AU Optronics Corp. ("AUO" or the "Company") (TAIEX: 2409; NYSE: AUO) announced today that AUO has entered into an agreement with Field Emission Technologies (FET) and FET Japan, Inc. (FETJ), to purchase certain assets and to transfer certain technology from FET, a leader in FED (field emission displays) technology whose 39.8% of shareholding is owned by Sony Corporation. In the transaction, AUO will acquire certain assets that include patents, know-how, inventions, and relevant equipment related to FED technology and materials.
The fast response time, high efficiency, brightness, and contrast of FED technology not only compare favorably with traditional CRT technology but also outperform in terms of image quality and power efficiency. FED technology will be focused on high-end display application for future development. Apart from OLED, FED technology will be a new application option in the flat display industry, which will become a strong support for AUO's unique competence in the future.
"Being a total solutions provider of display applications, AUO is dedicated to developing all kinds of display technologies for offering customers more application solutions. FED technology will be an appropriate fit especially for the high-end market needs such as medical or broadcast displays," AUO's CEO and President, Dr. L. J. Chen, said, "Sony had been a leader in FED technology, and AUO also has committed itself to developing new technologies. With its successful cooperation with FET, AUO intends to utilize FET's resources of FED technology to commercialize products, which will hopefully benefit our customers and end consumers."
FED display is self light-emitting and has great contrast and low power consumption, with no motion blur and deeper color depth -- capable of 12bit gray level. With Sony and FET's efforts, FED technology and the possibility of its mass production have achieved a breakthrough. FED is intended to target high-end display applications.
The acquisition is a highlight for AUO's strategies of actively developing core technologies in advanced displays, thanks to the efforts and contribution of the Department of Industrial Technology of Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs supporting Taiwanese companies in acquiring core industrial technologies. With the past two mergers in the display industry, AUO not only has gained large-scale production capacity, but has also aggressively dedicated itself to raising its technology level relevant to the Company's future development. The Company shows its unique thinking in transforming itself to a technology pioneer.
The substance of the agreement includes patents, know-how, inventions, and equipment. Currently FET owns certain core technologies in the FED field. With the completion of the acquisition, AUO will hopefully become one of the few companies in the world that will be able to offer commercialized FED products.
AU Optronics Corp. (AUO) is a worldwide top three manufacturer* of thin film transistor liquid crystal display panels (TFT-LCD). AUO is able to provide customers with a full range of panel sizes and comprehensive applications, offering TFT-LCD panels in sizes ranging from 1.2 inches to greater than 65 inches. AUO generated NT$359.6 billion (US$11.3 billion) in sales revenue in 2009 and now houses a staff of more than 42,000 employees throughout its global operations in Taiwan, Mainland China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, the U.S., and Europe. Additionally, AUO is the first pure TFT-LCD manufacturer to successfully list at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). AUO extended its market to green energy industry in the end of 2008, and formally founded The Solar Photovoltaic Business Unit in October, 2009. For more information, please visit AUO.com.
* DisplaySearch 3Q2009 WW Large-Area TFT-LCD Shipment Report. This data is used as reference only and AUO does not make any endorsement or representation in connection therewith. 2009 year end revenue converted by an exchange rate of NTD31.95:USD1.
Field Emission Technologies, Inc. (FET) was established at Tokyo in 2006 following FED R&D activities done in Sony, by funding of independent investments (Sony retains 39.8% of the company's stock). FET unveiled the uniquely high-performance potential of its "Nano-Spindt type" FED and, during two years after its establishment, brought the technology up to a level ready for commercial production. Its excellent visual quality and reliability have been appreciated at a number of international conventions and conferences, especially by professional users in broadcasting, postproduction, medical industries who long for quality that only true "impulse drive" display can provide.