Plastic Logic Goes for ‘Plastic Inside’ Strategy
By David Manners
Plastic Logic has dropped its e-reader product line and is going for a ‘Plastic Inside’ strategy—selling its plastic back-planes, sensors and tags for customers to incorporate into end products.
“We can print circuits on an industrial scale,” Indro Mukerjee, CEO of Plastic Logic, tells EW, “we have worked out how to make them on a mass scale from organic materials. We’re at the start of a real electronic paper revolution.”
The company is selling bendable displays based on their own backplane and an e-ink display which can be overlaid by a capacitive touch layer. “Yields are comparable to the LCD industry,” says Mukerjee.
Current products are bendable but, in the works, is an ultra-thin display which is half way between the bendable and the rollable. Colour filters have been developed.
Moves are afoot to put the driver ICs on the plastic and shrink the connectors.
Current displays are reflective, but Plastic Logic is putting LEDs on the edges of the device to deliver front-light illumination.
It has also developed see-through backplanes which could be put onto spectacles, head-up displays and car windscreens.
Plastic Logic is working with customers to wed the technology to different materials.
The company is also selling IP to enhance the visual experience of e-ink displays. “We have developed algorithms which can enhance e-ink screens,” says Mukerjee, “how you drive the columns and rows is an art-form.”
The displays withstand 10m refresh cycles and have a five year life-time which gets them into the consumer industry.
Following the investment in the company by the Russian VC firm, Rusnano, Plastic Logic will be opening a centre of excellence in Moscow.
It is closing its US design facility. R&D continues at Cambridge and manufacturing continues at Dresden.