CDT acquires OLED driver chip design house

Jan. 1, 2007
Cambridge Display Technology says that its acquisition of Next Sierra will accelerate its development of Total Matrix Addressing technology.
Cambridge Display Technology (CDT) has acquired the assets of Next Sierra, Inc., a Mountain View, California-based hardware developer that specializes in designing driver chips for P-OLED and OLED displays.

CDT believes that Next Sierra will assist in the development of Total Matrix Addressing™ (TMA) technology. "The response from the OLED industry to our announcement of TMA technology last month convinced us that we needed to move quickly to demonstrate the TMA concept in silicon,' said David Fyfe, CEO of Cambridge Display Technology.

Total Matrix Addressing is a technology which potentially can be incorporated into driver chips to bring active matrix (AM) capabilities to passive matrix (PM) displays.

Under terms of the agreement, CDT will acquire Next Sierra Inc.'s assets and key technical personnel for an undisclosed amount in CDT stock, with payment staged against technology development milestones to be achieved over the next twelve months.

Next Sierra CEO Rich Page said, "Becoming part of CDT is a natural evolution for Next Sierra. In TMA, CDT has an exciting technology with great OLED market potential. The Next Sierra team has the right mix of dedication and expertise to execute the design and commercialization of TMA driver chips in the minimum time possible.'

Prior to the announcement of TMA, it had been thought that larger OLED displays would only be feasible by using active matrix technology incorporating an expensive thin-film transistor (TFT) layer. Passive matrix displays, which are driven by cheaper external chips, were thought to be restricted to smaller screen sizes.

TMA reduces power consumption and enhances panel lifetime for a given pixel count in passive matrix displays. Measurements on small passive matrix displays incorporating the TMA solution demonstrated at least a 50% reduction in power consumption or exhibited double the display luminescence at the same power consumption. The TMA driving system applies both to polymer and small-molecule OLED displays.