Category: E Ink

Page 3 of 3 1 2 3

E Ink/Hydis and Sharp announce cross-licensing agreement for LCD manufacturing

Posted by Charbax – July 14, 2012

My guess is maybe they plan to combine Sharp's Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide (IGZO) with Hydis's Advanced Fringe Field Switching (AFFS) for LCD screen manufacturing. The cross-licensing agreement lasts 10 years from now.

Here's the press release:

July 12, 2012, Hsinchu, Taiwan – E Ink® Holdings (8069.TW), the leading developer
and  marketer  of  electronic  paper  display  technologies and  FFS  LCD  technologies,
today  announced  that  the  company and  its South  Korean  subsidiary  Hydis
Technologies,  have  each signed  a  patent  cross‐licensing  agreement  for  TFT  LCD
products with Sharp Corporation of Japan.

Under the  terms of each Agreement, which will be in effect  for  ten  (10)  years,  the
two parties will be able  to use certain proprietary  technologies of  the other in the
manufacturing of LCDs.   The agreements make provision for the payment of patent
licensing royalty.  In addition, during the effective period of the Agreements, the two
sides  will  maintain  patent  peace  to  exempt  each  Company and  their customers'
operations  from patent  interference  and  allow each  of  the  parties  to  focus  on
business development.

Hydis’ Fringe Field Switching (FFS) technology is currently used in LCD‐based tablet
PCs, smart  phones,  and  other  high‐end  handheld  devices.    LCDs  using  FFS
technology provide users with a wide viewing angle, high contrast, high‐resolution
display with  the  benefit  of  lower  power  consumption and  is  superior  to  other
similar wide  viewing  angle  technologies in  the market.   Hydis FFS  technology has
been  licensed  to  other prominent LCD  manufacturers  in  the  past,  and  these new
agreements will continue to broaden the use of the technology.  Future applications
of the FFS technology include notebook computers and television, markets in which
the potential growth for utilizing Hydis’ FFS technology remain huge.

“We  are  very  excited  about  these agreements with  Sharp,”  stated  Scott  Liu,
Chairman  of  E  Ink  Holdings.    “FFS  technology  can  greatly  enhance  a  user’s  LCD
experience,  and licensing  to  other leading  LCD makers will  allow  us  to  reach  new
markets and customers.”

E Ink Booth Tour at SID 2012

Posted by Charbax – July 12, 2012

E Ink CMO Sri Peruvemba shows new products and concepts from E Ink and their partners, including traffic lights, crosswalks, kayak and bike computers, and various signage.

Source: E Ink's YouTube Channel

Hydis launches new touchscreen technology: On-Cell Touch for LCD

Posted by Charbax – May 31, 2012

Here is the press release:

-South Korea-based TFT-LCD panel maker Hydis Technologies, a subsidiary of Taiwan-based E Ink Holdings Inc., today announced that they will add on-cell touch screen panel (TSP) technology to their LCD portfolio of offerings.

“With on-cell touch, we are able to combine the best LCD in the world with a touch technology that offers better performance at lower cost.”

Hydis is able to offer the TSP technology with on-cell touch, which provides the customer a slim and lightweight form factor, with the added benefit of lower cost versus traditional touch technologies. The touch functionality is embedded within the display itself rather than as a separate component atop the display. This results in more precise touch with better optics due to reduction in parallax errors. In addition, LCDs with this touch technology consumes less power and can take advantage of cost reductions in manufacturing due to the reduction of a glass layer and the alleviation of the need for a separate touch panel supplier.

Hydis will begin offering the on-cell technology to the smartphone and tablet markets beginning this month. Hydis is perhaps best known as the inventors and providers of Fringe Field Switching (FFS) technology, which is featured in many smartphones and most tablets currently in the market. FFS LCD provides a wider viewing angle and color gamut, consumes less power and offers better high ambient readability than traditional LCDs. Hydis’ publicly announced customers include Dell, HP, Lenovo, Kobo & Siemens, among others.

“Hydis’ FFS technology is preferred by Tablet and Smart phone makers worldwide,” said Johnson Lee, Chairman of Hydis Technologies. “With on-cell touch, we are able to combine the best LCD in the world with a touch technology that offers better performance at lower cost.”

Is this new touch screen technology really better and cheaper than capacitive? Hydis's Fringe Field Switching (FFS) technology is already in use by for example the iPad and other popular LCD tablets. Does it support multi-touch? Does it support pen input? Is it really more precise than capacitive? I look forward to try it out. Perhaps Hydis will show it off at Computex next week? I'll be video-blogging 50 or more videos from Computex next week so check back for those.

Forbes: Display Industry status/history Interview

Posted by Charbax – May 22, 2012

Check out this interview on Forbes.com with Sriram Peruvemba CMO at E Ink Holdings. Here are some quotes from the interview:

The big five in the LCD industry based on 2011 revenues are Samsung, LG, CMI, AUO and Sharp. It costs upwards of $1B to build a TV-class LCD factory in Asia. A state of the art Gen 10 LCD factory might cost upwards of $3B if built today. In the past few years, the industry has been more in the red than in the black. Margins in the display business tend to be razor thin, particularly in consumer applications.

So what makes LCDs rule? There is one spec that LCD has that beats every other technology, and when I mention this to a room full of engineers, they think I have crossed over to the dark side. This spec is called “price,” which is the most important spec for displays.

Take your favorite TV or mobile phone, the display is what catches your attention. A significant portion of the purchase decision for a TV, Monitor or GPS unit is based on the impression created by the display, yet the average consumer has no idea who made the display. Being an ingredient display brand in the consumer electronics industry is very tough, I can tell you this from personal experience.

