Kulicke & Soffa cancels its microLED Project W, expects $110 million in charges

Following Apple's cancellation of its microLED Watch project, Singapore-based electronics assembly solutions provider Kulicke & Soffa announced that its own so-called Project W (probably referring to the Watch) is cancelled, following a project cancellation by a strategic customer, likely to be Apple. 

K&S says it expects charges, including impairments, in the range of $110-$130 million, most of it due to inventory write-downs and impairment charges relating to long-lived assets.


This has been a tough month for the microLED industry. Apple decided to cancel its microLED project, causing a huge problem for ams-Osram and a loss estimated at $650-900 million, and now we hear that K&S has also invested heavily in Apple's project. Just before Apple's announcement, we heard that Rohinni filed for bankruptcy

Apple's decision to cancel its microLED project has led many in the industry to realize that in order to achieve actual mass production, the right technologies and processes must be adopted, technologies that are suitable for mass transfer at low cost and high precision.

Apple Watch

K&S developed its own mechanical process to transfer LEDs, mostly used for mini-LEDs. The company has also acquired Uniqarta, that developed a laser-based process for the mass transfer of microLEDs. We do not know which technology was part of Project W, but it is likely to be a mechanical stamp-based process, and not laser-based, which is also the technology Luxvue developed, before it was acquired by Apple in 2014.

Kulicke & Soffa, a MicroLED Industry Association member, will exhibit at the upcoming MicroLED-Connect flagship event, in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, on September 25-26, 2024. This will be an excellent opportunity to connect with the company and learn of their latest microLED equipment and innovation!

Posted: Mar 13,2024 by Ron Mertens