Liquavista BV has announced that it has been acquired by Samsung Electronics in a buyout of all shares, making it a fully owned affiliate. The deal emphasizes Samsung's interest in improving the display technology used in electronic book readers, mobile phones, media players, and other various gadgets.
Liquavista develops ultra-low power display technologies. The company's electrowetting technology, a process that uses electrical charges to move colored oil around in each pixel, enables the creation of displays with bright and colorful images with dramatically reduced power consumption. Displays utilizing electrowetting consume 90 percent less power than traditional displays. Since electrowetting can be manufactured by modifying existing LCD production lines, Samsung will be able to use much of its existing equipment.
Instead of the standard option of using a backlight to brighten the display, a Liquavista screen has three options: transmissive (typical backlit technology LCDs have used for years), reflective (using natural light, a more recent development), and transflective (both transmits and reflects light as needed to save power). The screen can act just like a traditional LCD display indoors while outdoors, it can use natural light to save power by not using a backlight. The company says its electrowetting technology can refresh a screen up to 60 times per second, making it usable on other handheld devices beyond just e-readers.
Liquavista was founded in 2006 as a spin-out from the Philips Research Labs. The color electronic paper display company is based in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.
"We are thrilled by this event," Johan Feenstra, Liquavista's Founder and newly appointed CEO, said in a statement. "The outright acquisition of Liquavista by the largest electronics company in the world is the fulfillment of a strategy dating back to the original spin-out and, confirmation of the disruptive potential that our technology will have in the display market. In the future, consumers will need products that not only support full color and video but offer readability in all lighting conditions and gives them ultimate freedom and portability. Being part of Samsung, we can all be sure that Electrowetting Display Technology will find its way to the market in the fastest possible time."