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Stronger Gorilla Glass 2 means thinner touch screens

A new version of Corning's material for protecting screens is stronger so that screens can be 20 percent thinner. Microsoft, having got touch-screen religion, is a big fan.

Gorilla Glass is spreading across the tech industry, including to the HP Envy 14 Spectre laptop.
Gorilla Glass is spreading across the tech industry, including to the HP Envy 14 Spectre laptop.
Sarah Tew/CNET

Gorilla Glass, which I wish covered my cracked Samsung Galaxy Nexus screen, is heading to market in a stronger 2.0 version.

Corning introduced the new material at CES yesterday, saying that newfound strength lets screens be made 20 percent thinner. That, in turn, can improve brightness, touch response, and of course device thickness.

I also hope the thinner glass will effectively bring text and graphics closer to the surface of smartphones, something I find makes them much easier to use since my eye isn't as distracted by multiple layers of visual information.

"Product qualification and design implementation for Corning Gorilla Glass 2 are under way with Corning's global customers, a number of whom are expected to unveil new devices using Corning Gorilla Glass 2 during the coming months," Corning said in a statement.

Gorilla Glass, though developed decades ago, only came into its own five years ago on devices such as the first-generation iPhone. Its strength and scratch resistance also have attracted customers building tablets, newer smartphones, TVs, and now even PCs such as the new HP Envy 14 Spectre.

Corning won an endorsement for the technology from Microsoft, which is making a major push into touch-screen PCs and tablets with Windows 8, set to debut later this year.

It's a smash hit for an old-school industrialist not often associated with the glitzy world of electronics. More than 575 products from 30 companies use it so far, with shipments of more than 500 million devices. Corning expects 2011 sales of Gorilla Glass to triple from 2010 to 2011 with revenue of more than $700 million.