Sharp to form LCD alliance with China Electronics, license IGZO technology

“Japan’s Sharp Corp, a leading suppler of displays to Apple Inc, said Thursday it will form a $2.9 billion alliance with state-owned China Electronics Corp that includes an agreement by Sharp to license its advanced power-saving IGZO screen technology,” Mari Saito reports for Reuters.

“The new venture will be 92 percent owned by China Electronics, also known as CEC, which supplies equipment to China’s military,” Saito reports. “The venture will set up a an LCD plant with the goal of mass-producing panel displays for televisions, notebook PCs and tablets in 2015.”

Saito reports, “Licensing IGZO, or indium gallium zinc oxide displays, fits into a strategy by cash-strapped Sharp to leverage its technology to bolster its finances. Sharp, in December, signed a pact with Qualcomm Inc, selling the U.S. company an equity stake for $120 million and agreeing to develop new screens based on IGZO technology. IGZO screens boast power consumption as low as a tenth of conventional LCDs, high resolutions and faster reaction speeds. While an agreement to license the technology to a Chinese military-linked state company may raise eyebrows, Sharp does not exclusively own the technology, only being the first to commercialize it.”

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