Qualcomm Investing in Sharp to Push IGZO Display Technology Forward
The Wall Street Journal reports that Qualcomm has agreed to invest up to $120 million in Sharp as part of an effort to prop up the ailing manufacturer of displays for a wide range of electronic devices. The deal will also see the two companies working together to push Sharp's new indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO) technology that has been rumored for use in a number of Apple products.
Sharp and Qualcomm will work together to develop screens based on the Japanese company's new IGZO display technology and Qualcomm's microelectromechanical systems, or MEMS, displays. The former, named for a new material used—indium gallium zinc oxide—hold several advantages over silicon-based screens, Sharp says. These latter offer promise as a lower-power alternative to today's screens.
According to Sharp, the new displays making use of the two technologies allow mobile devices to go longer between charges, provide more pixels per inch for sharper resolution and enable touch screens to be more accurate and sensitive.
The report notes that Sharp is betting on IGZO to save the company, which is in dire financial straits. Sharp is viewed as a critical partner for Apple as the iPhone maker seeks to lessen its reliance on Samsung, and there has been speculation that Apple recently structured component prepayment and equipment deals worth as much as $2 billion to help shore up Sharp's financial situation.