AUO kicks off the mass production of e-paper business in Q3, 2010

AU Optronics (AUO) has been progressively developing e-paper market which means to become the major shareholder of SiPix Imaging, Inc. in 2009 and expanded the productivity of Linco plant in Northern Taiwan. In order to focus on the development of e-paper, CT Liu, chairman & CEO of SiPix and corporate senior vice president and the general manager of consumer product display business group of AUO, left AUO and took the full-time title in SiPix. The mass production of e-paper will start in Q3 in order to grab the business opportunity of the end year.


Eyeing at the positive development of e-paper, AUO presided SiPix and announced CT Liu to be the chairman & CEO of SiPix leading the technology and development of e-paper business.


SiPix’ electronic pricing labels have started the mass production. Moreover, SiPix sent samples of 6” and 9” e-papers for certification in order to enter major branding companies’ supply chains in Taiwan and China. It is estimated to start the shipment of 2-2.5 million pieces of which 6” is accounted for 60% and 9” and e-tag products cover the remaining 40%.


However, SiPix encountered the problem of unstable submicron particle when the electric field is applied not to show the images. KY Lee, chairman of AUO, also personally looked into this matter and requested the company to solve the problem by this July in order not to miss the business opportunity of e-book at the end of the year. According to the internal resources, SiPix has adjusted the material and plans to resend the sample for approval. The mass production is estimated to kick off in Q3, 2010.


In order to strengthen the e-paper business, AUO group also appointed CT Liu to be the chairman and president of SiPix. After Liu left AUO, he can focus on e-paper related businesses and raise SiPix competence in the future.


For the future, most major customers place orders of e-paper in the second half year. If SiPix improves the products in Q2, the impact on the shipment delivery will be limited. Internally, AUO group has begun the development of e-book. For example, BenQ plans to unveil an e-book in Q2 but might be postponed due to the unresolved e-paper supply. BenQ might consider shifting toward other solutions such as e-ink or table PC. And another subsidiary, Qisda Corp. supplies not only e-papers but also table PC for customers to choose that will avoid the impact, too.