After news that Apple may have invested $3.9 billion over the next two years in a strategic supply component(s) that may be related to the company’s high resolution displays, Samsung has confirmed that it has acquired Dutch-based Liquavista, which would further the company’s role in producing various types of screen displays. The financial terms of the acquisition has not been disclosed.
Liquavista’s electrowetting technology could help Samsung build better displays that offer enhanced outdoors visibility, like e-ink, and also save on power consumption while delivering faster refresh rates. Essentially, the electrowetting technology could be applied to Samsung’s LCD panel manufacturing process to give the resulting display the benefits of both LCD and e-ink displays.
The company says that applying electrowetting to its LCD process can give twice the light transmittance of traditional LCDs while consuming a tenth of the power. Additionally, when compared to traditional e-ink displays, the electrowetted pannels offer 70 times the refresh rate.
In a statement, Samsung says “As electrowetting can be manufactured by modifying LCD production lines, Samsung will be able to realise significant synergies through the utilisation of existing manufacturing equipment and capabilities.”
Samsung hasn’t revealed when consumer products would begin to ship with the new display, but industry analysts believe that the new displays should hit PMPs, smartphones, and tablets. Also, Samsung wasn’t clear whether the company will reserve the display technology–much like Super AMOLED–for its own products or whether it would transition from Super AMOLED products to the new display technology.
The process can present a challenge to other technologies, such as e-ink displays and Qualcomm’s Mirasol display.