Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Google Invests in Head-mounted Microdisplay Maker Himax Display; At Least 2 Million Units per Year (GOOG; HIMX)

From Daily Variety:

Google Glass Eyes Sky-High Supply: At Least 2 Million Units Annually
Internet giant takes stake in Taiwan's Himax Display, which makes microdisplays for head-mounted devices
Google has taken a stake in Himax Display, which produces microdisplays for head-mounted devices including Google Glass — indicating the Internet giant expects to ramp up production to more than 2 million units per year, according one Wall Street analyst.

Google has agreed to invest in the company, a subsidiary of Taiwan-based Himax Technologies, to fund production upgrades, expand capacity and enhance production capabilities for liquid crystal on silicon (LCOS) chips and modules used in applications including head-mounted displays like Google Glass. Under the pact, Google will purchase a 6.3% interest in Himax Display, with the option to increase its stake to up to 14.8%.

Google Glass includes has a small screen embedded in the right lens and lets users search the web, watch video, pull up maps, read text messages, take photos, and execute other functions. Some predict head-mounted computing will be a game-changer, while at the same time the Google Glass project has been widely mocked as making users look silly and also has stoked fears about invasions of privacy.

The Google investment in Himax Display “signifies that Google intends to prepare for more than 2 million units of annual Glass production,” and that the company’s previous 2 million limit ”was not viewed as sufficient to Google,” Mark Gomes of PoisedtoTriple Research wrote in a blog post. He suggested the Taiwan-based manufacturer is boosting production capacity to 7 million LCOS microdisplays annually....MORE
Himax Technologies trades as an ADR, HIMX. It jumped from a 5-handle when the deal was announced on the 22nd, $7.56 +0.29‎ last.

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