Home Back Issues June 2013 Winning display

Winning display

| Print |  Email
Articles - June 2013
Tuesday, May 28, 2013

BY LINDA BAKER

0613 FOB Amorphyx
John Brewer, CEO of Amorphyx, telecommuting at Public Domain in Portland.
// Photo by Adam Wickham

For the past two decades, the liquid display industry has revolved around thin film transistors: semiconductor devices that are manufactured on one of the two glass panels that make up an LCD display. Now a Corvallis-based startup, Amorphyx, has developed an alternative to the transistor, which acts as a dimmer switch controlling the amount of light coming through the display screen. The materials innovation is called the “amorphous metal thin-film diode,” and the advantages range from its flexible properties — think bendable mobile phones — to improved picture quality and environmental efficiencies, says chief executive John Brewer, also an entrepreneur-in-residence at the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI). Most of the research in the $120 billion LCD sector involves tweaking the thin film transistor to make it work better, Brewer says. “We’re coming in and saying, ‘Just get rid of the semiconductor altogether.’” Using technology based on doctoral research by Intel veteran and Amorphyx CTO Bill Cowell, the design team is refining the metal-diode application so it will plug into existing manufacturing processes. The startup is also in conversation with several companies about commercializing the innovation. Nevertheless, Amorphyx’s “revolutionary” approach is making the process a bit of a hard sell with manufacturers, admits Brewer. “They’ve said, ‘We can do that. It’s really cool.’ But still, they’re skeptical.”

COMPANY: Amorphyx

PRODUCT: Liquid display technology

CEO: John Brewer

HEADQUARTERS: Corvallis

LAUNCHED: 2012

CUT TO THE CHASE: “Despite the fanfare that the software gets, hardware begets software. Without hardware, you don’t get any software. We’re working on stuff that allows you to watch Netflix while attending the boring Chinese opera.”

BACK OFFICE: Raised a total of $480,000 from ONAMI gap fund and OSU Venture Development Fund. “Amoprhyx is an Oregon story,” says Brewer. “Not a lot of states give scientists enough funding to get out
of the research lab.”

 

More Articles

The clean fuels opportunity

News
Monday, November 10, 2014
111014-dirtyfuel-thumbBY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR

A market for low-carbon transportation fuels has a chance to flourish in Oregon if regulators adopt the second phase of the state’s Clean Fuels Program.


Read more...

Fly Zone

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JOE ROJAS-BURKE

The black soldier fly’s larvae are among the most ravenous and least picky eaters on earth.


Read more...

Three problems with Obama's immigration order

News
Wednesday, November 26, 2014

BY NISHANT BHAJARIA | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR112614-immigration-thumb

By now, anyone who knows about it has a position on President Obama’s executive order on immigration. The executive order is the outcome of failed attempts at getting a bill through the normal legislative process. Both Obama and his predecessor came close, but not close enough since the process broke down multiple times.


Read more...

Measure 91: What Oregon Businesses Need to Know

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
91 thumbBY DIANE BUISMAN

Some common misconceptions employers have about marijuana.


Read more...

Election Season

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014

We didn’t intend this issue to have an election season theme. But politics has a way of seeping into the cracks and fissures.


Read more...

The Bookseller

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Everyone knows college is expensive, but a look at the numbers brings that into sharp — and painful — focus.


Read more...

Reimagining education to solve Oregon's student debt and underemployment problems

News
Thursday, November 13, 2014
carsonstudentdept-thumbBY RYAN CARSON | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

How do we skill up our future technology workforce in a smart way to take advantage of these high-paying jobs? The answer shouldn’t focus only on helping people get a bachelor’s degree.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS