Qualcomm limits Mirasol display, looks for licensees

July 24, 2012 // By EE Times
Qualcomm Inc., (San Diego, CA) has said it will focus its manufacturing of Mirasol sunlight-readable displays on a limited set of products and try and license the technology out to other companies.

Speaking in an analysts call to discuss the company's second quarter financial results CEO Paul Jacobs said the company would focus on licensing out the next-generation of Mirasol and commercialize "only certain Mirasol products."

No tangible reason was given for the change of strategy. It is also not clear whether it include the technology of Pixtronix, which it acquired for $175 million in January 2012. Qualcomm paid $170 million in 2004 for startup company Iridigm Display Corp. which originally developed the technology.

The Mirasol display technology was based on a MEMS-like moving structure and produced grey scale by interferometric modulation. The display is reflective rather than using a backlight, providing power saving but muted color, and it was designed into some e-readers.

However, it is reported that Qualcomm had manufacturing problems with the technology that prevented good yields and it was notable that Qualcomm stuck with a smaller size display September 2010.