PHILIPS INVESTS IN E INK, SECURES GLOBAL COMMERCIAL RIGHTS FOR USE OF ELECTRONIC INK IN HANDHELD DISPLAYS
Electronic Ink Will Enable Lighter Devices with True Paper-Like Readability Using Dramatically Lower Power
Cambridge, MA. and SUNNYVALE, CA. — February 27, 2001 – E Ink Corporation, the leading developer and marketer of electronic ink technology, and Philips Components, a division of Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands (AEX: PHI, NYSE: PHG), today announced that they will jointly develop high-resolution electronic ink displays for use in smart handheld devices. Under the terms of the agreement, Philips Venture Capital and Philips Components have made an investment in E Ink to help advance their research and development program, bringing the company's ultimate vision of electronic paper closer to market realization. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Under the agreement, the companies will build a high-resolution electronic ink display prototype. Key to this effort, E Ink will develop electronic ink sheets, which Philips will integrate with active matrix backplanes and drivers. In return for funding and development assistance, Philips Components will receive the global rights to manufacture and sell handheld display modules using E Ink sheets, and exclusivity on display modules for certain applications, including personal digital assistants (PDAs) and electronic books, for a select period. Commercial development of the display is expected to begin later this year.
"Our investment in E Ink is part of our strategy to have a comprehensive portfolio of application-specific display technologies," commented Matt Medeiros, president and CEO of Philips Components. "E Ink's display technology is perfect when readability is of primary importance. In the handheld appliance market, for instance, E Ink can dramatically improve screen definition and power requirements—delivering a lighter, easier to read display that will revolutionize smart handheld devices. Through this partnership we continue to demonstrate our expertise in display systems architecture, complementing E Ink's strengths. We expect to be the first electronics company to commercialize this technology, making it a reality for our OEM customers in the shortest possible timeframe."
Philips Components is the global leader in large liquid crystal displays, LCDs, (23 percent market share with its LG.Philips LCD joint venture), color television picture tubes (18 percent market share) and mobile flat displays (35 percent market share). Already a leading developer in wireless connectivity, storage solutions and emerging display technologies, the cooperation with E Ink further broadens Philips Components' technology portfolio.
"Our investment partnership with Philips Components puts us right on track with our business objectives of moving our electronic ink technology into the handheld device and display market," said Jim Iuliano, president and CEO of E Ink. "As one of the world's top display manufacturers and a demonstrated global technology leader, Philips Components is well-positioned to develop electronic ink displays, partner with us on research and development efforts, and help us move products into a $40 billion marketplace through their global distribution network."
About E Ink's Electronic Ink Technology
E Ink's electronic ink offers a paper-like look that provides three main benefits over traditional and emerging display technologies:
Readability – Because it contains the same coloring agents as normal ink and paper, electronic ink is three to six times brighter than reflective LCDs, exceeds newspapers in contrast ratio and reads easily in both dim light and full sunlight. Like paper, the E Ink display has a clear image that can be seen at any angle without a change in contrast. In addition, special properties of the ink enable smoother text characters than many displays used today.
Portability – Electronic ink allows a fixed image to remain on the screen even after the power source is shut off, leading to dramatically longer battery life. The bright paper-white background of electronic ink also eliminates the need for a backlight in most lighting conditions. When commercialized, electronic ink displays should draw less than 1/1000th the power required by a standard notebook computer screen when used for normal reading. As a result, portable devices incorporating E Ink displays could have far smaller batteries making them less expensive and more portable.
Ergonomics – Electronic ink displays are expected to be 30 percent thinner and lighter than traditional LCD displays. Because electronic ink displays read like ink on paper, they should cause less eyestrain than most other displays that typically emit or transmit light.
About Philips Components
Philips Components, headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, is a world-leading provider of integrated digital electronic solutions in the areas of displays, storage, connectivity and imaging and sensing. Its global customer base covers the consumer electronics, telecommunications, and automotive industries, amongst others. Philips Components had annual revenues of over EUR 6.3 billion for the year 2000, and employs more than 40,000 people in 39 countries around the world.
Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands is one of the world's biggest electronics companies and Europe's largest, with sales of $34.9 billion (EUR 37.9 billion) in 2000. It is a global leader in color television sets, lighting, electric shavers, color picture tubes for televisions and monitors, and one-chip TV products. Its 219,400 employees in more than 60 countries are active in the areas of lighting, consumer electronics, domestic appliances, components, semiconductors, and medical systems. Philips is quoted on the NYSE (symbol: PHG), London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and other stock exchanges.
About E Ink Holdings
Founded in 1992 by Taiwan's leading papermaking and printing group YFY (1907.TW), E Ink Holdings Inc. "E Ink" (8069.TW) is the pioneer of TFT and ePaper business in Taiwan. Its corporate philosophy aims to deliver revolutionary products, user experiences, and environmental benefits through advanced technology development. This vision has led to its continuous investments in the field of ePaper display as well as its 2008 acquisition of Hydis Technologies, manufacturer of the world's best wide viewing angle LCDs and its 2009 acquisition of E Ink Corp., the worldwide leader in ePaper. Listed in Taiwan's GreTai Securities Market and the Luxembourg market, E Ink is now the world's largest supplier of displays to the eBook market. For corporate information, please visit www.einkgroup.com; for EPD information, please visit www.eink.com / tw.eink.com; and for FFS information, please visit www.hydis.com.