Earlier today, E Ink Holdings (EIH) chairman Liu Cheng announced the signing of a licensing agreement that will allow Sharp to use the fringe field switching (FFS) LCD technology developed by EIH’s Korean subsidiary Hydis. The agreement has a duration of 10 years, and is retroactive to April 1 of this year.
In a Chinese-language article by Yang Ling Wen that appeared today in NowNews.com, the agreement was referred to as a "cross-license agreement," which is how the two companies are diplomatically describing it. However, the major motivation for the agreement is to allow Sharp to use FFS technology in the panels it will be making for Apple iPads, and perhaps iPhones and iTVs. This is essential for Sharp because the panels for the iPhone and iPad made by LG Display and Samsung Display use FFS under license (although each refuses to acknowledge that, and Apple has gone along with the charade).