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Qualcomm throws Sharp a $120m bone for IGZO display tech

Old school tech firms still have a trick or two left

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US chip designer Qualcomm will take a bite out of Sharp for up to 9.9bn yen ($121m), and plug its mobile display subsidiary Pixtronix into the Japanese telly biz.

Qualcomm is interested in Sharp's new indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO) screen technology which doesn't draw as much power as regular LCDs and has better resolution, as well as a five-per-cent stake in Sharp.

The companies will make displays for mobiles and tablets together if the deal goes ahead, Qualcomm said.

Just last week, rumours were swirling that Sharp was chatting up Dell and Intel as well as Qualcomm to raise some much-needed cash. The firm needs capital after ploughing most of its money into factories during the good times, which are now proving too costly to run in the global recession.

Sharp is still considered a dab hand at display manufacture, attracting a fair bit of interest in its troubles. Apple supplier Foxconn was expected to rescue the firm, but a deal ran into trouble when Sharp's share price fell after some more bad news on its earnings front. ®

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