Read the full interview at Forbes.com

E Ink On Every Smart Surface

Posted by Charbax – January 15, 2012

Exclusive 17-minute interview with E Ink's CMO at CES, where they showed me a Triton color display for signage with color so saturated that it looked like an LCD except that it was thinner than OLED, sunlight readable, uses no backlights and uses very little power. I also saw the SURF display used in a hand drill which has not been filmed before. The 11.5" 300DPI eDocument reader made in collaboration with Epson. The Triton color display based Ectaco eReader that had just won the CES innovation award, it is being deployed in Russian schools. New E Ink watches from Phosphor and Seiko. Finally, the Eton Ruckus music player with E Ink display that was launched this week was demonstrated, it is considered to be indestructible.

E Ink has shipped over 25 million E Ink screens for e-readers alone in 2011, that’s up from 10 million screens in 2010 and 4 million screens in 2009. Now E Ink is also working to expand into new markets, signage, appliances, everywhere. The idea is that more and more devices and surfaces may get an E Ink screen on them that thus by being bi-stable can show the informations for a long time without using any battery. While many electronic paper technology companies show samples, E Ink is actually in mass production with monochrome, color and segmented displays and they claim that no technology in the world comes close to the reading experience on E Ink's displays and these displays are easy on the eyes since they don’t have a shiny background or light emitting backlight.

E Ink also provided me with following amazing video featuring the actual E Ink Pearl roll display material used in Nook, Sony, Kindle etc. The video was shot alongside the Charles river in Cambridge/Boston and you can see MIT (E Ink is MIT spin off) and Boston skyline in the background. The display is a few feet wide and can go one kilometer (it was 500 meters in this video):

Latest news from E Ink at IFA 2011

Posted by Charbax – September 2, 2011

Sriram Peruvemba, Vice President of marketing at E Ink, gives us the latest news from E Ink, they announced that they will ship between 25 million and 30 million E Ink screens this year, just for the E Ink e-readers like the Kindle 4 and Nook Touch. Yup you read right, 30 million of those devices to be sold this year.

E Ink in Credit Cards

Posted by Charbax – September 2, 2011

You push a button behind the credit card, it displays a unique security code which can be used as pin code for payment security. The battery in that credit card lasts for up to 2 years, it's the same size and weight as a normal credit card and it is unbreakable.

Android Infrared-touch i.MX508 are the new thing for E Ink e-readers

Posted by Charbax – June 12, 2011

Both of the new amazingly priced Nook Touch ($139) and Kobo Touch ($129) seem to use the new Freescale i.MX508 (I first filmed i.MX508 a year ago) to facilitate smooth touch interfaces using Infrared Touch technology (first used in the Sony PRS-650) but also to easily enable those to be the first Android powered e-ink e-readers! Basically i.MX508 and Android makes first real useful use of WiFi and Touch on e-ink e-readers! Using Android on e-ink is awesome to provide for great files support, web browser, easily add apps like news readers, rss readers, Chrome-To-Phone functionality (just beam any article or any text from your Chrome browser on your laptop to your e-ink e-reader in one click!), synchronizing of bookmarks, wireless beaming of web based ebooks, all in one click. Android on e-ink just increases the e-readers potential greatly. Using infrared touchscreen technology is a great way to provide the best possible readability, not adding any layers on top of the screen.

Look forward to much more fascinating devices to come with:
i.MX508 + Android + infrared touch + WiFi/3G + e-ink = Low-cost e-ink e-readers!
Also see my video of the alternative Acoustic Pulse Recognition (APR) touch technology.

An interesting thing to follow though will be to see how open Android i.MX508 e-ink e-reader makers will be towards allowing for alternative e-book stores, and allowing for full open Android apps installation and full unrestricted access to the web browser. As it may be that part of the profit margins on these new low-cost e-ink e-readers may be subsidized by the hardware makers expecting to make later huge profits on selling e-books, like Amazon does with their Kindle e-book store, it will be fun to see if all the e-ink e-reader makers will seize the opportunity to be open with Android on e-ink and at the same time find new interesting ways to monetize those. I for example would prefer paying less than $10 per month for unlimited legal access to all e-books, all newspapers, all blogs, all websites, everything, perhaps even certain 3G bandwidth included, but will content owners and hardware makers be open minded enough to let that happen quickly?

When will Google officially announce open source Android optimizations for e-ink devices and with deep integration of Google Books, Google Reader, Google Fast Flip and more?

Here's how I think those e-ink e-readers could be sold in the best way: $99, $10/month optional pre-paid plan gives 100mb 3G data (upgradable bandwidth for $1/100mb or less) and full unlimited access to all e-books, all e-newspapers, e-magazines, blogs through RSS/search and more. Full unrestricted web browsing on e-ink. And nice complete cloud syncing with your Smartphone, Tablet and Laptop. While e-ink e-reader market is doing great perhaps reaching 20 million units to be sold this year, if they price them right and open them fully, I think they'll do even better.

Sources for these videos: the-ebook-reader.com, engadget.com

Flexible and unbreakable plastic E Ink screens

Posted by Charbax – June 24, 2010

Sriram Peruvemba, Vice president of marketing at E-ink, presents the new flexible plastic based E-ink display. That new plastic e-ink screen technology will make it more usable for school children to use E-ink based devices to read all their textbooks and for all to access all books and texts ever written in the whole world.

E-ink is for full readability, outdoors, with reading lights indoors, it basically provides near paper quality, perfect for reading hundreds of pages. Something that is not possible on the current LCD based iPad.