Fri, Jul 02, 2010 - Page 12 News List

Chimei to supply top flat panels to Hitachi

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chimei Innolux Corp (奇美電子) yesterday signed an agreement with Hitachi Display Ltd to supply high-end flat panels used in tablet devices such as Apple Inc’s iPad, using the Japanese company’s technology.

Based on the agreement, Chimei will be licensed by Hitachi to manufacture and supply high-end LCD panels based on IPS technology to the Japanese company and Chimei’s major customers from next year.

The deal would broaden Chimei’s IPS product line-up, according to a company statement released yesterday. In the strategic alliance, both sides would benefit from the growing demand for IPS panels because of rising demand for netbook laptops and tablet PCs.

Shipments of netbooks and tablet PCs are expected to grow to 86 million units with a composite annual growth rate of 139 percent during the period from last year to 2015, according to market researcher DisplaySearch’s forecast.

IPS is currently one of the most suitable display technologies for such devices because of its better visibility from any viewing angle, DisplaySearch said.

Separately, E Ink Holding Inc (元太科技), the world’s biggest e-paper display supplier, yesterday unveiled its latest e-paper displays, primarily for electronic readers with enhanced resolution, allowing the display to have an appearance similar to paper used in print publication.

The US online bookstore giant Amazon.com has used E Ink’s latest e-paper display, called Pearl, for its new-generation Kindle e-reader series, dubbed Kindle DX. E Ink said the new e-paper display has a 50 percent higher contrast ratio than existing e-paper displays.

The Hsinchu-based E Ink, which was originally named Prime View International Co Ltd, sells e-paper displays using E Ink Corp’s electronic paper technology. E Ink acquired E Ink Corp last year.

“With features such as its thin size, light weight and low power consumption, E Ink’s Pearl ­displays can be widely used in e-readers, electronic reference books and electronic magazines in the future, replacing traditional paper, or liquid crystal displays,” E Ink Corp chairman Felix Ho (何奕達) said in a company statement yesterday.

The new product targets the fast-growing e-reader market and budding electronic magazine and electronic newspaper businesses, the company said.

This year, global shipments of e-readers are expected to amount to US$837 million and could grow by 44 percent to US$1.2 billion next year, E Ink said, citing ­DisplaySearch’s forecast.

The Austin, Texas-based research firm said E Ink’s new e-paper display technology would help the company safeguard its leadership in the market.

Shares of E Ink Holding rose 1.9 percent to NT$40.3 yesterday, ending five straight days of losses, while Chimei shares dropped for the fifth trading session in a row to end at NT$32.65.

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