If the folks at E Ink holdings have their way, there may be plenty more e-paper displays sprouting up in your future than you may have expected.
The company just recently announced that it plans to purchase a majority stake in fellow display manufacturer SiPix Technology and its Imaging subsidiary in a bid to expand its presence in the e-paper market.
E Ink is currently slated to purchase 82.7% of SiPix’s shares, and plans to buy out the remainder in due course. Since the transaction isn’t expected to close until some time in the fourth quarter, there’s no firm word on how much the transaction will actually cost E Ink — that said, the price tag attached to the full load of SiPix shares hovers around NT$ 1.5 billion (just a hair over $50 million).
The company’s handiwork can be readily seen by strolling through the aisles of your local electronics purveyor — they supply the paper-like displays for a whole host of e-reader lines, with the Kindle and Nook families prime among them. Of course, the uses for low-power, highly-legible displays isn’t limited to just skimming through Tolstoy’s back catalog. E Ink chairman Scott Liu noted that the company’s goal was to effectively put its display technology on “every smart surface,” which is precisely where SiPix comes into play.
SiPix, which has offices located in Taiwan and California, has most of its business locked up in what E Ink CMO Sriram Peruvemba refers to as the “non-eReader space.” Sure, they’ll pitch in on an e-reader or two, but the company’s forte lies in things like smart cards, hard disk drives and signage.
“They had IP that is valuable to E Ink,” Peruvemba went on to say. “This action will give us more technical talent that is experienced, as well as access to more technologies.” Exactly what sort of IP that E Ink found so tempting is as yet unknown, but it probably won’t be too long before the fruits of both companies’ combined labor pops up in a gadget or a display near you.