There hasn’t been any official announcement yet, but it appears that Samsung has acquired Liquavista, a company developing displays that use electrowetting to allow for full color visibility both indoors and out. The Digital Reader received a tip about the acquisition and dug up a job listing which suggests Liquavista is a new division at Samsung. eReaders.nl, meanwhile, found a document suggesting that Samsung is now the parent company of Liquavista.
What dos this mean? It’s a bit early to say, but it’s likely that we could eventually see Samsung eBook readers and other devices such as smartphones, tablets and notebooks with sunlight readable displays.
Update: It’s official. Samsung says the acquisition will allow the company to “expand its leadership in next generation display technologies” with ePaper screens that offer refresh rates 70 times faster than E Ink, allowing for color videos playback. Samsung expects to expand the technology to transparent, transflective, and transmissive displays in the future. You can check out the full press release below.
SEOUL, Korea – January 20, 2011 – Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd, a global technology innovation
and digital convergence leader, today announced it has acquired display technology firm
Liquavista BV. Samsung completed the acquisition of Liquavista, based in Eindhoven, the
Netherlands, in December 2010.
Liquavista, founded in 2006 as a spin-out from the Philips Research Labs, offers a new type of electronic
display technology known as electrowetting for applications in e-readers, mobile phones, media players
and other mobile devices.
The electrowetting technology, which operates in transmissive, reflective, transparent and transflective
modes, enables the creation of displays with bright, colorful images with dramatically reduced power
consumption. Offering more than twice the transmittance of LCD technology and able to operate at low
frequencies, displays utilizing electrowetting consume just 10 percent of the battery power of existing
With the acquisition of Liquavista, Samsung aims to expand its leadership in next generation display
technologies by pioneering the application of electrowetting in e-Paper and transparent displays. As
electrowetting can be manufactured by modifying existing LCD production lines, Samsung will be able to
realize significant synergies through the utilization of existing manufacturing equipment and capabilities.
In e-paper applications, the response time of the electrowetting displays will be more than 70 times
faster than that of existing reflective displays, allowing for color videos, which was previously thought
impossible. In future, the application of the technology is expected to expand to transparent, transmissive
and transflective displays.
About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a global leader in semiconductor, telecommunication, digital media
and digital convergence technologies with 2009 consolidated sales of US$116.8 billion. Employing
approximately 174,000 people in 193 offices across 66 countries, the company consists of eight
independently operated business units: Visual Display, Mobile Communications, Telecommunication
Systems, Digital Appliances, IT Solutions, Digital Imaging, Semiconductor and LCD. Recognized as one
of the fastest growing global brands, Samsung Electronics is a leading producer of digital TVs, memory
chips, mobile phones and TFT-LCDs. For more information, please visit www.samsung.com.