Samsung acquired Liquavista

Update: This is now official, Samsung issued a press release. We still do not know the financial details...

There are reports that Samsung has acquired Liquavista. It's not official, and we do not know the financial details, but it seems that Samsung is already listed as Liquavista's corporate parent at the Netherlands' chamber of commerce.

LiquaVista raised $9.5 million in early 2010, so this doesn't seem to be an "emergency sale" - and is probably good news for the company and the technology. We also know that Samsung stopped making E Ink panels in August 2010 - so perhaps they were already considering the move to Liquavista's electrowetting displays. Here's an interview we conducted with Liquavista's CTO back in March 2010.

Electrowetting e-paper on paper?

Researchers from the University of Cincinnati have demonstrated that regular paper can be a flexible host material for Electrowetting displays. These new displays can theoretically be almost as cheap as printing a normal magazine. They say that in 3-5 years this can actually be commercialized, but these estimates are always optimistic...

The researchers say that paper is the "perfect substrate" for Electrowetting displays: it's flexible and cheap, and shows the same performance as glass.

New electrofluidic e-paper like display developed

Researchers from the University of Cincinnati and startup Gamma Dynamics have developed a new Electrofluidic display. The display can retain images without power consumption (like e-paper), has a >70% white reflectance and is fast enough for video. The idea is to use a colored fluid between the front and the backside of a reflective sheet.  The space  above and beneath this special sheet is similar in geometrPixel Structurey enabling the fluid to remain stationary in any position without an applied voltage.

The concept has been realized years ago, but the manufacturing process was only developed recently - in a collaboration between the Univ. of Cincinnati, Gamma Dynamics, DuPont and Sun Chemical.

Liquavista's displays outdoors

Check out this nice video showing how Liquavista's displays behave outdoors. This short clip shows a couple of displays and a regular LCD (the laptop in th top-right). The liquavista's display are better, of course:

Liquavista ashows new 8.5" color and monochrome displays

Liquavista is showing new 8.5" full-color and monochrome displays, available across their entire range of platforms: LiquavistaBright, LiquavistaColor and LiquavistaVivid. The displays offer XGA resolution (1024x768).

Available to partners for evaluation through Liquavista’s partner program, manufacturers and product developers will be able to gain early access to samples.

Liquavista Achieves Ultra-Low Power Consumption with Latest Dynamic Low Frequency Driving Schemes

Liquavista announced a new dynamic frame rate capability down to frequencies as low as 1Hz, resulting in ultra-low power electrowetting display driving.

“Our displays already had increased power efficiency over existing displays due the their remarkable optical efficiency,” said Guy Demuynck, Liquavista’s CEO, “but with the launch of these new dynamic drive schemes, we can enable future devices to improve even further on overall power consumption, without compromising optical performance in all modes from static images, to hi-fidelity video, fulfilling our promise of true mobility.”

Liquavista acquires new a IP portfolio

Liquavista announced the acquisition of a significant portfolio of IP, which will further strengthen their current electrowetting based display portfolio. They want to become a one-stop-shop for the licensing of electrowetting display technology, and this is a "step forward".

"Our current portfolio already enables us to cover all modes of operation; reflective, transmissive and transflective, as well as providing us with a broad coverage throughout our value proposition” added Johan Feenstra, CTO. “As such, in addition to protecting the core principle of making electrowetting displays in a way that re-uses the current infrastructure, it also covers other areas, including materials and driving methods.".

Liquavista has just raised $9.5 million. We have talked to Johan a few weeks ago, here's the full interview.

Interview with Liquavista's CTO

Liquavista is based in Eindhoven, the Netherlands and was founded in 2006 (a spin-out from Philips Research Labs). They have developed a new type of display technology that can operate in transmissive, reflective or transflective modes, has a great optical performance and is very efficient. Liquavista's display are based on the principle of Electrowetting (when a voltage is used to modify the wetting properties of a solid material). With Electrowetting displays, a simple optical switch is obtained by contracting a colored oil film electrically.

Johan Feenstra, LiquaVista's CTO photoJohan Feenstra, Liquavista's CTO, was kind enough to answer a few questions we had. Johan joined Philips Research Labs back in 1999, where he co-invented Electrowetting displays and co-founded Liquavista.

Q: Johan, can you explain Liquavista's three product families?

  • LiquavistaBright: monochrome display with improved optical performance compared to existing readers, while providing a seemless UI (iPhone-like) or even videos.
  • LiquavistaColor: full-color reflective version with video rate, so also seemless UI
  • LiquavistaVivid: Hybrid version with a highly reflective, low power monochrome mode and a full-color mode with saturated colors. The color is made with so-called Field Sequential Color Mode, so no color filter, but a fast switching Red/Green/Blue backlight.
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