The next-generation of rollable touch screen.

Nissha Printing Co. will join hands with Taiwanese rival TPK Holding Co. to develop a next-generation rollable touch screen.

Nissha Printing will acquire this month a 25% stake in the Taiwanese company’s joint venture with U.S. start-up Cambrios Technologies Corp. by purchasing newly issued shares for 6.25 million dollars, or around 610 million yen. After Nissha’s investment, TPK will hold a 65% interest and Cambrios 10%.

Nissha Printing and TPK will develop silver nanowire ink conductive film that is highly flexible. Compared with the current mainstream material, indium tin oxide (ITO), the new film’s electrical resistance will be low, enabling high resolution to be maintained even on large screens. And, unlike ITO, it does not require rare metals, making it cheaper to produce.

The film will likely be used in spherical touch panels and automotive instrument panels, which have curvy surfaces. When combined with OEL display technology, a rollable tablet computer can be commercialized.

TPK is strong in touch panels for smartphones, while Nissha Printing has an advantage in tablet panels. Both companies supply Apple Inc. and other major device manufacturers.

The two will combine their expertise to speed up development, and plan to begin mass-producing the film next spring. Details, such as the production site and scale, have yet to be set.

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