Californian startup CLEARink Displays just announced it has closed USD5 million in Series C funding with lead investor being Vestech International, an investment fund backed by a number of Asian display manufacturers. Existing investors also participated in this round.
At SID's DisplayWeek 2017 last May, CLEARink demonstrated prototypes of its first full-colour video-capable electrophoretic displays, winning the Best in Show Award for its paper-thin fully reflective, sunlight-readable and very low power displays.
Based on electrophoresis, with a twist, the technology was co-developed with Merck and will be delivered in two versions, a video-capable version boasting a refresh rate of over 30Hz, and a bistable platform that will compete directly with today's e-ink displays found on e-readers or electronic shelf labels.
The panel integrates a microstructure ensuring total internal reflection, which gives a pure white. When a potential is applied, black nanoparticles from a liquid ink layered underneath are attracted to the bottom surface of that microstructure and absorbs light.
This removes the need for white particles as they are used in E-Ink displays and yields a sharper, clearer image with a better contrast while consuming lesser power, explains CLEARink Displays' CEO Frank Christiaens.
The CEO also claims that the whites on his displays offer twice the reflectance of alternative E-Ink displays, making them whiter.
Adding an LCD layer overlay, the technology now supports 4096 colours while still consuming about 80 to 90% less power compared to a regular LCD display. The startup claims it largely beats E-Ink on refresh speed.
Founded in 2012, the company had already raised more than US$10 million in financing from strategic investors, the current round of $10M is half subscribed and the company expects to close the rest of this round shortly to complete trial manufacturing and commence mass production next year.