10/9/2014 5:53 AM
Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano, and Shuji Nakamura have won the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics “for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources.” The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences made the announcement on October 7, explaining in a press release that when the scientists “produced bright blue light beams from their semi-conductors in the early 1990s, they triggered a fundamental transformation of lighting technology. Red and green diodes had been around for a long time but without blue light, white lamps could not be created.” White LED lamps are long-lasting and energy efficient. “The LED lamp holds great promise for increasing the quality of life for over 1.5 billion people around the world who lack access to electricity grids: due to low power requirements it can be powered by cheap local solar power,” continued the press release. 

In terms of displays, the GaN technology for blue LEDs that the three men invented has made significant contributions to displays. LEDs have replaced CCFL backlighting systems, achieving both higher color gamut and lower power consumption. 

9/30/2014 7:44 AM
Nanoco Group plc, a leading developer and manufacturer of cadmium-free quantum dots and other nanomaterials, has noted an announcement from The Dow Chemical Company, Nanoco’s global licensing partner, stating that Dow has begun construction...
9/30/2014 5:09 AM
Many companies that make ITO alternatives have found that uptake of their products has so far been disappointing. This is not due necessarily to their technology, but to issues within the supply chain. The main challenges these companies have encountered in 2014 are outlined in a recent report, "Transparent Conductive Films (TCF) 2014-2024," by research and events firm IDTechEx, which profiled nearly 100 organizations working across more than 12 types of transparent-conductive film (TCF) technologies.

ITO alternatives that have gained the most traction so far include silver nanowires and metal mesh options, with early stage leaders being Fujifilm and O-Film, reports IDTechEx.

Due to smartphones and tablets being relatively saturated, and with the launch of Windows 8, which supports touch screens, consumer electronics...
9/22/2014 9:54 AM
September 2014. AIXTRON, a leading provider of deposition equipment to the semiconductor industry, has teamed up with research institution Fraunhofer IISB (Institute for Integrated Systems and Device Technology) in Erlangen, Germany, to develop 150 mm Silicon Carbide (SiC) epitaxy processes using the new AIXTRON 8x150 mm G5WW Vapor Phase Epitaxy (VPE) system. AIXTRON’s Planetary Reactor tool will be installed at the IISB cleanroom laboratory in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Fraunhofer IISB has developed fundamental technology for low-defect-density SiC epitaxial processes that are elementary for the manufacturing of high voltage SiC devices. Special characterization techniques like room temperature photoluminescence imaging and selective defect etching have been developed and adapted to the SiC material properties at Fraunhofer IISB. In its laboratories, complete SiC prototype devices can be processed and characterized....
9/9/2014 6:21 AM

September 8, 2014. Broadcom Corporation, a global leader in semiconductor solutions for wired and wireless communications, has announced that BrightSign LLC, a market leader in digital signage, has chosen Broadcom's Ultra HD system-on-chip (SoC) technology for its new line of 4K media players. Leveraging Broadcom's BCM7444 and BCM7252 SoC devices for advanced compression and decoding, BrightSign's line of digital signage media players delivers native 4K, 60-frame-per-second (fps) video and 10-bit color, optimized for use in a variety of commercial applications including advertising, retail stores, stadiums, museums, and other public displays. 

8/26/2014 2:58 AM
Insight Media, publisher of the Display Central news portal, recently sold its publishing and advertising operation to Meko, a UK-based news and market research consultancy that has covered the display industry for many years.  According to Insight Media, operation of the Display Central news portal (now Meko’s Display Central), the Display Central marketing and promotional programs, the Display Daily email news service, and the subscription newsletters Large Display Report (now Large Display Monitor News) and Mobile Display Report, will continue with little substantive changes.

Noted Insight Media President and Founder, Chris Chinnock.  “I will continue to be involved with the publishing operation as a Display Daily contributor and sales agent, but much of my focus will now turn toward supporting clients in specific strategic and tactical projects.” The Insight Media team of analysts will remain intact to support these other services.

“One of the key reasons...
8/15/2014 8:59 AM

August 2014. Last month, numerous news sources began reporting that Samsung was discontinuing its plasma panel business. A few weeks later, Samsung Electronics Corporation issued this statement by way of confirmation:

“We plan to continue our PDP TV business until the end of this year, due to changes in market demands. We remain committed to providing consumers with products that meet their needs, and will increase our focus on growth opportunities in UHD TVs and curved TVs.”

Earlier this year, Panasonic pulled out of the plasma business. The last big player making plasma TVs is LG Electronics, and reporters and analysts are taking bets as to how long LG will continue. In the meantime, there are some enticing deals on hundreds of models of plasma TVs at retailers such as Amazon.  

8/6/2014 3:46 PM
Santa Clara, CA; August 2014. In a move to strengthen its position as a leading supplier in the LCD marketplace, Tianma Microelectronics Co., Ltd., Shenzhen, China, has completed the acquisition of its five production lines in Japan, Shenzhen, Shanghai, and Wuhan, and increased its investment in its Chengdu facility.

After this restructuring, Tianma will own 100% shares of Shanghai Tianma, Wuhan Tianma, Shanghai AVIC, and Shenzhen AVIC (2 lines), and 70% shares of Chengdu Tianma. Prior to this, Tianma Microelectronics Co., Ltd. held controlling interests in the six lines.  As a result of the stock acquisitions, the combined assets of the company are expected to surpass RMB 10 billion (US $1.6 billion).

According to Tianma, this consolidation of the company’s fabrication line assets will optimize product planning and production, increase efficiency, and create more flexibility in customer support, including faster response times and time to market. A major...
7/29/2014 8:49 AM
St. Paul, MN: July 2014. 3M has announced that it will acquire, through Sumitomo 3M, Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd.’s 25% interest in Sumitomo 3M Ltd. for 90 billion Japanese Yen (approximately $885 million at current exchange rates). Upon completion of the cash transaction, 3M will own 100% of Sumitomo 3M Ltd. The transaction was expected to close Sept. 1, 2014. Sumitomo Electric Industries is a maker of electric wires and cables, among other products.

“This investment allows us to gain full control of one of 3M’s most successful subsidiaries,” said Inge G. Thulin, 3M chairman, president and chief executive officer. “It is a strategic acquisition in a business we know well, as we have grown the business profitably for over 50 years.”

Sumitomo 3M Limited was established in 1961 as a joint venture between 3M, Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd. and NEC Corp. In 2003, 3M acquired NEC’s 25% stake, which increased 3M’s interest to 75%.

7/6/2014 11:46 AM
Darmstadt, Germany; June 2014. Merck, a leading company for products in the pharmaceutical and chemical sectors, acquired the Dutch specialist for smart window technology Peer+ on July 1, 2014. The two companies have agreed not to disclose the purchase price.

Merck and Peer+ have been cooperating closely since 2011 to develop a market-ready product and production concept for liquid-crystal windows, which are designed for use in energy-efficient buildings. In 2012, the cooperation partners entered into a shareholder agreement under which Merck acquired 70% of the capital interest in Peer+. Merck is now also acquiring the remaining 30%, including around 3% from the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), which co-founded Peer+ in 2008 and has been supporting it since then.

In the future, Merck will concentrate the research and development activities of the liquid-crystal...
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