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Google buys into semiconductor firm Himax for Google Glass

Follows Intel
Mon Jul 22 2013, 16:30
Google Glass is now available in the UK for 1000

ADVERTISING BROKER Google has bought 6.3 percent of semiconductor vendor Himax as it gets deeper into developing wearable computers.

Google Glass is the firm's first foray into the wearable computing market and the firm's actions seemed to have fired the starting gun for what is expected to be a major market in the coming years. Now Google has invested in semiconductor firm Himax, which develops liquid crystal on silicon (LCOS) chips for wearable computing devices.

Himax designs and makes chips and displays used in most major types of consumer electronics such as televisions and mobile phones. The firm has also developed and built touch sensors and LCOS displays that are used in pico projectors and heads-up displays, something that Google would be particularly interested in.

Himax said that once its deal with Google is completed, the internet giant will own 6.3 percent in Himax Display Inc, with Himax holding a 81.5 percent stake in the firm. Himax said Google will be able to purchase more of the firm through preferred shares at the same price as its initial investment a year from now.

Jordan Wu, president and CEO of Himax said, "Beginning the second quarter of this year, we had already begun expanding capacity to meet demand for our LCOS product line. This investment from Google further validates our commitment to developing breakthrough technologies and state of the art production facilities.

"We look forward to leveraging this investment and our collective expertise with Google to create unique and transformational LCOS technologies for many years ahead."

Intel has already invested in Himax Display, highlighting the firm's potential. Given Google's investment in low-level hardware for wearable computing, it is safe to say that Glass wasn't merely a one-off experiment and Google intends to take the wearable computing market seriously. µ


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