Kodak technology to be used in car parts

Japan's top auto parts maker will use Kodak's organic light technology in the devices it makes for dashboards. So far, the technology has been used in cell phones and pagers.

Richard Shim Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Richard Shim
writes about gadgets big and small.
Richard Shim
Eastman Kodak has licensed its next-generation display technology to Japan's No. 1 auto parts maker.

Denso is the first auto parts maker to license Kodak's organic light emitting diode (OLED) technology. Kodak will receive a royalty from Denso for each device the company sells using OLED technology. In Denso's last fiscal year, the company had worldwide net sales of $16 billion.

Denso will use the OLED technology in passive-matrix displays for automobiles, integrating the displays into dashboards, for example. The agreement also allows Denso to purchase Kodak's patented OLED materials.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Other licensees of Kodak's OLED technology include Pioneer, TDK, eMagin, Ritek, SK Display and Sanyo Electric. OLED technology is one of a number of new areas that Rochester, N.Y.-based Kodak is looking at to generate new revenue as its traditional film business plateaus.

OLED displays consume less power and are brighter and thinner than liquid-crystal displays. They can also be viewed at wider angles than LCDs. However, analysts don't expect the technology will be used in large flat-panel displays for the next several years because of cost. Thus far, OLED technology has been used in smaller devices, such as cell phones and pagers.

Denso is based in Kariya, Japan. The company's North American headquarters are in Southfield, Mich.