AU Optronics Latest Panel Development Plans – Oct 2020

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We have some updates from AU Optronics about their panel development plans which is always interesting to see. Our last update was Dec 2019. This is AUO as a panel manufacturer, as opposed to any specific monitor/display manufacturer, but it gives an indication of where monitors are likely to go in the future by looking ahead at the panel production plans. AUO make a large portion of the IPS-type panels (their ‘AHVA’ technology) in the market which is always of interest along with a range of interesting TN Film options. Please keep in mind that the production dates are not set in stone and may change, and there is then also a lag of several months before a panel is produced, then used in a display and launched to market. We have updated our panel parts database with all the new information we have as well as best we can.

Keep in mind many date slips are due to covid this year. Here are the highlights.

4-side borderless panels based on IPS-type technology

Of note for these more mainstream general purpose panels (without high refresh rate) are:

M270QAN05.0 – 27″ with 3840 x 2160 resolution, 95% DCI-P3, 400 cd/m2 brightness. Expected to go in to development around now

M270QAN05.1 – 27″ with 3840 x 2160 resolution, 99% DCI-P3, 400 cd/m2 brightness. Expected to go in to production in Q1 2021.

M240UAN03.0 – 24″ in size with a rare 1920 x 1200 (16:10) resolution. Also with 350 cd/m2 brightness and standard sRGB gamut. Expected to go in to production this month during Oct 2020.

Gaming IPS panels with high refresh rates

There’s quite a few new gaming panels planned in their range. Of note are the following:

M320DAN02.6 – 32″ in size with a 2560 x 1440 resolution and 165Hz refresh rate. It also offers 400 cd/m2 brightness (600 cd/m2 peak for HDR with an 8-zone edge lit local dimming backlight), 95% DCI-P3 colour gamut. Should be in production as of this month Oct 2020.

M270DAN08.8 – 27″ in size with 2560 x 1440 resolution and 165Hz refresh rate. Also offers 95% DCI-P3 gamut, 400 cd/m2 brightness and a 3-side borderless design. Should be in production as of this month Oct 2020.

M270DAN08.9 – 27″ in size with 2560 x 1440 resolution and 240Hz refresh rate this time. Also offers 95% DCI-P3 gamut, 400 cd/m2 brightness and a 3-side borderless design. Due for production in Nov 2020.

M270DAN02.6 – 27″ in size with 2560 x 1440 resolution and 165Hz refresh rate this time. Also offers 95% DCI-P3 gamut, 400 cd/m2 brightness, 600 cd/m2 peak brightness for HDR and a 3-side borderless design. Due for production starting in Oct2020.

M270HAN03.9 – 27″ in size with a 1920 x 1080 resolution combined with a 240Hz refresh rate. This panel offers a 3-side borderless design, sRGB gamut and 400 cd/m2 brightness. Expected to go in to production in Q1 2021. A similar M270HAN03.8 panel with a lower 165Hz should be in production now since Sept 20 as well.

M250HAN01.A – 24.5″ in size with a 1920 x 1080 resolution combined with a 240Hz refresh rate. This panel offers a 3-side borderless design, sRGB gamut and 400 cd/m2 brightness. Expected to go in to production in Q1 2021.

M250HAN01.B – 24.5″ in size with a 1920 x 1080 resolution combined with a 165Hz refresh rate. This panel offers a 3-side borderless design, wide 90% DCI-P3 gamut and 400 cd/m2 brightness (450 cd/m2 peak for HDR with 8-zone edge lit local dimming). Expected to go in to production in Jan 2021.

32″ IPS Panel with 1440p and 240Hz

This was on a previous update but we now have a firmer view of production dates. The M320DAN02.0 should now be in production as of Sept 2020, a little later than the original planned Feb 2020 schedule. This is an interesting panel which offers a 2560 x 1440 resolution combined with a 240Hz refresh rate. It hs a 400 cd/m2 brightness (600 cd/m2 peak for HDR with a 16-zone edge lit dimming backlight), 99% Adobe RGB wide gamut backlight and 3-side borderless design.

32″ IPS Panel with 4K and High Refresh Rate In Production Soon

A 32″ sized panel is due to go in to mass production soon around Dec 2020. The M320QAN02.3 offers a 3840 x 2160 (“4K”) resolution combined with a 144Hz refresh rate. It also offers a 400 cd/m2 brightness, 600 cd/m2 peak brightness for HDR (16-zone edge lit local dimming), true 10-bit colour depth and wide gamut with 99% Adobe RGB coverage listed. With that in production soon, we can perhaps hope to see some screens announced soon using this panel! Finally some 32″ models with 4K @ 144Hz perhaps?

