E INK is the company responsible for e-paper found in almost every single e-reader and e-note currently available. The company derives 75% of their total revenue from the e-reader sector and they are looking to expand further into digital signage, which is a tremendous growth market. By 2025 it will be worth over $31.71 billion. E INK primarily makes its money producing the displays and then selling them to established signage vendors, who build their own shell and develop their own software. So it is good money for E INK to just make the screens. In order to ramp up production, E INK has just partnered with TCL, the company who made Blackberry phones and also televisions.
Under the Agreement, TCL will manufacture 42-inch ePaper TFT backplanes using an 8.5 generation production line. This will be the first time large-size ePaper backplanes have been manufactured in an 8.5 generation facility, and it will be the largest generation factory in the world to manufacture ePaper TFT backplanes. This will not only help optimize the cost-effectiveness of the production, but will also help to increase efficiencies. TCL will produce not only B&W e-paper panels, but Advanced Colored E-paper.
TCL is a weird little company. They have their hands in everything. TCL is organized into five business divisions. Multimedia, which produces TV,s the ones that are super cheap on Amazon. They have their communications division, which include smartphones. The Home appliances division, which primarily focuses on AC units and washing machines. The Home electronics division make ODM products and DVDS. Finally, China Star Optoelectronics Technology (CSOT) is the one that will be producing the backpanes with E INK.
E Ink has long been devoted to developing the ePaper ecosystem. From the manufacturing of epaper to extending the applications of ePaper, we actively look for like-minded partners to expand the supply chain and work with customers,” said Johnson Lee, CEO of E Ink Holdings. “TCL CSOT has been ranked one of the top companies for large-size panels. Their dedication and achievements in LCD and OLED products are well known, and we are pleased they are working with E Ink to increase production, improve quality and broaden the ePaper ecosystem.”
“The cooperation between TCL CSOT and E Ink, the global leading company in the epaper industry, will promote further market adoption of ePaper. This aligns with the development strategy of TCL CSOT and will help advance our technical competitiveness in this new type of display,” said Zhao Jun, Senior Vice President of TCL CSOT and General Manager of Large-Size Panel Business Group. “To achieve this strategic goal, TCL CSOT will fully support this project with technical cooperation and resource protection. TCL CSOT will also continue to strengthen their cooperation with E Ink, to deepen our technical exchange and business cooperation in the area of new displays, build more diversified, quality products, and to help our customers fulfill their product goals.”
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.