the resolution, but would offer a 98% DCI-P3 wide colour gamut and that new ART coating. It’s only in the planning stage at the moment pencilled in for Q2 2024 but that’s likely to slip.
  • There’s also a slightly larger 32” sized panel with an even higher resolution planned. This would have an 8K resolution of 7680 x 4320 for a super high pixel density. It’s also got a wide colour gamut covering 99% DCI-P3 and Adobe RGB and is currently in the planning stage again, pencilled in for Q2 2024 at the moment.

High refresh rate IPS panels

AU Optronics have also got a decent range of high refresh rate IPS panels planned for gaming monitors, in a range of different sizes. They’ve always done a good job of pushing refresh rates higher, while being able to make sure that their IPS panel response times can keep up with the increased frame rates, often being ahead of other IPS manufacturers like LG.Display when it comes to the latest and greatest refresh rates

  • They already have a 32” sized IPS panel with a 2560 x 1440 resolution, standard sRGB gamut and 240Hz refresh rate in mass production, but have plans to increase this to 300Hz later this year, although a firm timeline is not yet given.
  • They also have a 32” sized IPS panel with a higher 4K resolution of 3840 x 2160 planned that will have a wide colour gamut covering 95% of the DCI-P3 colour space, and has a 240Hz refresh rate. That combination of 4K and 240Hz is something we’ve already started to see announced in the OLED monitor market, and is likely to be a popular option in the LCD market too. This panel is scheduled for mass production in Q1 2024.
  • Of note in the smaller panel size segment is a new 25” sized panel offering a 1080p resolution, a 400Hz refresh rate and standard sRGB colour gamut that is planned for Q2 2024 production
  • They’ve also got a 27” sized version planned with a higher 2560 x 1440 resolution and 400Hz refresh rate, this time with a wide colour gamut covering 95% DCI-P3. This one is also planned for Q2 2024 production

Gaming VA panels

AUO’s panel development focus seems to be largely on their IPS technology panels, but they are still investing in some new VA technology panels

  • There’s a 31.5” sized panel with a 3840 x 2160 4K resolution and 240Hz refresh rate that will again offer that nice combination of 4K an d 240Hz, but this time with a higher contrast ratio VA panel for those who prefer that technology. This is planned for production in 2024 sometime but the date is not firm at the moment
  • They’ve also got plans to develop a curved 34” ultrawide VA panel with a 3440 x 1440 resolution and 240Hz refresh rate during 2024, although again the timescale is not firm.
  • In larger size still is a 49” curved super ultrawide VA panel with a 5120 x 1440 resolution and 240Hz refresh rate. This has a firmer date with mass production planned for during Q1.

Gaming TN Film panels

Let’s not forget about TN Film technology as well. This is an ageing technology nowadays and rarely used since there’s been significant improvements in IPS and VA panels over the years. It is still featured though in some top end esports gaming screens, like for instance the Asus ROG Swift PG248QP that we reviewed recently, which is a 24” sized screen with a 1080p resolution but a whopping 540Hz refresh rate

  • AU Optronics have plans to push this refresh rate even higher this year with a 600Hz refresh rate version of this panel. It would still be 24” in size with a 1080p resolution and a wide colour gamut covering 95% DCI-P3 gamut. It’s planned for Q2 2024 production at the moment

That’s the only TN Film panel of note that they have planned, still seemingly being reserved for those smaller sized screens still popular with competitive gamers and esports players.

Super High resolution panels

It’s worth just touching on a few of the super high resolution panels AU Optronics have planned or in development, which are mostly aimed at professional users and high end screens from that segment. These are offering 6K or even 8K resolutions, beyond the now fairly common 4K space.

We’ve already mentioned the 31.5” panel with a 6K resolution of 6016 x 3884 a minute ago with their ART coating, although as we said that’s only in planning for a possible Q2 2024 production. More firm and going in to production during Q1 2024 is another version without that coating, but again with the 6K resolution and a wide colour gamut covering 98% DCI-P3.

