Samsung buys Liquavista, dives headfirst into electrowetting displays

Samsung's got a reputation for building crazy awesome display technologies, and it just added another one to the stack -- with the buyout of Philips-spinoff Liquavista this December, it's gained quite the foothold in electrowetting. In case you're not familiar, electrowetting has been repeatedly pitched to us as pretty much the Holy Grail of displays: flexible, colorful, unbreakable, outdoor-readable e-paper screens with high refresh rates and low-power consumption that can be manufactured on existing assembly lines. We'll have to see if the theories equate to meaningful products, but we imagine ownership by Samsung can't hurt one bit, especially as the company says it will "expand its leadership in next generation display technologies by pioneering the application of electrowetting in e-Paper and transparent displays." Sounds like a commitment to us. PR after the break.

Update: Seems that The Digital Reader actually figured out about the deal yesterday -- read the original scoop at our more coverage link!

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Samsung Acquires Display Technology Provider Liquavista

Investment aims expand leadership in next generation displays for mobile devices

SEOUL, South Korea--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a global technology innovation and digital convergence leader, today announced it has acquired display technology firm Liquavista BV. Samsung completed the acquisition of Liquavista, based in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, in December 2010.

Liquavista, founded in 2006 as a spin-out from the Philips Research Labs, offers a new type of electronic display technology known as electrowetting for applications in e-readers, mobile phones, media players and other mobile devices.

The electrowetting technology, which operates in transmissive, reflective, transparent and transflective modes, enables the creation of displays with bright, colorful images with dramatically reduced power consumption. Offering more than twice the transmittance of LCD technology and able to operate at low frequencies, displays utilizing electrowetting consume just 10 percent of the battery power of existing display technologies.

With the acquisition of Liquavista, Samsung aims to expand its leadership in next generation display technologies by pioneering the application of electrowetting in e-Paper and transparent displays. As electrowetting can be manufactured by modifying existing LCD production lines, Samsung will be able to realize significant synergies through the utilization of existing manufacturing equipment and capabilities.

In e-paper applications, the response time of the electrowetting displays will be more than 70 times faster than that of existing reflective displays, allowing for color videos, which was previously thought impossible. In future, the application of the technology is expected to expand to transparent, transmissive and transflective displays.

About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a global leader in semiconductor, telecommunication, digital media and digital convergence technologies with 2009 consolidated sales of US$116.8 billion. Employing approximately 174,000 people in 193 offices across 66 countries, the company consists of eight independently operated business units: Visual Display, Mobile Communications, Telecommunication Systems, Digital Appliances, IT Solutions, Digital Imaging, Semiconductor and LCD. Recognized as one of the fastest growing global brands, Samsung Electronics is a leading producer of digital TVs, memory chips, mobile phones and TFT-LCDs. For more information, please visit