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Qualcomm invests Rs.635 cr in Sharp

Posted: 05 Dec 2012     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:investment  MEMS  IGZO 

US-based chipmaker Qualcomm has agreed to invest Rs.634.92 crore ($120 million) in cash-strapped Japanese electronics giant Sharp Corporation. As a result of the equity investment, Qualcomm will become a minority shareholder in Sharp.

The investment will be used to expand an agreement between Sharp and Qualcomm's subsidiary Pixtronix to develop and commercialise low-power MEMS displays incorporating IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) technology for smartphones and tablets.

However, the IGZO displays could be manufactured using Sharp LCD production lines, the company said.

Qualcomm acquired Pixtronix Inc. early in 2012. The Pixtronix display – called PerfectLight – is based on a MEMS-based digital micro shutter that modulates light from an RGB LED backlight. A high switching speed makes it suitable for applications ranging from full-speed video to e-reader operation and Pixtronix claimed that the display offered greater than 170 degree viewing angles, more than 3,000:1 contrast ratio and 24bit colour depth at one quarter of the power consumption of equivalent size and resolution liquid crystal displays.

Sharp said investment from Qualcomm will be used to accelerate commercialisation of Pixtronix's low power MEMS displays utilising Sharp's IGZO technology. "This capital will be used for the development of MEMS display and necessary capital investments related thereto targeting for the achievement of the technology for commercialisation," Sharp said in its statement.

The equity investment will take place in stages and the consummation of the transaction is subject to certain contingencies, said Qualcomm.

"With this agreement, Sharp will accelerate its strategy for growth in small- to medium- sized LCD business with IGZO-based display technology as its core, and expand its revenue and corporate value," Sharp added.

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