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Qualcomm sinks $120m into Sharp on MEMS/IGZO hookup

updated 06:14 am EST, Tue December 4, 2012

Qualcomm and Sharp announce strategic display tech tie-in

Sharp has announced that it has entered into an agreement with Pixtronix, a subsidiary of Qualcomm, for the development of its MEMS display technology. As part of the deal, Qualcomm will take a stake in Sharp for a total of 9.9 billion yen (around $120m). The deal will see Sharp commercialize MEMS technology by integrating with its vaunted IGZO display tech, while further collaboration between two companies on chipsets and displays has also been mooted.

Qualcomm acquired Pixtronix in Januarywith a view to pushing the capabilities of its MEMS-based Mirasol display tech. The Pixtronix technology offers a 170-degree viewing angle, a 3000:1 contrast ratio and support for 24-bit color depth, while drawing only 25 percent of the power required for a conventional LCD display in the same application. Sharp says that the new integrated displays will use an ultrafine process and existing display manufacturing infrastructure to deliver "high color reproducibility and low-power consumption."

The two companies also signaled the possibility of further collaboration between the development of chipsets and display technology in order to ultimately deliver mobile devices that maximize both performance and battery life. In a statement, Sharp said that it expects the new deal with Qualcomm will "accelerate its strategy for growth in small- to medium- sized LCD business with IGZO-based display technology as its core, and expand its revenue and corporate value." News of the strategic partnership saw shares of the financially troubled display maker spike by as much as 10 percent.

by MacNN Staff



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