July 7, 2003 2:26 PM PDT

Start-up Cambridge Display cuts jobs

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Start-up Cambridge Display Technology is trimming its work force as it searches for partnerships and additional funding to help it continue its efforts in screen technology.

The Cambridge, England-based company, a proponent of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screen technology, late last week said it will close two of its manufacturing facilities, which will result in the loss of up to 30 jobs, or about 20 percent of its work force.

Cambridge Display Technology (CDT) "is moving to the next logical step in its business evolution, and we've been searching for partners to take it from start-up to successful commercialization," said Stuart Hough, a company spokesman. "CDT is on the cusp of doing that."

Banker Merrill Lynch will present a short list of potential partners for the display company by September, according to CDT.

CDT promotes polymer-based OLED technology, which is different from the more widely used small molecule-based OLED technology developed by Eastman Kodak. The main difference between the two is in the method of production. In the polymer method, particles are sprayed in liquid form onto a substrate, whereas with the small molecule method, particles are evaporated and allowed to settle onto the substrate.

While analysts expect the market for OLED technology to grow from a multimillion-dollar to a multibillion-dollar industry by the later half of this decade, they don't expect it to unseat liquid crystal displays (LCDs) anytime soon. OLED displays currently are used in smaller devices such as cell phones and electric shavers.

OLED technology consumes less power and can result in thinner displays than LCDs, because it does not require a backlight. Materials in an OLED display emit light when an electrical current is applied.

CDT has licensed its technology to Seiko-Epson, Philips, Delta Optoelectronics, DuPont Displays, DNP, MicroEmissive Displays and OSRAM.


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