Sharp receives US$120m investment from Qualcomm

4 Dec 2012

Electronics firm Sharp has received a US$120m investment from Qualcomm in a move that will help bolster its battered balance sheet. It is understood that Dell and Intel were also considering investing in the Japanese display giant.

Under the deal, Sharp will issue new shares to Qualcomm and will form a partnership with Qualcomm subsidiary Pixtronix to develop MEMS displays using Sharp’s exclusive Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide (IGZO) technology.

IGZO doesn’t consume as much power as most LCD displays, makes touchscreens more accurate and sensitive and increases the number of pixels per inch for sharper resolution.

The investment will make Qualcomm a minority shareholder of Sharp.

In recent weeks it emerged that Qualcomm, Intel and Dell were all circling Sharp with a view to investing in the company, which like most consumer electronics manufacturers, is struggling.

The IGZO technology is considered to be Sharp’s secret weapon and developing MEMs with the company will afford considerable advantages to Qualcomm.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years