Liquavista is a display company based in Eindhoven and developed a HEOS display technology that simplifies the manufacturing process of displays. Liquavista is a spinoff from Philips Research Labs and was founded in 2006. Back in June, 2006, Liquavista unveiled the world’s brightest reflective displays during SID 2006. The “ColorMatch” product platform is based on its HEOS display architecture and has the world’s best color brightness and a 50% reflectivity over an unlimited viewing angle. I’m sure the limit is a little less than 180 degrees. Other features of ColorMatch is low power consumption that is great for products that need to keep going like MP3 players, watches, mobile phones, cameras, DVD players, etc.
A bit about the HEOS architecture: the manufacturing process uses electrowetting cell concepts that allow bright and efficient flat panel displays. The HEOS architecture can also be easily incorporated to existing equipment making the transition less stressful. Electrowetting is a microfluidic phenomena that makes use of natural forces instrinsic to oil and water. By using a hydrophobic material, oil and water phases are formed that cause the water to be repelled from the surface. The wetting property of the hydrophobic surface is then modified via an electrical voltage which makes the surface hydrophilic. If you want to know more about electrowetting, jump over to Liquavista’s “What is Electrowetting” page.
The Liquavista team is working hard to install a process development line and has hired a few key individuals: Martin Stephenson will be the CFO and Harrie Hermens and Eric Derckx will be involved in the engineering team. Read more about the press release here.
Although I am a big fan of new technologies, the behomoth to beat is your run-of-the-mill multibillion dollar super large TFT LCD fabs. These fabs are producing millions of panels each month and there is no technology out there right now that will slow them down. Plasma will be run over by LCDs and it’s only a matter of time before LCDs get to affordable prices at the 50″ and larger sizes. LCDs have 100% share of notebook PCs and close to that for mobile phones. Monitors are transitioning to LCDs and it’s share will be 90%+ in a few years. Liquavista will need to play well with TFT LCD fabs, otherwise, competing against the current technology “…is futile.”