Irish nanotech firm in R&D pact with Epson


15 Feb 2006

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Dublin-based nanotechnology firm Ntera has developed working prototypes of the world’s highest resolution electronic displays as part of joint venture with Epson. The prototypes feature 200 dpi and 4000 dpi resolution.

Unveiled at this week’s 3GSM Conference in Barcelona, Ntera successfully produced working prototypes featuring the world’s highest resolution naturally reflective electronic displays using its Visual DNA brand electrochromic display technology.

“This is a critical accomplishment in executing our product and technology roadmap as we optimise Ntera technology to feature lifelike resolution and natural color at video speeds,” said Peter Ritz, chief executive officer of Ntera.

“Epson’s core expertise in high- quality and high-reliability micro-fabrication technologies will be a great asset to a fully-enabled NTERA eco-system,” Ritz said.

In 2004 Ntera secured US$9.5m in funding, bringing to US$30m the total raised by the company to date. The funding round was led by Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures, with existing shareholders also participating in the round.

“The low power consumption and superb optical qualities of Ntera’s electrochromic display technology are closely aligned with Epson’s strategy of pioneering products which enhance the user experience,” said Dr Tatsuya Shimoda, deputy managing director, corporate research and development at Epson.

“We look forward to continuing breakthrough performance as we work with Ntera in the next stages of our joint product development.”

Ntera’ss technology reflects any ambient light, including bright sunlight, to make images always visible. It features ink-on-paper appearance at a fraction of the power consumption of existing electronic displays by eliminating backlights, a significant power drain in mobile devices. “Existing LCD and emerging OLED technologies fight the sun — we use it!” said Ritz.

By John Kennedy