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Kindle Display Maker E Ink to be Bought for $215M

Wed, 06/03/2009 - 12:44pm

Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer


NEW YORK (AP) -- E Ink Corp., the maker of the innovative display for the Amazon Kindle e-book reader, said this week that it has agreed to be acquired by a Taiwanese company for $215 million.

The buyer is Prime View International, which has been Cambridge, Mass.-based E Ink's partner in making "electronic ink" displays for Amazon.com Inc. and Sony Corp. “The deal will help the combined company develop color versions of its displays and mass produce them by the end of 2010,” said Sriram Peruvemba, E Ink's vice president of marketing. Current models show shades of gray.

E Ink's displays are used in e-book readers because they look similar to regular paper and consume very little power. However, they take a relatively long time to switch between images, making navigation slow.

E Ink makes the top layer of the electronic ink displays, then ships them to Prime View, which adds a bottom layer that's similar to those used in LCD panels. Prime View bought the electronic ink technology of Royal Philips Electronics NV in 2005.

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