Likewise in the slightly larger 32” segment there’s the ART coated panel with 8K resolution of 7680 x 4320 that we talked about earlier as being in planning for possible Q2 2024 production. Like with the 31.5” 6K panels, there’s also a version without the ART coating that’s going in to production during Q1 and that looks equally interesting. This version has a wide colour gamut covering 99% of the Adobe RGB and DCI-P3 reference spaces, but has a very high-end Mini LED backlight with 4608 dimming zones. It’s a 60Hz panel still given the 8K resolution but could be very interesting for HDR content creation, professional and studio work.

AmLED Backlights

While we are on the subject of Mini LED backlights, we have some updates on some of AU Optronics’ so-called AmLED backlight panels, which stands for Adaptive Mini LED. These AmLED backlit panels are all about offering higher numbers of dimming zones, and also being made available with high refresh rates so that they are suitable for gaming displays.

They have various IPS panels already which are still in mass production including

  • A 32” 4K resolution IPS panel with 160Hz refresh rate and 576 dimming zones. We’ve seen that used in a few monitors already including the Acer Predator X32 FP that we reviewed for instance
  • There’s also another 32” 4K IPS panel with a slightly lower 144Hz refresh rate, but double the number of dimming zones at 1152. That’s been used in some monitors already like the Asus ROG Swift PG32UQX for instance
  • There’s another 32” 4K IPS panel which has a 60Hz only refresh rate, but has a 4K resolution and even more local dimming zones with 2304 total.
  • We already mentioned a few minutes ago another 32” IPS panel which has a super high 8K resolution of 7680 x 4320 and while it will only be a 60Hz refresh rate panel, it will have 4608 local dimming zones from its AmLED backlight which is very impressive. That’s scheduled for Q1 mass production

Those are the 4 AmLED backlight panels we know are in mass production now or planned for production this year. There were a couple of others of note in our update in March 2023 which for now seem to have been scrapped or changed.

  • At the time there was a 31.5” 6K panel planned with a 6016 x 3384 resolution and 60Hz refresh rate. That was originally listed as featuring a 576-zone Mini LED backlight, but that seems to have been dropped according to our latest update. The panel is still planned, and we talked about it earlier as one of the ART coated screens with a high pixel density, but it looks like they’ve decided to develop this without the Mini LED backlight now. As a reminder that’s pencilled in for Q2 2024 mass production but is only in the planning phase at the moment.
  • Another one that is unfortunately conspicuous by its absence is the planned 27” IPS panels with 2560 x 1440 resolution and 360Hz refresh rate that were expected to have 576 local dimming zones from their Mini LED backlights. These were only in the planning phase last year in our update, but have dropped off the roadmap altogether for now unfortunately. Maybe they will reappear in the future, but for now they appear to have been scrapped.

Purchasing

* How to Choose a Gaming Monitor: https://youtu.be/yg34noNqi58

* All our Gaming Monitor recommendations: https://tftcentral.co.uk/recommendations/tftcentral-recommendations-list-gaming-monitors

Useful Related Links

* ALL The Best CES 2024 Monitor news! Round-up: https://youtu.be/NTHv_CVeiFU

* LG.Display WOLED panel roadmap: https://youtu.be/2L_OtIQEXOk

* Gen 3 Samsung QD-OLED 2024 Panels and Improvements: https://youtu.be/psykfCmqKqw

* IPS Black: https://youtu.be/sdJNvw-PGgw

* Last AUO panel update March 2023: https://tftcentral.co.uk/news/au-optronics-latest-lcd-panel-development-plans-march-2023

* Cooler Master GM2711S with A.R.T. coating: https://tftcentral.co.uk/news/cooler-master-gm2711s-with-27-1440p-180hz-and-advanced-reflectionless-technology-a-r-t-panel

* Acer Predator X32 FP review: https://tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/acer-predator-x32-fp

* Asus ROG Swift PG248QP review: https://tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/asus-rog-swift-pro-pg248qp


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All The Best CES 2024 Monitor news!
Round-Up Summary

If you want all the best display news from this year’s CES event in one, easy to follow summary, check out our round-up video here.

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