21 Jun 2002
Cambridge Display Technology (CDT) of the UK and Japanese printer firm Seiko-Epson have set up a joint company, Polyink, to offer inkjet printing technologies for organic LEDs (OLEDs) to third-party display manufacturers.
The two companies have been working together for some years to produce red, green and blue OLED arrays. Seiko-Epson was one of the first companies to license CDT's light-emitting polymer technology.
However, there has been speculation in recent months that CDT was not happy about Seiko's proprietary attitude to its inkjet IP, which CDT saw as slowing up wider introduction of flexible OLED displays. Hence, last December, CDT took an opportunity to buy up Californian company Litrex, also a manufacturer of industrial inkjet equipment.
Commenting on the latest move, Stewart Hough, vice-president of business development at CDT, said, "Seiko and Litrex have different business models that will appeal to different companies. Seiko, through Polyink, is providing complete system solutions, in other words ink, heads and tools; Litrex will sell tools that can take different ink and head selections. Besides these options, we have also wanted to promote alternative technology approaches."
Litrex has just won a contract from the US Display Consortium (USDC), a public-private partnership supporting the electronic display industry in the US. The project will complete a two-phase development for inkjet manufacturing of OLEDs. The cost of the $5.78 m will be shared between Litrex and USDC.