E Ink has bought AUO's shares (82.7%) in Sipix Technology (STI) - the maker of micro?cup technology based electrophoretic e-paper displays. E Ink also intends to buy the remaining STI shares. The whole deal is worth about NT$1.5 billion (about $50 million USD) and will should close during Q4 2012.

Flexible solar Sipix prototypeFlexible solar Sipix prototype

Sipix's technology is pretty similar to E Ink's. It's not clear whether E Ink intends to continue producing Sipix displays or whether they bought them just for the IP and to remove a competitor. Sipix has been used in some e-readers (for example the Cybook Orizon), and apparently has some advantages over E Ink in the touch technology and refresh rate. E Ink is of course the clear e-paper e-reader leader with over 90% market share.

In the past few months we have seen both Bridgetsone and Mirasol withdrawing from the market. Now with the Sipix acquisition it leaves E Ink as the sole e-paper display provider.

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