Industry News January/February 2016 Issue 1

Sharp to Complete Sale of North American TV Business to Hisense

Last summer, Sharp announced that it would be exiting the TV business in North America, selling its brand name and its LCD production plant in Mexico to Chinese manufacturing giant Hisense.1  At press time, the transaction was scheduled for completion on January 6, 2016, for a total of $23.7 million.2

Consumers may notice little difference, as Sharp’s name will live on, and at least some of the TVs labeled Sharp will be made in Sharp’s former facilities.  A spokesperson for Hisense said that Sharp and Hisense brand-name TVs will be available in North America in both the premium and the mid-range, while the Hisense name will continue to represent the low end of the market.2  According to an article in Forbes earlier this year, Sharp will continue to sell TVs in Japan, as well as continue to make panels for a wide variety of devices.1

NEC Introduces Two New Monitors for Professional Applications

NEC Display Solutions of America recently announced new 30- and 27-in. displays (the EA305WMi and EA275WMi, respectively) in its MultiSync line.  Designed for dual-monitor configurations, these wide-screen models feature IPS panel technology with wide viewing angles (178° horizontal/vertical), DisplayPort 1.2 inputs and outputs, and NEC’s ControlSync technology.

ControlSync allows users to control up to six displays in a multi-monitor configuration.  Upon establishing one unit as the master, users are able to control most settings of the multi-monitor setup in unison through the primary monitor.  The models also offer “smart sensing” technology, which automatically detects work conditions to determine the proper display brightness with ambient light and human sensors.  A comprehensive input panel, including HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.2 out, DVI-D, and 3-port USB hub, connects users to the necessary devices.

According to the company, the wide-color-gamut EA305WMi (Fig. 1), with a resolution of 2560 × 1600, is a cost-effective option for photography, video production, and print, while the sRGB gamut EA275WMi, with a resolution of 2560 × 1440, is ideal for online content development.

Fig. 1:  The 30-in. NEC MultiSync EA305WMi is a high-resolution LCD designed for multiple-monitor configurations. 

Instrument Systems Now Offers Stray-Light Correction

Instrument Systems GmbH, a developer and manufacturer of high-precision light-measurement systems, is now offering stray-light correction as a calibration feature in its array spectrometers.  Stray light can now be suppressed during measurements by an order of magnitude down to 10-5.  A 10% higher sensitivity in the UV range after stray-light-corrected calibration leads to about 3–4% higher accuracy in radiometric measurements.

According to the company, this new feature will enable more accurate measurements of UV-LEDs.  More accurate determination of the radiometric values of UV LEDs facilitates their characterization and development and supports the various applications of these radiation sources in, for example, the fields of coating, curing, disinfection, and biomedicine. Osram Plans to Invest Approximately €3 Billion by 2020.

Osram, a leading lighting manufacturer based in Germany, has announced that it will invest approximately €3 billion in new technologies and applications by 2020.  Recent shifts in the lighting market toward semiconductor-based technologies are creating new opportunities in that area, according to the company, which says that approximately €2 billion will be spent on research and development in the new markets.  Additionally, Osram has planned another €1 billion for the construction of a new LED chip plant in Malaysia. •




M&A Briefs

Leyard American Corp Buys Planar Systems
Display maker and designer Planar Systems, Inc., announced that it has recently closed its sale to Leyard American Corp., a subsidiary of Leyard Optoelectronic Co., Ltd., which designs and distributes LED-based display products.  In August 2015, Planar and Leyard entered into a merger agreement in which Leyard American Corp. agreed to acquire all of the common stock of Planar for a purchase price of $6.58 per share.
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Apple Purchases Faceshift
TechCrunch has confirmed that Apple has bought Faceshift, a motion-capture startup based in Switzerland with technology that captures a person’s facial expressions in real time.  Faceshift technology was used in the making of the latest Star Wars movie.  Apple does not usually make official announcements of its acquisitions (somewhere between 6 and 9 of them are said to have been made in 2015), but this announcement has been widely confirmed.3  The reasons behind the acquisition can only be speculated upon, but several industry bloggers have suggested gaming and TV-related applications.

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