Qualcomm Investing in Sharp to Push IGZO Display Technology Forward

iphone 5 displayThe 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.

Top Rated Comments

Tankmaze Avatar
148 months ago
glad to know those japanese company making a come back in screen tech... it could give good competition for the koreans companies
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
apfeljonas Avatar
148 months ago
I'm glad Sharp is getting these investments and they are also a display supplier to the iPhone, their screens have always been top-notch quality IMO. The TV I own from them (around 5 years old now, 720p HD) has awesome quality for the specs it has.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kaibelf Avatar
148 months ago
Apple investments? This is Qualcomm investing...

As per the article: "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."
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
camnchar Avatar
148 months ago
Hopefully this + Apple's investments will ensure Sharp's continued existence, so we don't have to hear about its "dire financial straits" every time we read an article about it.

Reminds me of Apple in the 90s.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Casiotone Avatar
148 months ago
In the 90's Sharp has pulled a "Samsung" and copied the Newton, so I don't think Apple would be better off with them.

The copying thing seems to be so rampant in the far east, that to them it's good business to just copy a successful product and stick their logo on it.
Ehm, that's simply not true.

Sharp actually built parts for Apple's Newton message pad, and the ones they sold were under an official licence from Apple.

Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Dwalls90 Avatar
148 months ago
Makes sense. Qualcomm needs innovative and quality phones on the market to drive sales of their chipsets. Great idea.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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