Corning Incorporated today announced the manufacturing readiness of a novel 3D glass-forming technology to shape Corning Gorilla Glass. Corning is targeting commercialization of finished 3D-shaped Gorilla Glass parts in 2014 and is working with G-Tech Optoelectronics Corp. to establish a vertically integrated operation in Taiwan.
Product design continues to drive the consumer electronics industry. More than half of the top 10 smartphone manufacturers already market devices that incorporate cover glass with subtle curves, and the demand for even more-dramatic form factors is increasing. Corning’s 3D-forming technology meets this demand and expands the design possibilities for industrial designers.
The relationship with GTOC allows Corning to provide a “one-roof” solution. “We can now take Gorilla Glass all the way from flat sheet to a finished 3D-shaped product in Asia, expediting turnaround times and minimizing logistical complexity,” said James R. Steiner, senior vice president and general manager, Corning Specialty Materials. “That’s a win for Corning and our customers.”
Corning’s 3D-forming technology can achieve precise tolerances and high throughput on a platform that is more economical than alternative two-mold forming methods. This technology uses Gorilla Glass of uniform thickness, assisting designers to introduce thinner and lighter devices and leverage the emergence of conformable displays for mobile and wearable applications.
Such glass could be used in an iPhone with curved display, which has been a wish. Even the rumored iWatch could make use of such curved glass, which is also rumored to be in the works at Apple.