Here's the press release:
Hsinchu, Taiwan — August 3, 2012 – E Ink® Holdings, "E Ink" (8069.TW), the global leader in electronic paper and LCD technologies, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to buy shares of SiPix Technology, Inc. (STI) and its wholly owned subsidiary SiPix Imaging, Inc. (SII), the maker of electronic paper displays. Established in 1999, SiPix, based in California and Taiwan, makes micro‐cup technology based electrophoretic displays.
The combined company will offer a vast portfolio of ePaper products that will allow it to expand its existing markets and diversify into newer applications. E Ink's ePaper offers the best digital reading experience. It is easier on the eyes, consumes a fraction of the power compared to traditional displays. It is readable in sunlight, lightweight, rugged and field proven with over 50 million ePaper displays being used worldwide.
"E Ink is committed to growing the ePaper market and the purchase of SiPix shares is part of our long term growth strategy," said Scott Liu, Chairman of E Ink Holdings. "Our goal is 'E Ink On Every Smart Surface' and we are continuing to make investments in technologies that will open new markets for our ePaper displays."
"In the recent past, we enabled an entire eReader market with our electronic paper," said Felix Ho, Vice Chairman of E Ink Holdings. "Today, E Ink's products are finding homes in a number of new applications which can be better served with the inclusion of SiPix's products, technologies and intellectual property to our portfolio."
This purchase shows E Ink's strong commitment to electronic paper displays. In the past 15 years, E Ink has made substantial investments in inventing, designing, manufacturing and marketing ePaper displays to create new markets.
E Ink and SiPix's customers will now have a wider portfolio of products and technologies to choose from with a larger global network of offices to support customers in different geographies. With this purchase, E Ink will have the widest offerings of ePaper technologies, a larger set of products and a stronger patent portfolio.
E Ink currently enjoys over 90%+ share in the eReader market with customers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Bookeen, Ectaco, Hanvon, iRiver, Kobo, Sony, Wexler and others. E Ink also makes ePaper displays for Signage, Electronic Shelf Labels, Battery and Memory Indicators, Wrist Watches, Credit Cards, Mobile Phones and a variety of other applications. Its customers include Epson, Pervasive Displays, Motorola, Lexar, Citizen, Seiko, Toppan, Invue, Eton, Motion Display, Neolux and many others.
E Ink has reached an agreement to buy 82.7% of SiPix's (STI) shares and is seeking to buy up to 100%, which is valued at approximately NT$1.5 billion. After customary regulatory approvals, the final closing is likely to be during Q4, 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
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, Sharp sign patent cross-licensing deal (zdnet.com)
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
Check out this wearable computer! It's a 17" or 20" large touch screen that you can carry around, can be used for advertising purposes, communicating information to many people at conferences and other things like that.
Pixel Qi has a bunch of customers doing tablets and laptops for Military and Industrial use such as the Orchard Inc Toughblet and the InHand Hydra T3 but they are not yet able to announce big orders from some of the major consumer oriented tablet makers. I'm hoping for the Google Nexus Tablet or the next Kindle to use Pixel Qi, but for any eventual announcements on that we'll have to wait further.
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.
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.
Pixel Qi is finalizing the deals with partners about sizes and quantities to produce their next generation ultra high pixel density Pixel Qi screens, with a new very low power mode that runs at a full 100X power reduction from the peak power consumed by the iPad3 screen. Pixel Qi claims to have a new architecture that matches the resolution of the ipad3 screen, and its full image quality including matching or exceeding contrast, color saturation, the viewing angle and so forth with massive power savings. Here is Pixel Qi's power consumption versus the iPad2 and iPad3:
My opinion and suggestion for Google:
I'd like to see Google invest heavily in Pixel Qi for a 7" 1024x600 screen to be mass produced for the rumored upcoming Nexus Tablet, providing it 20 hours battery life on an ultra slim form factor, with a very small bezel if they can make it have a plastics based screen, suitable for reading Google Books, suitable for outdoor use. Google should invest the money needed in bringing Pixel Qi to the mass consumer market. And then also Google can help bring the 2048x1536 9.7" Pixel Qi screen to the mass Android tablet market.
The success of the iPhone and iPad is due to ARM Technology, but also to the investments Apple has made in using new screen technologies, Apple basically financed exclusivity for the 3.5" capacitive screen when launching the iPhone and they bought an exclusive on the 9.7" IPS screen for the iPad. Now also Apple invested the $2+ Billion getting an exclusive on the 9.7" Retina screen. Google should do the same, not only invest heavily to optimize Android on all the ARM Processors, Google should also invest the money needed in new screen technologies such as Pixel Qi LCD and use that for their "Google Hardware" Nexus devices but then also instantly allow access to the new screen technologies to every other Android hardware maker.
- Pixel Qi teases ultra-frugal Retina Display rival (slashgear.com)
- Pixel Qi: our new screen better, lower-power than new iPad (electronista.com)
- Pixel Qi promises retina-quality low power displays (liliputing.com)
- Next generation Pixel Qi screen said to have Retina display-like resolution, significant power savings (theverge.com)
- Pixel Qi promises tablet displays that meet iPad 3 quality - and draw much less power (venturebeat.com)
- Pixel Qi Says Next-Gen Displays Meet or Beat iPad 3 Screen Quality (hardware.slashdot.org)
Marvel Digital Limited shows their latest glasses-free 3D diasplays to use for advertising, for Android tablets, in the home and they also have a new 4-in-one remote controller.
The Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Institute Co Ltd shows some of their latest display technologies at the HKTDC Electronics Fair.