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Qualcomm to Invest $1 Billion in Taiwan Display Plant

ualcomm to Invest $1 Billion in Taiwan Display Plant
Paul Jacobs, chairman and chief executive officer of Qualcomm Inc. Photographer: Jin Lee/Bloomberg

Qualcomm Inc., the world’s largest maker of mobile phone chips, will invest about $1 billion in a new computer-display plant in Taiwan, the island’s Ministry of Economic Affairs said today.

The U.S. company agreed to invest the amount in 2011 in a plant making screens using its Mirasol technology, the ministry said in a statement posted on its website, without giving more details. A phone call to the office of Adrian Fu, a Hong Kong-based spokesman for Qualcomm, seeking comment went unanswered.

Qualcomm Chief Executive Officer Paul Jacobs said in September that the company expects “significant growth” out of Mirasol displays. The San Diego-based company began collaborating with Taiwan’s Cheng Uei Precision Industry Co. in 2009 to produce the low-power displays as it tries to capitalize on demand for electronic-book readers.

Qualcomm’s latest investment will be in addition to the Qualcomm-Cheng Uei joint venture, Chen Hsin-fa from the Ministry of Economic Affairs said today. Cheng Uei began making Mirasol screens at a factory in Longtan, Taiwan, in March 2009.

Qualcomm Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Paul Jacobs has said that the potential overall market for displays similar to Qualcomm’s Mirasol screens would be worth about $11 billion in annual sales. Jacobs said in September that Qualcomm plans to sharply cut the price of its Mirasol technology and to develop a bigger market.

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