ITRI Announces Technology Transfer to FlexUP Technologies

TAIPEI, TAIWAN — (Marketwired) — 12/05/14 — Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) announced today the successful transfer of FlexUP technology to FlexUP Technologies Corp. By providing flexible substrate material, this new startup aims at satisfying the growing demand and emerging opportunities in the flexible display market for smart handheld devices, wrist worn devices and flexible medical sensors.

ITRI Chairman Ching-Yen Tsay stated ITRI has been actively promoting Taiwan–s startup business in recent years. FlexUP Technologies is the fifth spin-offs from ITRI this year and its launch suggests that Taiwan–s display industry has officially entered the arena of flexible material. ITRI has racked up a number of outstanding R&D achievements in the fields of flexible display and electronics technology over the last few years. In 2010, FlexUP, also known as FlexUPD, won the Gold Award of the Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Award and the R&D 100 Award. FlexUP Technologies Corp. will be the first dedicated manufacturer of flexible substrate material in Taiwan. The product is expected to have broad applications in e-paper, touch panel, digital X-ray and OLED lighting fields.

FlexUP Technologies Chairman and President, Dr. Bor-Ping Wang, stated domestic industries so far do not have a dedicated flexible substrate material supplier to assist flexible IC product development. In the future, FlexUP Technologies will be able to provide critical substrate material to help customers develop high value-added products. For instance, there will be ergonomic wearable devices which are thin, lightweight and flexible, smart handheld devices which serve as a tablet when opened and a mobile phone when folded, and e-paper based products which are compact and impact resistant. With regard to the existing touch-panel industry, the high temperature resistance characteristic of the flexible substrate material makes it well-suited for use in automotive and medical niche markets. The material can also be manufactured on current production lines which reduces the time and cost of initial production line deployment. The establishment of FlexUP Technologies is expected to attract more than NT$1 billion in investment.

ITRI Vice President and General Director of Display Technology Center, Dr. Janglin Chen, stated that, as the new wave of Internet of Things gradually takes shape, products which conform to the future lifestyles and consumer needs will become the mainstream in the market. The display requirements for these future products shall not be simply restricted to function upgrades and resolution improvement. The basic requirements will transition from –device in hand– to –all things online–. In the future, all things or objects which may or need to be online will have an end device added and each end device possible will be equipped with a display. In addition, the displays of the future will be lighter, thinner, flexible and durable. For example, ergonomically designed wearable devices and portable digital healthcare devices which overcome weight and safety concerns can benefit from the convenience and other advantages of being flexible.

ITRI is one of the world–s leading technology R&D institutions aiming to innovate a better future for society. Based on its long-term partnership with various industry sectors, ITRI offers a wide range of services, from technical to business consultation, to the international community – such as contract research, product and process development, and pilot runs for technological upgrades; IP strategy and licensing, industrial analysis, and talent training for hi-tech business; and the open lab and incubation for new ventures and emerging industries The Institute has also incubated more than 240 innovative companies since 1973, including well-known names such as UMC and TSMC. Headquartered in Taiwan, ITRI has five branch offices in Silicon Valley, Tokyo, Berlin, Moscow, and Eindhoven to extend its R&D innovation across the globe.

Flexible Universal Plane, FlexUP is for display and electronic applications. The backplane possesses desirable properties of high temperature resistance, deformation resistance, low surface roughness and easy-to-peel. This technology consists of a solution-type PI with a de-bonding layer that can be formed at below 220? for transparent or 450? for brownish substrates with the alignment accuracy as high as 2µm. The flexible active matrix display is delivered with TFT array fabricated on the PI layer followed by OLED evaporation and thin film encapsulation in the packaging process. The final flexible AMOLED can easily be separated from the glass substrate.

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Kristie Lee

Chung-I Lee
Assistant Vice President, Sales and Marketing Division
FlexUP Technologies Corporation

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