Cambridge Display Technologies Ltd’s bid eventually to replace the cathode ray tube with its LEP light emitting polymer technology may be about to get a huge shot in the arm. On September 8, the Cambridge, UK, firm will announce the name of the company that will make a major investment and probably take a large stake in Cambridge Display. Chief executive Danny Chapchal would not be drawn on specifics, but it sounds like it will be a name we’re all familiar with, perhaps among the big manufacturers. Last year, the company won its first serious endorsement for the technology, which it claims will eventually power anything from back-lit mobile phone displays to televisions, when it signed a licensing agreement with Philips Electronics NV (CI No 2,993), which expects to launch its first LEP products by the end of this year. Earlier this year, it signed a further licensing agreement with California-based Univax Inc. Both Philips and Univax had originally opposed some of Cambridge Display’s patents, so the licensing agreements have now left the company’s path clear. Both are ‘low information’ licenses, for displays of 100,000 pixels or less. The big fry will come with ‘high information’ licenses. The company has already sold one of these to Californian, Astounding Technology Inc’s Innovative Display Technology subsidiary, but it seems to be happy just to flirt with major potential buyers until it is sure of the true market value for these licenses. Chapchal was also unable to reveal the name of the company’s major Japanese joint development partner, but he did say that this company has prototyped a tiny screen that shows moving pictures using the LEP technology, which is very exciting.
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