Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) announced an expansion of its display technology agreement between its subsidiary Pixtronix, Inc. and Sharp Corporation to develop and commercialize high-quality color, low-power MEMS displays incorporating IGZO (Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide) technology. The goal is to build the displays using existing LCD manufacturing infrastructure. As a result of the equity investment (of up to $120 million), Qualcomm will become a minority shareholder in Sharp.
Qualcomm’s equity investment in Sharp and the expanded joint development agreement build upon the existing work between Sharp and Pixtronix as the two companies have been engaged in development activities for the last year and a half. The goal of this joint effort is to accelerate commercialization of Pixtronix’s low power MEMS displays utilizing Sharp’s IGZO technology.
The equity investment by Qualcomm will take place in stages and the consummation of the transaction is subject to certain contingencies.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Sharp is discussing possible injections of cash from Intel and Dell, in addition to the Qualcomm deal.
"As one of the leading electronics companies in the world, Sharp has an established industry brand and is a recognized leader in the development and commercialization of new innovative display technologies," said Derek Aberle, executive vice president and group president of Qualcomm. "Expanding our existing relationship with Sharp to jointly commercialize new MEMS display technologies will help both companies realize their shared goal of driving high performance, lower power displays for a variety of devices, including smartphones and tablets."
"Sharp has brought many innovations to the display industry, including the world’s first commercialization of IGZO technology in LCD displays this year," said Yoshisuke Hasegawa, executive managing officer of Sharp Corporation. "Sharp is targeting to accelerate the commercialization of MEMS displays by combining Sharp’s cutting-edge IGZO technology and Pixtronix’s MEMS display technology."