C.T. Lieu is senior vice president AU Optronics (AUO), one of the world’s largest LCD manufacturers. Lieu is in charge of the company’s consumer display business and is optimistic about ebook display technology:
We see it as a new industry. It replaces paper, printing, publishing, text books, and so on.
SiPix On March 2, 2009, AUO invested a total of US$30 million to purchase 60 million shares of common stock in SiPix Imaging Inc. AUO now owns 31.58% of the company. SiPix is based in Fremont, California and develops materials and roll-to-roll production technologies for electrophoretic display material that can be cut in any size. The electrophoretic display material is flexible, impact and moisture resistant. The company also has a production facility in Chung-Li, Taiwan that develops display modules and manufactures these displays in volume.
Bye Bye Printing Press Although the value proposition for individual users of ebook readers such as Amazon’s Kindle may be questionable, there are incentives at many levels to move away from our current system of using massive resources for manufacturing paper, printing, binding, distribution to resellers and then finally shipping to the customer. As Lieu mentioned above, the transition from a paper-based reading medium to an electronic one would mean a wholesale shift away from a system based on Johannes Gutenberg’s mechanical printing press that has lasted for around 570 years.