32″ IPS Panel with 4K, High Refresh Rate and Mini LED Backlight Update

Asus ROG Swift PG32UQX

One of the most exciting panels in the plans is the M320QAN02.6. This is a 32″ IPS panel with a 3840 x 2160 resolution combined with a 144Hz refresh rate max. It has a wide gamut with 99% Adobe RGB coverage, 10-bit colour depth and a borderless design. What makes this one so interesting is that it also has a 1152-zone Mini LED backlight for top level HDR performance. This delivered a 1400 cd/m2 peak brightness as well, allowing the screen to meet the newish VESA DisplayHDR 1400 standard. This was previously expected to go in to production in Q1 2020 but due to covid that is now expected to be this month, from Oct 2020. There is already a 60Hz version in mass production (M320QAN02.5) but this will be the high refresh rate option.

This should mean that exciting top-end gaming models like the Asus ROG Swift PG32UQX and Acer Predator X32, which are based on this new panel, are not far off being released, perhaps before Christmas if we are lucky, but probably more likely in early Q1 2021.

Other FALD Backlit Panels Planned

There are also some other panels planned with FALD backlights for decent HDR performance on an LCD panel. Some also have high refresh rates included:

M320QAN02.7 – 32″ in size with a 576 zone LED backlight (AUO refer to this as Mini LED, although it’s a bit more like FALD options we’ve seen to date given the more limited number of zones). This panel has a 3840 x 2160 resolution, 60Hz refresh rate, wide gamut with 99% Adobe RGB coverage, 8-bit colour depth, 600 cd/m2 brightness, 1000 cd/m2 peak brightness for HDR. It is due to go in to production in Dec 2020.

M270QAN02.6 – 27″ in size with a 576 zone LED backlight. This panel has a 3840 x 2160 resolution, high 144Hz refresh rate, wide gamut with 99% Adobe RGB coverage, 8-bit colour depth, 600 cd/m2 brightness, 1000 cd/m2 peak brightness for HDR. It is due to go in to production in Dec 2020 as well.

M270QAN02.X – 27″ in size with a more limited 384 zone LED backlight. This panel has a 3840 x 2160 resolution, 60Hz refresh rate, wide gamut with 95% DCI-P3 coverage, 8-bit colour depth, 600 cd/m2 brightness, 1000 cd/m2 peak brightness for HDR. It is due to go in to production in H1 2021 apparently.

24.5″ IPS Panel with 1080p and 360Hz now in mass production

Asus ROG Swift 360Hz PG259QN

This should come as no surprise as we recently reviewed the first screen to market featuring this new panel (the Asus ROG Swift 360Hz PG259QN), but the 24.5″ IPS panel with 360Hz refresh rate is now in mass production. The M250HAN03.0 offers a 1920 x 1080 resolution, 3-side borderless design, 400 cd/m2 brightness and sRGB gamut.

30″ Ultrawide IPS Panels with High Refresh Rates

A few rather unusual sized panels have also been planned. These are 30″ ultrawide IPS technology panels all offering a 2560 x 1080 WFHD resolution. There are 3 versions planned:

  1. M300DAN01.1 – with 90Hz refresh rate (odd!), 300 cd/m2 brightness and sRGB gamut. Planned for Oct 2020 mass production
  2. M300DAN01.0 – with 200Hz refresh rate (that’s more like it!), 300 cd/m2 brightness, sRGB gamut. Planned for Nov 2020 production
  3. M300DAN01.3 – with 200Hz again, but this version has a wide colour gamut covering 95% DCI-P3 and an increased brightness of 400 cd/m2. This one is planned for Q1 2021 production.

There are also some VA panels planned in the same 30″ size and with the same resolution:

  1. M300DVR02.0 – was originally forecast to offer a 240Hz refresh rate but this appears to have been toned down now to 200Hz. This VA panel has a 1500R curvature as well as 300 cd/m2 brightness and 85% NTSC gamut. This is due to go in to production during Oct 2020. This looks to be an update to the existing M300DVR01.0 which has been in production for quite a long time and has a slightly less aggressive curve at 1800R.

New Professional Use IPS Panels with UltraHD Resolutions

There are also a couple of new professional use panels planned.

  1. M320QAN02.2 – 32″ in size with a 3840 x 2160 resolution, 60Hz refresh rate, 99% Adobe RGB gamut, 8-bit+FRC colour depth, 300 cd/m2 brightness and 3-side borderless design. Planned for production from Oct 2020.
  2. M270QAN06.1 – 27″ in size with a 3840 x 2160 resolution, 60Hz refresh rate, 99% Adobe RGB gamut / 99% DCI-P3 quoted, 8-bit+FRC colour depth, 400 cd/m2 brightness and 3-side borderless design. Planned for production from Q1 2021.

