Qualcomm reportedly investing $2 billion in Mirasol color eReader displays

While Pixel Qi has been grabbing a lot of headlines for its dual-mode LCD displays which can function as full color laptop or tablet screens or low power, high contrast eReader displays, the company isn’t the only game in town. Qualcomm has been working on its own solution: a low power eReader display with a faster refresh rate than E Ink. Oh yeah, and it shows color.

The company has been showing off Mirasol displays for a while, and I got a chance to check out a concept eReader with one of these displays at CES this year. To be honest, the colors weren’t all that vivid, but the device was certainly capable of showing off color pictures far better than any Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, or Sony Reader device currently on the market.

Now DigiTimes reports that Qualcomm has scored a major new client, leading the company to invest $2 billion to set up a new plant for manufacturing Mirasol displays. The plant won’t be set up until late 2011, with production expected to start in early 2012. The focus is on 5.7 inch color displays, so we’re most likely looking at screens for eBook readers, not netbooks or tablets.

Engadget hazards a guess that the major client could be Amazon… since CEO Jeff Bezos has indicaed that it will be a while before a color Kindle is ready to go — making a 2012 launch date seem reasonable.

  • J

    I doubt very much that these screens would be for any future Kindle devices simply because of the size. Bezos was all over the place in the last few weeks selling the Kindle 3’s smaller body size. However, he was also talking about how they preserved the 6″ screen size and said going smaller there would have interfered with the reading experience. Going bigger I can see, a la Kindle DX, but I don’t see a new Kindle (with color option) being smaller than 6″.

    -J

  • Anonymous

    I’m getting tired of Mirasol News that isn’t really news! They should release a product or stop talking about it! We can only remain interested in something that doesn’t have anything to really show for long! I mean they haven’t even showed a working sample (and showing one on a projector doesn’t count!!)

    Just saying, they’ve been hyping me for 2 years about this screen! Roll it out already!!!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/PacoBell PacoBell

    “I mean they haven’t even showed a working sample (and showing one on a projector doesn’t count!!)”

    Huh? What rock have you been hiding under? There’s hands-on demos all over YouTube (read:netbooknews).

  • Anonymous

    I don’t consider a device showing a preloaded video a working demo. They capped the frame rate at 15fps and the only time they showed a sample that was actually interactive was on a projector and no one got hands on.

    And did you tell me to go check out netbooknews!! ha! I love it! You just told me to check out my own website! Awesome!!