SiPix promises color e-paper next year

AU Optronics unit SiPix is drawing ahead in the race to get color e-paper to the market, with the announcement that it plans to launch a small number of displays by the end of next year.

They are expected to be used in electronic readers, magazines and newspapers, and are based on new developments by AU Optronics in thin-film-transistor panels.

“Making colored electronic paper displays is our top priority,” SiPix company president Andrew Tseng told the Taipei Times. “[Color] would encourage advertisers to place ads on publications, which then would be able to provide more content for free.”

Rival manufacturers such as Prime View International – which supplies Amazon and Sony – isn’t expected to have products available for another three years. Prime View uses technology from E Ink, which it plans to acquire by the end of the year.

AU Optronics also said yesterday that it expects the global market for e-paper products to grow at an annual compound growth rate of 40 percent over the next nine years, from today’s $1.143 billion to $41.27 billion in 2018. Displaysearch is a bit less optimistic, reckoning the market at $9.6 billion in 2018.