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.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
103 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)
Avatar
103 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)
Avatar
103 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)
Avatar
103 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)
Avatar
103 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)
Avatar
103 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)

Top Stories

First iPhone 12 Mini Hands-On Video Surfaces [Update: Video Pulled]

Wednesday October 28, 2020 1:21 pm PDT by
Apple's iPhone 12 mini and the iPhone 12 Pro Max aren't set to be available until November 13, but a Romanian YouTuber got his hands on the iPhone 12 mini and showed it off today, offering a size comparison between the iPhone 12 and the 12 mini along with going over some of the device's features. The iPhone 12 mini is identical to the iPhone 12 in design and functionality, but it has a...

Apple References Unreleased 2020 16-Inch MacBook Pro in Boot Camp Update

Monday October 26, 2020 8:42 am PDT by
Last week, Apple released an update for Boot Camp, its utility for running Windows on a Mac. While this update would typically be unremarkable, several of our readers noticed that the release notes reference an unreleased 2020 model of the 16-inch MacBook Pro. While this could easily be a mistake, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is nearly a year old, so it is certainly a worthy candidate for a...

After Mocking Apple, Samsung May Remove Power Adapter From Galaxy S21 Box

Tuesday October 27, 2020 4:29 pm PDT by
Samsung's Galaxy S21, coming in 2021, may not include a power adapter or headphones in the box, according to reports from Korean media sites highlighted by SamMobile. Rumors earlier this year also said that Samsung was considering removing these accessories from future smartphone models, but that didn't stop Samsung from mocking Apple for selling the iPhone 12 models without a power adapter...

Report: Apple Silicon iMac Featuring Desktop Class 'A14T' Chip Coming First Half of 2021

Tuesday October 27, 2020 4:14 am PDT by
The first iMac powered by Apple Silicon is set to arrive in the first half of next year and will feature a desktop class "A14T" chip, according to Chinese-language newspaper The China Times. Codenamed "Mt. Jade," Apple's first custom-made desktop processor will be twinned with its first self-developed GPU, codenamed "Lifuka," both of which are being produced using TSMC's 5-nanometer process, ...

iPhone 12 Ceramic Shield Still 'Scratches at Level 6 With Deeper Grooves at Level 7' in Mohs Hardness Test

Wednesday October 28, 2020 7:10 am PDT by
iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models feature a new Ceramic Shield front cover that is "tougher than any smartphone glass," according to Apple, but the displays on the devices still have similar scratch resistance as previous iPhones based on a new test. Zack Nelson today shared his much-anticipated iPhone 12 Pro durability test on his YouTube channel JerryRigEverything, and based on the Mohs...

2020 iPad Air vs. iPad Pro: Hands-On Comparison

Tuesday October 27, 2020 3:03 pm PDT by
Apple announced the new 2020 fourth-generation iPad Air in September, but the new tablets just started shipping out to customers last Friday. We picked one up and thought we'd do a hands-on comparison with the iPad Pro, which was last updated in March, because both tablets are about as powerful and share many similarities. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design and ...

MagSafe Charger Only Charges at Full 15W Speeds With Apple's 20W Power Adapter [Updated]

Monday October 26, 2020 3:38 pm PDT by
Alongside the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro models, Apple introduced a new MagSafe charger that attaches to the magnetic ring in the back of the devices, providing up to 15W of charging power, which is double the speed of the 7.5W Qi-based wireless charging maximum. Apple does not provide a power adapter with the $39 MagSafe charger, requiring users to supply their own USB-C compatible option. Apple...

Apple Files Mystery 'Personal Computer' With Placeholder 'B2002' Name in Bluetooth Product Database

Tuesday October 27, 2020 12:36 pm PDT by
Last week, a listing appeared in the Bluetooth product database for an Apple product with a placeholder name "B2002" and a model number of "TBD." MacRumors was alerted to the listing by health and fitness tech website MyHealthyApple. The product is filed under the "personal computer" category, which Apple has used for previous Mac and iPad listings in the database, so it is hard to pinpoint...

Apple Releases First macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 Beta to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Wednesday October 28, 2020 10:15 am PDT by
Apple today seeded a new macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 beta to developers for testing purposes, with the new beta replacing the existing macOS Big Sur 11 beta 10 update that was released two weeks ago. The macOS Big Sur beta can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center and once the appropriate profile is installed, subsequent betas will be available through the Software Update mechanism in...

iPhone 12 Models Might Support Reverse Charging of Future Apple Accessories According to FCC Filing

Tuesday October 27, 2020 6:25 pm PDT by
iPhone 12 models could have an inactive wireless charging feature for accessories, according to an FCC filing discovered by VentureBeat's Jeremy Horwitz. In the filing, Apple said that 2020 iPhones support a wireless charging function that will seemingly be enabled for at least one future Apple accessory:In addition to being able to be charged by a desktop WPT charger (puck), 2020 iPhones...