Skip navigation

Press Release


Companies Jointly Demonstrate Feasibility of Color Paper-Like Displays Today in Tokyo

TOKYO, Japan and CAMBRIDGE, MA. - May 30, 2001 – TOPPAN Printing Company Ltd., the global market share leader for color filter arrays in the flat panel display industry, and E Ink Corporation, the leading developer of electronic ink technology for paper-like displays, today announced a strategic partnership to develop color electronic ink displays. TOPPAN and E Ink signed their agreement and demonstrated the feasibility of color electronic ink displays today in Tokyo. The demonstration will also be available for viewing at next week's Society for Information Display Symposium, Seminar and Exhibition in San Jose, Calif. The color electronic ink display will be in E Ink's booth, #410, from June 5 to June 7.

Under terms of this comprehensive agreement, TOPPAN has made an initial equity investment of $5 million in E Ink. In return for funding and development collaboration, TOPPAN will receive the exclusive global rights to manufacture and supply color filters for electronic ink displays for a certain period. The companies further agreed to explore collaborations on other strategic projects such as plastic-based color filters and flexible displays.

"Our investment in E Ink and their electronic ink technology represents a platform for strategic growth at TOPPAN," said Mr. Hideaki Kawai, company director and division head of corporate R&D. "Moreover, new applications enabled by this paper-like display technology are closely aligned with TOPPAN's strategic priorities, the '3E's: electronics, eBusiness and ecology.'"

"E Ink has always made it a strategic priority to develop color electronic ink displays that look as good as ink on paper," said Jim Iuliano, president and CEO of E Ink. "The goal of our partnership with TOPPAN is to bring color electronic ink displays to market. As the unrivaled world leader in color filter arrays, TOPPAN is the ideal color partner to help us move electronic ink deeper into the $40 billion display marketplace."

"The addition of color capability to electronic ink displays by E Ink and TOPPAN should more than triple the addressable market opportunity for small/medium sized applications alone, less than 10.4", to $12 billion by 2005," said Barry Young, vice president of DisplaySearch, the display industry's leading market research group. "Color electronic ink displays will help facilitate the migration to color handheld devices such as PDAs, cell phones and new mobile display appliances."

About Color Electronic Ink Displays
Combined, E Ink's electronic ink and TOPPAN's color filters will overcome a major trade-off for displays in portable devices between high quality color and battery performance. These enhanced color paper-like displays provide dramatic benefits in viewability and portability over traditional as well as emerging technologies:

Viewability -- Color electronic ink displays match the contrast ratio of newspapers and can be read easily in both dim light and full sunlight. Like paper, color electronic ink displays present a clear, bright image that can be seen at any angle without a change in contrast and color quality. Unlike other reflective displays, a color electronic ink display enables a user to easily see the display without searching for the narrow band of optimum angles for incident light and viewing, and over broad lighting conditions spanning dim to sunlight.

Ultra-Low Power -- Electronic ink will allow a fixed image to remain on the screen even after the power source is shut off, leading to dramatically longer battery life. The vivid colors of reflective color electronic ink displays will also eliminate the need for supplemental lighting in most lighting conditions. When commercialized, color electronic ink displays should draw less than 1/10th the power of other 'low-power' display technologies commonly used in smart handheld devices. As a result, portable devices incorporating color electronic ink displays could have far smaller batteries making them less expensive, lighter and more portable.

Thin, Light Form -- Color electronic ink display cells are expected to be 20 to 50 percent thinner and lighter than traditional LCD displays.

This announcement closely follows E Ink's recent demonstration of the world's first high-resolution, active matrix electronic ink display. E Ink expects high-resolution electronic ink displays to be made commercially available in 2003 and high-resolution color electronic ink displays a year later.

Formed in 1900, TOPPAN Printing Co., Ltd. of Tokyo, Japan is a leader in the global printing industry. With its consolidated subsidiaries, TOPPAN had net sales of 1,293 Billion Yen (10.5 Billion US$) with 33,000 employees in fiscal 2000. TOPPAN applies the expertise it has gained from printing in diverse industry sectors that include securities & cards, commercial printing, publications printing, packaging materials, industrial materials, electronics, business forms and multimedia.

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; for EPD information, please visit /; and for FFS information, please visit