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...
7/6/2014 8:40 AM

Dresden, Germany; July 2014. Fraunhofer COMEDD (Center for Organic Materials and Electronic Devices Dresden) and Fraunhofer FEP (Fraunhofer Institute for Electron Beam and Plasma Technology) have merged and will carry on under the name COMEDD.

Prof. Volker Kirchhoff, director of the new entity, is pleased about future opportunities. “I am looking forward to significant advances, especially in the area of barrier films for flexible organic components, with COMEDD’s know-how,” he says. “Also, the OLED-based microdisplays will take advantage of many years of work in the process technology and market relations at Fraunhofer FEP.”

COMEDD notes that customers and partners can continue working with existing contact persons in all technical areas. In connection with the new institute, all concluded contracts and secrecy agreements of FEP or COMEDD remain valid.

6/26/2014 4:19 AM
SID’s Display Awards Committee recently selected five Best in Show winners and one Best Prototype at Display Week 2014 in San Diego. The winning Best in Show products were as follows:

Small Exhibit Category

Nanosys, for its true-to-life display experience with high dynamic range and wide color gamut (made in partnership with Dolby) 

GroGlass, for its AR-coated glass and acrylic that virtually eliminate reflection

Medium Exhibit Category

AUO, for its WQHD ultra high-resolution smartphone displays

Large Exhibit Category

LG Display, for its UD OLED TVs

BOE, for its 8K by 4K display

The Best Prototype winner, selected from the exhibitors at Display Week’s Innovation Zone, was:

Ostendo Technologies, which demonstrated a novel display device called the Quantum Photonic Imager (QPI).

An article describing the 2014 winning products in detail will appear in the September/October post-show issue of Information Display. 

6/20/2014 5:27 AM
Sunnyvale, CA; June 2014.  Cambrios Technologies Corporation, a leader in silver nanowire-based technology for transparent conductor markets, recently announced a $10 million second round of strategic investment by Samsung Venture Investment Corporation (SVIC).  Cambrios had previously received an investment of $5 million from SVIC in 2011.

Cambrios’ ClearOhm coating material is made from highly conductive silver nanowires that are designed to offer higher optical and electrical performance than previous-generation transparent conductive materials like indium tin oxide (ITO). ClearOhm ink is currently being used to produce high-performance transparent conductive films that enable touch panels and displays, as well as OLED lighting tiles and solar cells.

“SVIC’s second investment in Cambrios confirms the importance of our technology and our specific materials for the display industry,”...
5/22/2014 8:55 AM
Munich, Germany; May 2014. Twenty-eight years after establishing the light measurement company Instrument Systems, Richard Distl will be leaving the company at the end of May. Dr. Markus Ehbrecht will succeed him in the position of CEO.

Distl started Instrument Systems in 1986. Today, the company is a market leader for light measurement, with a workforce of 148 employees and two sites in Germany. Major companies throughout the world and leading research institutes rely on measurement equipment from Instrument Systems for testing LEDs, displays, and other optical light sources and components.

Over the past five years, Distl has led Instrument Systems through an enormous phase of growth. A new record result in the history of the company was achieved in the business year ended 31 March 2014, with sales totaling €53.7 million. In December 2012, Richard Distl sold the company to Konica Minolta, Inc.

“Even though I find it difficult to move on,...
5/21/2014 5:46 AM

Plasma technology played a vital role in making the flat-panel display industry the success it is today. To mark plasma’s impact, SID is offering Display Week 2014 attendees a rare opportunity to hear from and meet some of the individuals whose groundbreaking work made plasma displays possible.

At 5 pm on Tuesday, June 3, SID will host a Special Event, “Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Plasma Display Panel,” following the regular plasma session. It will include talks by Professor Donald L. Bitzer, co-inventor of the plasma display panel; Tsutae Shinoda, inventor of color plasma display technology; and SID Past President Larry F. Weber and SID Fellow Roger L. Johnson, former students of Bitzer’s. Following the session, which will run from 5:00 to 6:30, there will be a sponsored reception from 6:30 to 8:30.
5/21/2014 5:36 AM
In March of this year, Panasonic shipped its last plasma display panel, bringing an end to a 13-year run that found the company’s plasma TVs earning accolades from reviewers and audiophiles even as market share shrank in later years. Panasonic produced its last plasma panel in December 2013, and made the announcement that the end was near even earlier, in a press release dated October 2013.

The release read, in part: “Until now, due to the superiority of the picture, Panasonic’s PDPs have received high appraisal and there has been firm demand from customers worldwide. However, due to rapid, drastic changes in the business environment and a declining demand for PDP in the flat panel display market, it was judged that continuing the business would be difficult and a decision was made to stop production.”

Last fall, when the release was issued, many in the industry thought it was a sign that plasma was bowing out to OLED TVs. Six months...
5/5/2014 12:47 PM
Facebook recently announced that it will acquire Oculus VR, Inc., a two-year-old immersive reality headset maker based in California, for $2 billion. Oculus has already generated interest from developers and has taken orders for more than 75,000 development kits for its VR headset, the Oculus Rift. The headset, which is being promoted as lightweight, affordable, and high-performing, can be used to play videogames, watch movies, or serve as a computer monitor.

Shortly after the acquisition announcement, ZeniMax Media Inc., a Maryland-based videogame maker, claimed rights to the intellectual property that powers the Oculus Rift. Oculus representatives are dismissing the claim publicly, for the time being, and the transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2014, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article....
4/21/2014 6:42 AM
Gundersheim, Germany; April 2014. i-sft, a leader in flat-panel technologies for demanding applications, has entered into a cooperative agreement with Lumineq Displays, a business unit of the Finland-based Beneq group. Both companies specialize in developing and manufacturing robust and reliable displays that are used in extreme environments. The agreement will enable them to offer solutions to industrial customers from fields such as mining, marine and offshore, public safety, medical devices, and avionics.

The inventor and sole manufacturer of display solutions based on energy-efficient excitation (e³) plasma light technology, i-sft specializes in developing high-brightness long-life displays for extreme environmental conditions and temperature ranges. Lumineq Displays is a premier manufacturer and developer of thin-film electroluminescent (TFEL) displays. Lumineq also manufactures and develops transparent electroluminescent...
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