According to Bloomberg, Samsung wants to sell its electrowetting display unit LiquaVista which they bought back in January 2011. They are currently in talks with Amazon, that will pay a sub-$100 million sum to Samsung for the unit. According to the report, a Samsung spokesperson admitted that the Liquavista acquisition "didn't meet its expectations".
I believe Amazon does want to bring new life into its Kindle e-reader line, and LiquaVista's display can enable color e-paper displays with a fast refresh rate compared to E Ink. On the other hand the technology is much less mature and I'm not sure if Amazon is the sort of company to actually succeed in commercializing such a technology. This one is going to be interesting to watch...
ICAP Patent Brokerage is going to auction an IP package of high-definition, full-color e-paper innovations from the Industry-Academic Cooperation Foundation, Yonsei University.
ICAP says that the IP package features a flexible electrophoretic display capable of displaying multi-color, high-definition images. The IP portfolio covers a grayscale representation unit with various charged particles for displaying grayscale by using light reflection and transmission. The color in the display is presented by using colored particles in an electrode placed above the grayscale unit. These colored particles are made of metallic nano-particles and formed in a specific pattern on the upper electrode for presenting a high-definition, multi-color colored display. Manufacturing of the colored particles or layers may include slurry process, screen printing, ink-jet, or nano-printing that may have high industrial applicability and is cost effective.
E Ink shows new color E Ink (Triton Gen 2) with frontlight prototypes, still no mass production in sight
E Ink is showing some new color Triton (Gen 2) E Ink prototypes, including one with front light. The displays are getting better, they say it's now almost like LCDs. Even though quality is better, and production costs have gone done, E Ink still does not see mass adoption of these panels by e-reader makers any time soon.
E Ink managed to get the color filters closer to the E Ink microcapsules, which means that more light is reflected from the displays. Coupled with the front-light technologies, the displays look better then before.
Japan Display unveiled two new reflective LCD prototype displays. Those new LCDs, targeted at e-paper applications are low-power (there's no backlight), visible under direct light and can offer fast-refreshes, high resolution and color.
JD showed two 7" panels. The first one offers a resolution of 768x1044 and a bright reflection of 40%. The color gamut is just 5% NTSC. This panel is ready for mass production soon. The second panel has a lower resolution (576x1024) but has a much better color gamut (36% NTSC) and will take longer to commercialize. Both panels consume only 3mW when showing a static image (the display retains the current image so a static image consumes less power).
Researchers from the Novel Devices Laboratory at the University of Cincinnati developed a new e-paper technology based on plastic sheets coated with aluminum with pores that hide black ink behind them. To show a black pixel, the display pushes the ink through the pore and onto the front of the sheet.
The research already developed a first prototype - a 6" round display that features 150 ppi. The refresh rate is very fast - about 67 times a second. It has a very bright white background - due to the aluminum coating.
Fuji Xerox developed a new technology that enables color electrophoretic e-paper displays without using color filters. They call the new technology Independently Movalbe Color Particles (IMCP), and the idea is to use colored (Cyan, Magenta and Yellow) particle that each have a different electrophoresis threshold. Only the particles that are drawn to the front substrate can be seen. There are also white particles in between (they do not move) and so white can be displayed.
Fuji Xerox says that the new displays are brighter and have more vivid colors compared to color-filtered e-paper displays (such as E Ink's Triton panels). They have shown a 5" 600x800 (220 ppi) prototype featuring a contrast ratio of 10:1. The backplane is a-Si.