Engineering jobs will soon be on offer at a factory that will produce energy-saving color displays at the site of the Hsinshu Science Park in northern Taiwan. Qualcomm and Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs reported on 3 January that the chipmaker, based in San Francisco, is investing US $1 billion to build the factory, which will turn out small color displays for a new generation of e-readers and smartphones with built-in e-reader capability that use Qualcomm’s Mirasol technology. The technology is meant to extend battery life by making the screen readable without a backlight. (It takes its name from the words “mira” and “sol,” which literally mean “look” and “sun.”) According to the Taiwanese government, Qualcomm has reserved a seven-hectare lot upon which the plant will be erected. Press releases announcing the Qualcomm investment noted that it will help a Taiwanese chipmaking industry beset by competition from its Asian rivals. There has been no word on the high-dollar investments the U.S. based chipmaker plans to make in order to aid the U.S. economy.
Photo: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
Willie Jones is an associate editor at IEEE Spectrum. In addition to editing and planning daily coverage, he manages several of Spectrum's newsletters and contributes regularly to the monthly Big Picture section that appears in the print edition.