January 12, 2012 -- Qualcomm MEMS Technologies Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ:QCOM), helped introduce two e-readers for the Chinese market, the Hanvon C18 by Hanwang Technology Co. Ltd. (Hanvon) and the Bambook Sunflower from The Shanghai Nutshell Electronic Co. Ltd, a subsidiary of Shanda Networking Co. Ltd. Both e-readers target the Chinese market, and both use Qualcomm's MEMS display technology mirasol.
The Hanvon e-reader incorporating mirasol display technology was unveiled during Qualcomm chairman and CEO Dr. Paul Jacobs's keynote at International CES this week in Las Vegas. Jacobs also used the keynote to introduce Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor, which show host the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) reports as "the first all-in-one processor to hit the market." More from CES: Intel keynote and TI's 28nm OMAP 5.
Qualcomm MEMS Technologies Inc.'s mirasol display technology uses interferometric modulation (IMOD); a micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS)-based technology capable of creating color from ambient reflected light. Qualcomm’s mirasol displays are bi-stable, energy efficient, offer refresh rates to support interactive content and are highly reflective.
Commenting on the two design wins, Jennifer Colegrove of DisplaySearch said: "The mirasol displays used on the current e-readers are produced in the Gen 4.5 fab that Qualcomm and Foxlink have been operating since mid-2009. Qualcomm has invested about $1 billion to build its fully-owned Gen 4.5 fab, which is expected to be operational in 2012." Read her blog from CES.
Analyst firm IHS iSuppli predicts a slow year for pure-play e-readers in 2012, after explosive growth in 2011. One way to woo consumers will be vibrant, full-color displays, said Vinita Jakhanwal, IHS iSuppli analyst. Mirasol competes with the e-reader standard, electrophoretic displays (EPD), on common characteristics -- wide viewing angle, readability in sunlight, low power consumption -- and beats EPD with full color displays and fast response speeds, Jakhanwal reports. But EPD generally wins on cost. Read: Color displays could boost e-reader sales in coming years
Both e-readers feature a 5.7" XGA format (1024 x 768 pixels) mirasol display (screen resolution of 223 ppi) and Qualcomm’s 1.0 GHz Snapdragon S2 class processor. The companies' custom application interfaces sit atop an Android 2.3 base. Battery power, based upon 30 minutes of daily reading time with Wi-Fi off and integrated reading light set to 22% utilization, lasts for weeks.
In November 2011, Qualcomm MEMS Technologies reported its first e-reader design win for the MEMS-based mirasol display, in the Korean market. The form factor, processor, and interface base in this Kyobo Book Centre of Korea e-reader are the same as the 2 devices to be introduced in China. Learn more about the Korean mirasol display launch here.
The Bambook e-Reader includes access to Shanda’s expansive content distribution portfolio, which includes millions of books, magazines and comics. Additionally, interactive content and social features enable users to share favorite passages with friends or send feedback to the authors.
Liu Yingjian, president of Hanwang Technology Co., Ltd., said that their device is "thinner and lighter than any [other] color e-reader." The Hanvon C18 e-reader includes access to tens of thousands of e-books, more than 100 Chinese newspapers and more than 300 magazines. The device features Hanvon’s patented handwriting recognition technology Hanvon Input.
Hanvon Technology Co. Ltd. has expertise in pattern recognition technologies and manufactures consumer electronics. Hanvon is listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (stock code: 002362).
Shanda Interactive Entertainment Limited (Nasdaq: SNDA) is a leading interactive entertainment media company in China.
Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) creates 3G and next-generation mobile technologies. Learn more at www.qualcomm.com.