Entering the 34″ Ultrawide Space with Curved VA Panels

The 34″ size is not one that AUO has previously invested in, having concentrated their efforts in the 35″ space, and leaving 34″ to Samsung (VA) and LG.Display (IPS) until now. AUO now have several new panels in production which are 34″ in size, offering a 21:9 ultrawide aspect ratio and a 3440 x 1440 resolution. There are 4 panel variants planned:

Two have a 1500R curvature, one offering a 100Hz refresh rate (M340QVR01.1, planned Dec 20) and the other offering a higher 165Hz refresh rate (M340QVR01.0 also planned Dec 20).

The other two have a steeper 1000R curvature to rival what Samsung are doing at the moment with their VA panels. Again there is a 100Hz version (M340QVR01.5, planned Jan/Feb 21) and a 165Hz version (M340QVR01.6 planned Jan 21).

31.5″ Curved VA Panel with 4K and 144Hz

An interesting new addition is the M315QVR02.0. This is 31.5″ in size and is a VA technology panel with a steep 1000R curvature. It offers a 3840 x 2160 (“4K”) resolution along with a 144HZ refresh rate. Production is not planned until Q2 2021 though at the moment. We had previously seen plans for the M315QVR01.0 which had similar specs but a less steep 1500R curvature, but it is unclear if this has been dropped in favour of the 1000R model or is still planned.

High Refresh Rate Curved VA Panels in Various Sizes

Samsung Odyssey G7 based on a fast VA panel from Samsung. Can AUO offer some decent alternative panel options?

There are also a quite a few other high refresh rate Curved VA panels of note. The focus from AUO here seems to be with a range of curvature options, including a steep 1000R to match recent Samsung VA panel developments. There are also refresh rates of 165Hz and 240Hz here in a range of screen sizes and resolutions. The 240Hz VA panels look particularly interesting of course, if response times are sufficient to keep up. Samsung have done a great job enhancing their response times on recently tested 240Hz VA panels from their range, finally clearing up the dreaded black smearing and making panels that can actually keep up with the frame rate (e.g. Samsung Odyssey G7 screens). Let’s hope AUO can do the same with their new 240Hz options.

The first batch are 31.5″ in size with a 2560 x 1440 resolution and steep 1000R curvature:

  1. M315DVR01.A – 31.5″ in size with a 1000R curvature, 2560 x 1440 resolution, 165Hz refresh rate. Already in mass production.
  2. M315QVR02.6 – 31.5″ in size with a 1000R curvature, 2560 x 1440 resolution, 165Hz refresh rate. Planned for April 2021. Not fully clear how this differs from the 1.A version above.
  3. M315QVR02.7 – 31.5″ in size with a 1000R curvature, 2560 x 1440 resolution, 240Hz refresh rate this time. Also planned for April 2021

There are also some 31.5″ curved VA panels but with a lower 1920 x 1080 resolution, two with steep 1000R curve and the other with a slightly more subtle 1500R as listed:

  1. M315HVR01.3 – 31.5″ in size with a 1500R curvature, 1920 x 1080 resolution and 240Hz refresh rate. This was originally supposed to be in production already since the end of 2019 but seems to have slipped to Oct 2020.
  2. M315HVR01.6 – 31.5″ in size with a steeper 1000R curvature, 1920 x 1080 resolution and 165Hz refresh rate. Planned for Nov 2020.
  3. M315HVR01.7 – 31.5″ in size also with a steeper 1000R curvature, 1920 x 1080 resolution and 240Hz refresh rate. Planned for Dec 2020.

There are also some smaller 27″ panels planned, all with a 2560 x 1440 resolution and with a mixture of refresh rate and curvatures. All of these were planned for Sept 20 production so should be under way now.

  1. M270DVR01.0 – 1500R with 165Hz
  2. M270DVR01.6 – 1000R with 165Hz
  3. M270DVR01.2 – 1500R with 240Hz
  4. M270DVR01.7 – 1000R with 240Hz

Then some other 27″ panels but with a lower 1920 x 1080 resolution:

  1. M270HVR01.6 – 1000R with 165Hz, planned Nov 2020
  2. M270HVR01.7 – 1500R with 240Hz, planned Q1 2021
  3. M270HVR01.9 – 1000R with 240Hz, planned Q1 2021

In the even smaller range and recently added there is:

  1. M236HVR01.6 – 23.6″ in size with a 1920 x 1080 resolution, 165Hz refresh rate and 1000R curvature. Should be in mass production already as of H1 2020.


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